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By F.H. Buckley
Topic - Stephen Biddle
The fall of David H. Petraeus as the nation's spy chief does not erase his long record as a military commander who turned the tide of the war in Iraq and set up new tactics for killing Islamic terrorists, his friends and military observers say.
The 2-year-old U.S. practice of mixing American and Afghan forces 24 hours a day has produced cultural clashes that have led to an increase of "green-on-blue" slayings of U.S. troops in which Afghan security personnel turn their weapons on their trainers, says an adviser to U.S. commanders and policymakers.
The outside advisers who worked to persuade President Bush in 2006 to send a "surge" of reinforcement troops to Iraq now fear their efforts are on the verge of being erased.
Stephen Biddle, a security and defense expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, said it's generally more expensive to keep troops in Afghanistan than it is in the U.S. or even Europe.
He said a combination of budget pressures and nervousness over Russia could lead to further U.S. troop reductions in Afghanistan.