The AfPak Challenge

The AfPak Challenge - Trudy Rubin, Philadelphia Inquirer opinion

When Gen. David Petraeus testified on Capitol Hill 11 days ago about the new US policy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, the story was relegated to the inside pages of major papers. What a contrast to the media circus when Petraeus testified on the Iraq war.

Shell-shocked by the financial crisis, the American public hasn't focused on Obama's war, which calls for 17,000 more combat troops this year, as well as 4,000 new military trainers. Polls show the public is wary about the AfPak conflict, but opposition is more muted than to the war in Iraq. That could change should casualties increase, as is likely over the next year.

So, I sat down with Petraeus in the venerable but far-from-fancy Fairfax hotel in Washington where he was staying, to ask why Americans should support this war, and what it would take to win it...

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