- Obama not worried about Ebola at upcoming African summit in D.C.
- Obama: ‘We tortured some folks’ after 9/11
- Obama administration asked whole D.C. Circuit to take on major Obamacare case
- Mark Levin: Topple GOP leadership or country will ‘unravel’
- Massachusetts to let police chief deny gun buys to those deemed unfit
- John Kerry condemns attack on Israeli soldiers, kidnapping
- U.S. starts to evacuate American Ebola patients from West Africa: Report
- Geraldo slammed as ‘dummy’ for backing Clinton’s bin Laden claim
- Israeli spokesman: No need to debate who broke the cease-fire
- 35 Palestinians killed; Israeli officer missing
Relief greets Obama pick for new war commander
Question of the Day
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — America’s Afghan and international allies embraced the choice of Gen. David Petraeus to run the war in Afghanistan, hoping the architect of the Iraq surge will seamlessly pursue the strategy laid down by his predecessor and smooth over divisions that led to his dismissal.
By naming Petraeus, President Barack Obama managed to replace Gen. Stanley McChrystal without derailing the mission at a critical juncture in the war, when casualties are rising and public support in the West is waning.
Still, the jury is out on whether the counterinsurgency strategy that Petraeus used to turn around the Iraq war will show results in Afghanistan by July 2011, when Obama wants to begin withdrawing U.S. troops.
The split between the U.S. civilian and military team in Afghanistan has not disappeared with McChrystal’s departure. Those fissures, laid bare in disparaging remarks to Rolling Stone magazine, led to McChrystal’s dismissal Wednesday.
Petraeus inherits myriad challenges. Among them:
— Eighty international troops have died so far this month, making June the deadliest month of the nearly 9-year-old war.
— A major offensive in Helmand province earlier this year has yielded mixed results. McChrystal himself acknowledged that the security campaign already under way in neighboring Kandahar province is going more slowly than expected.
The politically savvy Petraeus probably would have a better shot at convincing Obama that the strategy needs more time and slow the withdrawal of U.S. troops. Petraeus helped train the Iraqi army and is on a first-name basis with defense officials in capitals that provide troops to the NATO-led force in Afghanistan.
Initially, NATO leaders in Brussels played down the Rolling Stone article, which suggested that powerful players in the Obama administration still disagree on the unproven U.S. counterinsurgency strategy of routing the Taliban, securing major population centers, bolstering the Afghan government’s effectiveness and rushing in aid and development.
“The strategy continues to have NATO’s support and our forces will continue to carry it out,” NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a statement. “We will stay for as long as it takes to do our job.”
Some critics have questioned whether a strategy aimed at bolstering the Afghan government can ever succeed in a country with ethnic divisions and a history of tribal rule.
“The situation in Afghanistan is in obvious disarray and it’s not because of personnel. It’s because of policy,” said U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif. “The frustration expressed by McChrystal and his aides highlights the failure of our current policy in Afghanistan.”
Despite those doubts, there is simply not enough time to recraft the strategy before Obama’s July 2011 withdrawal date.
TWT Video Picks
By Orrin G. Hatch
Procedural changes impede the chamber's traditional deliberative function
- U.N. condemns Israel, U.S. for not sharing Iron Dome with Hamas
- Border agents cleared of civil rights complaints from illegal immigrant children
- Porn-surfing feds blame boredom, lack of work for misbehavior
- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- 'Big Bang' star Mayim Bialik helps send bulletproof vests to IDF
- Ben Carson takes major step toward presidential campaign
- Pentagon wants extra $19M to equip, train Ukrainian troops
- Ted Nugent slams 'lying freaks' at liberal media: I'm 'doing God's work'
- Houston mayor: Sorry that police put man's blind dog on road to die
- HUSAIN: Worlds grand ayatollahs rally behind Sistani
Top 10 U.S. military helicopters
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors