For Immediate Release
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167
"Why Petraeus Won't Salvage This War"
WASHINGTON - Confirmation hearings for Gen. David Petraeus as top military commander
in Afghanistan are being held today.
The piece states: "As Gen. David Petraeus prepares for his next
command, his supporters are hoping he can rescue a failing war for the
second time in just a few years. But both the dire state of the war
effort in Afghanistan and his approach to taking command in Iraq in
early 2007 suggest that Petraeus will not try to replicate an apparent
-- and temporary -- success that he knows was at least in part the
result of fortuitous circumstances in Iraq. Instead he will maneuver to
avoid having to go down with what increasingly appears to be a failed
"Petraeus must be acutely aware that the war plan which he approved
in 2009 has not worked. Early this month, he received Stanley A.
McChrystal's last classified assessment of the war, reported in detail
in The Independent Sunday. That assessment showed that no clear progress
had been made since the U.S. offensive began in February and none was
expected for the next six months.
"Petraeus is not going to pledge in his confirmation hearings to
achieve in 18 months what McChrystal has said cannot be achieved in the
next six months. Pro-war Republicans, led by John McCain, are hoping
that Petraeus will now insist that the July 2011 time frame be
eliminated, creating an open-ended commitment to a high and perhaps even
rising level of U.S. military presence in Afghanistan."
Porter is an investigative journalist and historian specializing in
U.S. national security policy. His most recent book is Perils of
Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam.
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