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Good interview with Gareth Porter on Scott Horton's show via

According to Porter, General Petraeus basically told Cheney and company what they wanted to hear to get the Iraq job.   Apparently, the best way to win a war is basically say you won and get out.  

He also said that Petraeus basically believed his own hype by the time he got to Afghanistan and was very susceptible to Paula Broadwell blowing smoke up his you know what.   And, that he threw his own book out the window in regards to counter insurgency.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You could include a few quotes from the (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Garrett, kaliope, kurt, allenjo

    Gareth Porter article.

    I'll add a bit about Paula Broadwell's writing on Tom Rick's Blog.

    The Best Defense Jan. 13, 2011, Paula Broadwell writes about the policy of "clearing" a village before destroying it, as a way to reduce US casualties due to the presence of IED's and booby traps.

    If you haven't already seen it, it's worth a look.

    Tom Ricks Daily Blog on National Security – featuring Paula Broadwell’s article

    At the end of the article she described her credentials and promoted her upcoming book.

    Paula Broadwell, a research associate at the Harvard Center for Public Leadership, is the author of the forthcoming (Penguin Press, 2011) book, All In: The Education of General David Petraeus. She will be blogging from Afghanistan through February.
    Except wait, the Washington Post reported that Broadwell had been kicked out of her PhD program back in 2007. Shy is she still listing herself as a research associate at Harvard 5 years later?

    But in 2007, Broadwell was asked to leave the doctoral program at Harvard, where she had met Petraeus a year earlier, because her coursework did not meet the university’s demanding standards, according to people familiar with what happened there.
    •  He stood among the giants, etc. etc. etc. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Adm. Mike Mullen, the departing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was there as a host and showered General Petraeus with superlatives, at one point even comparing him to the great generals of American history — Grant, John J. Pershing, George C. Marshall and Eisenhower.

      “You now stand among the giants, not just in our time, but of all time,’’ Admiral Mullen said.

      "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

      by allenjo on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 07:23:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have a hard time taking counterinsurgency (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener, Nowhere Man, allenjo

    doctrine as anything more than P.R.

    They just completely never tried it. It has been nothing more than a story to tell the newspapers.

  •  Hmm. (0+ / 0-)

    How does razing the 20 or so uninhabited buildings in Tarok Kolache and rebuilding them run counter to today's COIN doctrine?

    •  Legitimacy. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Counterinsurgency doctrine claims to be about building legitimacy.

      But in a very specific way, destroying Tarok Kolache could only destroy legitimacy.

      We destroyed that village to clear the way for Abdul Raziq and his militias, on a run on the Arghandab. And letting Raziq, specifically, loose to burn and pillage Arghandab is as illegitimate as it gets.

      •  From FM 3-24 (0+ / 0-)
        1-113. The primary objective of any COIN operation is to foster development of effective governance by a legitimate government. Counterinsurgents achieve this objective by the balanced application of both
        military and nonmilitary means. All governments rule through a combination of consent and coercion.
        Governments described as “legitimate” rule primarily with the consent of the governed; those described as
        “illegitimate” tend to rely mainly or entirely on coercion. Citizens of the latter obey the state for fear of
        the consequences of doing otherwise, rather than because they voluntarily accept its rule. A government
        that derives its powers from the governed tends to be accepted by its citizens as legitimate. It still uses coercion—for example, against criminals—but most of its citizens voluntarily accept its governance.
        Whether it tracks with your notion of legitimacy or not, the doctrine is interested principally in the popular perception in the host environment.  General Raziq might give a Detroit councilman a conscience attack, but that doesn't necessarily render him an illegitimate fighter on his home turf.  In fact, he might be just as entrenched popularly, and thereby as secure in his legitimacy, as said councilman.
  •  Apart from the scandal, but on our longest war.... (0+ / 0-)
    Apparently, the best way to win a war is basically say you won and get out.  
    Can we just say that we have won the war in Afghanistan and get out now?

    "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

    by allenjo on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:46:45 AM PST

    •  The failure will be harder to hide in Afghanistan. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      As soon as we leave their will either be a civil war or the Taliban will kill Karzai and retake Kabul and invite Al Queda back.   It will look like a massive failure.

      •  It will look like a massive failure? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gfv6800, LilithGardener

        Isn't it time to admit that in its 12th year it is already a massive failure?

        Given your stance, do you advocate continuing the war forever?

        "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

        by allenjo on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 07:03:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Would those things be failure? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Maybe success is (a) partition of Afghanistan into north (ethnic Central Asian) and south (ethnic Indic or Iranian) halves, (b) toppling of the Karzai mafia and southern Afghanistan becoming a province of Pakistan, run by an elected younger generation of so-called Taliban.

        Afghanistan was partitioning into those halves in 2001 and Karzai has been ignored and not voted for by the northern half all along.  A formal partition would only legalize the facts on the ground as they have been for most or all of 10-15 years.   After partition northern Afghanistan could merge with an adjacent Central Asian country, this creating some meaningful and responsible government and a political route for economic development.  Southern Afghanistan would undoubtedly merge to Pakistan, reuniting all western Indic peoples politically and economically.  And Pakistan's long absorption with violence resulting from the British splitting major ethnic groups with misdrawn legal borders would come to an end.  

        The rationale for keeping Karzai in power is tautological- he allows the U.S. military to stay in, but his corruption and incapacity to get economic development and his keeping foreigners in the country motivates the Taliban and such to keep on fighting.  That leaves the undesirability of the Taliban running the southern half of the country.  But on closer scrutiny, that's mostly the undesirability of the reactionary 2001ish Taliban cadres and allies regaining power.  

        The U.S. military has been (mis)absorbed with fighting Taliban footsoldiers and minor local militias.  But it has over time killed a pretty large proportion of the 2001 cadres and leaders.  The major figure left of the 2001 regime, indeed its figurehead, is Mullah Omar.  As long as he's alive and free the 2001 Taliban is still a force of significance and possibly revivable.

        Nabbing Mullah Omar or confirming his demise is probably the one major task the U.S. military and intelligence need to do to get resolution for the better in the region.   That might mean another terrific blow to the ISI and the retrograde Pakistani political schemings about Afghanistan it implements.  (It is widely thought that, like ObL, he's being concealed on Pakistani soil.)  Though if Omar is eliminated and all then goes/unwinds according to realities on the ground Pakistani interests will likely be very well served.

        It would be highly ironic if the last significant battle of the American war in Afghanistan were a raid on an ISI-defended safe house in e.g. Quetta.  But it might just be the case.

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