“[…] you don't end an industrial-strength insurgency by killing or capturing all the bad guys. You have to kill, capture — or turn — the bad guys. And that means reintegration and reconciliation”Kind of shoots down the Right’s “kill ‘em all and let God sort 'em out” attitude about the whole
Now, just to be clear, so that everyone understands where I’m coming from: I've always strongly supported the War in Afghanistan, and I've always rabidly opposed the War in Iraq. (Former Seceratary of State Colin Powell lowered my opposoition to jsut moderate for about 15 minutes, following his UN Speech, but it didn't last.) As I see it, one was the right choice and the other so mind-numbingly stupid that I can’t understand how ANYONE supported it. And the General’s refusal to answer Rene’s question about [PP] whether on not Afghanistan would be much better off today if the U.S. had never gone into Iraq tells me that he agrees with her but did not feel it appropriate to criticize his former boss, or the office of his former boss. Which is fine. If he thought it was a GOOD policy he was fee to say so. But I’m fine with a sitting General’s refusing to criticize a President. (Even one that was as big a shitheel as George W. Bush was.)
Thanks to the General’s counter-insurgency strategy in Iraq, many of our troops are now coming home and we are on a path to having no more than a training and advisory role, to support a stable state. And from what I see in Afghanistan, and from this interview, I believe that General Patraeus will get the job done in time for us to starting pulling our troops out of Afghanistan next July, per the President's timetable. IMHO, he did a good job in an otherwise shitty situation in Iraq, and I look forward to the day we can put this whole mess behind us, thanks to his efforts in Afghanistan.
The only thing that I didn’t like about this is that his current post actually represents a step down for Patraeus. In and of itself, that’s OK. But McChrystal was actually replaced with General James Mattis (who replaced Patraeus as the top commander in the Region.) From what [little] I know and have read about the two men, replacing McChrystal with Mattis is like firing Wolverine and replacing him with Kenpachi Zaraki. THAT I’m not so crazy about. But with Iraq winding down, maybe