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By Michael Widlanski
Leveling the battlefield to aid terrorists enables evil to fight on
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.
"Not much. That's my biggest problem with it," Mr. Biddle said. "Between sacrificing the potential leverage inherent in the Taliban 5 and pre-emptively conceding the issue of U.S. withdrawal, the net of recent policy choices would appear to have diminished the prospects for a settlement rather than enhancing them."
"If the latter comes first, [which is] a distinct possibility, then the ANSF breaks up, the government fails, and U.S. war aims are lost," he said. "The only meaningful alternative to that scenario is negotiation and settlement. Hence the right way to think about issues like prisoner releases is whether or not they facilitate progress toward settling a war that otherwise won't end anytime soon."