In a commentary piece, Peter Bergen, CNN's national security analyst, recounts the challenges Gen. David Petraeus faced in Iraq and takes a look at whether he can accomplish the mission in Afghanistan.
It's as big a challenge as plugging the BP oil spill, and to do it right might take as long as reversing the environmental catastrophe that is already in progress in the Gulf - a very long time, measured more in decades than in years.
No one is better equipped to handle the challenge than Gen. David Petraeus. But as a student of history, the general is surely aware that what worked on the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates in 2007 could still crash on the shoals of reality on the banks of the Kabul and Helmand rivers several years later.
As the philosopher pointed out: You can't step twice into the same river. Not even someone as talented as David Petraeus.