August 1st, 2010
04:26 PM ET

Petraeus' rules: Fight Taliban, get to know the locals

Fight the Taliban "relentlessly." Don't tolerate corruption. Drink "lots of tea" with the locals.

Those admonitions are among the two dozen guidelines for counterinsurgency warfare that Gen. David Petraeus issued to U.S. and allied troops in Afghanistan on Sunday. In his first major public pronouncement since taking command in early July, Petraeus urged American troops and the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force to learn and adapt to the culture of Afghanistan while battling the Taliban insurgents and their allies.

"The decisive terrain is the human terrain," Petraeus wrote. "The people are the center of gravity. Only by providing them security and earning their trust and confidence can the Afghan government and ISAF prevail."

Petraeus led the 2007-2008 campaign to stabilize Iraq after years of
insurgent and sectarian warfare following the U.S. invasion of 2003. Some of the steps he took there - ordering troops to work in closely with local allies in outposts close to the people, patrol on foot and without sunglasses and cultivate ties with the local population - are included in Sunday's four-page order.

"Earn the people's trust, talk to them, ask them questions and learn
about their lives," he wrote. Coalition troops should be "a good guest," learn the local history and "make sure you have the full story."

"Don't be a pawn in someone else's game," he wrote. "Spend time, listen, consult and drink lots of tea."

Petraeus called on American and NATO troops to "Pursue the enemy
relentlessly" and "seek out and eliminate" insurgents who threaten Afghan civilians. But he also urged coalition forces to fight "with discipline" and be careful to avoid civilian casualties.

"If we kill civilians or damage their property in the course of our
operations, we will create more enemies than our operations eliminate," he wrote. "That's exactly what the Taliban want. Don't fall into their trap."

He urged his troops to aggressively fight the Taliban by being "first
with the truth," acknowledging setbacks and failures but highlighting the "extremist" and "oppressive" nature of the enemy. Allied forces should "Hang their barbaric actions like millstones around their necks," he wrote.

And in a country where corruption is endemic, the Petraeus guidelines press allied forces to be mindful of where coalition funds go and to help Afghans "confront, isolate, pressure and defund" crooked elements.

"The Taliban are not the only enemy of the people," he wrote. "The people are also threatened by inadequate governance, corruption and abuse of power - recruiters for the Taliban." Afghan President Hamid Karzai has pledged to root out corruption, and allied troops should "work with our allied partners to help turn his words into reality."

Petraeus has taken command at a time when the nearly 9-year-old war is the subject of fierce debate in the United States and in many of the countries that have contributed troops to the mission. He replaced Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who was sacked after Rolling Stone magazine published disparaging comments about the Obama administration's civilian leadership by the general and some of his aides.

A highly publicized offensive in the southern town of Marjah has turned out to be tougher than expected, Petraeus acknowledged in June. 

Meanwhile, the Netherlands finished pulling its troops out of southern
Afghanistan's Uruzgan province Sunday after four years and 24 combat deaths, nearly six months after an impasse over whether to extend their commitment brought down the Dutch government.

- CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr contributed to this report.

Post by:
Filed under: Civilian deaths • Marjah • Petraeus • Taliban
soundoff (145 Responses)
  1. www.galmovie.org

    HEZWga0c, http://www.galmovie.org, movie, http://www.galmovie.org/75.html

    March 25, 2011 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
  2. corky crockett

    pull out of afgan. because enemy is every where and we do not know who they are. the ones who do not smoke is a hint. anways pull out and when taliban returns and sets up house, we will then have them where we want them. now return and destroy them just like bush did in beginning but this time do not let them escape. a few air strikes and a few days should do it. i am tired of hearing about us leaving and all kinds of bad people will set up camp. that is what we want. is this too hard to figure out.

    August 7, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  3. salerno

    It appears to me that USA is trying to intensifie effort to conclude the war as the support for it is fading, like Nixon did to end the Vietnam war. The problem is that every war after WWII has not achieved the results hoped.
    The comunism remained strong where it was most battled like in Vietnam, while is ended where it was not contrasted militarly.
    In Irak Saddam is no more in power but the country has been destabilized and it is a place for AlQaida to hidden.

    August 2, 2010 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
  4. Michel Gourd

    The U.S.-led coalition is actually launching its most critical military operation of the nine-year war in Afghanistan.

    The results of this offensive will be known in some weeks. Contrary to what is actually in some media, things are not going so bad on the ground. In fact, there are signs that Petraeus strategy is gaining momentum. Taliban recently suffered a lot of casualties and are very badly damaged. General David Petraeus "counterinsurgency guidance" allocates NATO funds more responsibly. Every detail his look at and it show.

    August 2, 2010 at 7:36 am | Report abuse |
  5. EJS

    Drink Tea.... yea, hug a NAZI.... what a crappy WAR, mercenary Army , "kids" by Gates own words...
    $6.5 million per Taliban soldier so far.... America is Morally responsible for all this death, destruction, wasted taxes...
    Who cares about history, ...Afganistan has never been conquered... if they just had a Starbucks in every village, with an ATM machine,....

    August 2, 2010 at 1:38 am | Report abuse |
  6. Afghan guy

    Fight the Taliban. Really, after 10 years, more of that? The jTaliban are Afghans. They won't end as long as occupation continues.

    August 2, 2010 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
  7. LATIN LOVER

    CORRECT! Whoever fights in Afghanistan, will be able to achieve any of the following:
    A. Nice Casket.
    B. Suicide on the battle field.
    C. Psychiatric Care at VA Hospital for life.

    August 2, 2010 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |
  8. LATIN LOVER

    My respects to "AJ" and "Suleyman the Magnificent". Their opinions are very objective and supported by a mountain of
    evidence. Unfortunately, the USA is heading to an inevitable collapse because of its imperial policies in the name of
    "democracy", "freedom". "communism", and now "terrorism".
    IT IS TRUE: Latin American history is plagued with USA military interventions or coups.

    August 2, 2010 at 1:21 am | Report abuse |
  9. Suleyman the Magnificent

    The Imperial Rome of the 21st Century, is headed towards the same "Great Crisis" which faced the Roman Empire in the 3rd Century A.D. Rome was besieged then in its borders with Germania, and involved in conflict with Parthia in the east. Not long after that the Roman Empire collapsed. No empire is eternal, and the U.S. is headed in the same direction. In Latin America, long thought to be Uncle Sam´s unquestioned backyard, nation after nation are liberating themselves of onerous U.S. tutelage. The historic memory of Latin America is full of U.S. interventions and abuses, and CIA coups throughout its history. Now Uncle Sam is reaping what it sowed. The same will happen in Afghanistan, the tomb of empires.

    August 2, 2010 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
  10. LATIN LOVER

    You sound like George Bush and his..."Mission Accomplished" while Americans were being killed and wedding ceremo
    nies bombed to dust.

    August 2, 2010 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
  11. LATIN LOVER

    IN FACT, the USA has been the only country found guilty of terrorism by the International Court Of Justice when Nicara
    gua sued the USA for using the "Contras" to launch attacks. It happened in the year 1983.
    Of course, the USA looked the other way and refused to pay reparations to Nicaragua by ignoring the jurisdiction of the
    Court.

    August 2, 2010 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
    • jane

      Explain 15000 incidents of Islamic terrorism since 911. Maybe you can explain how the Quran guides muslims to kill non-muslims also. And while you are at it, tell me why we should use Sharia Law in America instead of US Law?

      August 2, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  12. George

    How about declaring victory and leaving? We smashed the Taliban and drove them out of Afganistan–a fitting response to their attempt to shield Osama bin Ladin. If the Afgans are stupid enough to allow the Taliban to come back in, they deserve what they get. Not one young American should die bringing "democracy" to the Afgans.

    August 2, 2010 at 1:03 am | Report abuse |
  13. LATIN LOVER

    "ONE MAN'S TERRORIST IS ANOTHER MAN'S FREEDOM FIGHTER". Ronald Regan use to equate the Taliban with the USA
    founding fathers. Osama Bin-Laden was a "freedom fighter" as well as the "Contras" who were fighting the Sandinista
    Government in Nicaragua.

    August 2, 2010 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
  14. Edstock

    This all worked very well in iraq, where the country is in peace and harmony.
    Kidding.
    We're able to pull our troops out of Iraq because we're still paying billions each month to "contractors" (mercenaries) almost equal in number to "coalition" troops. They'll remain there, subject to virtually no congressional or Nato oversight, as Iraq heads inexorably for civil war. Very successful. More tea, anyone? Goes great with the military fairy tale.

    August 2, 2010 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      as lonas the oil keeps flowing from there .. next door in iran there "was" democracy until it impeded the flow of oil .... in Indonesia the killing of 1 million by Suharto was given headlines here as the "bes news for the west in decades", in Nigeria 1.5 million tonnes of oil have been spilled by the oil companies which act like terrorists, they remian under a corrupt government and that status quo is "civilized" because it worlks well, in Pakistan US engineers a "national reconcilliation ordinance" (NRO) that lets a military dictator (Musharraf) dismiss corruption of billions of dollars to save himself and again a status quo that works fro the powers that be ... operatives of black water carry arms on the streets and terrorize civilians in a country like Pakistan where the government constantly lies to its own people and denies their presence .... if only people in this country could realize the suffocation their government is creating around the globe! They generalize the actions of a handful to the faith of a fourth of humanity but their media feeds in to absolving themselves of a war based on lies which was started by an elected government! If you can't control your govermnent then what right do you have to hate 1.5 billion people for the actions of a handful!

      August 2, 2010 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Daniel-2

      Well put,Edstock.

      August 2, 2010 at 3:35 am | Report abuse |
  15. A. Day, Vancouver, BC., Can.

    You just don't get it, do you. The time for drinking tea has long since past. The people in general want you out for you have nothing to offer them but a change in their life style, which whether you like it or not, they do.
    A word of advise for America. Never, ever go into another mans home and tell him how to live his life.
    You have been doing that since Admiral Percy, I doubt you'll ever change. So don't be surprised when one day you find yourself without any friends or allies anywhere.
    Good-Bye !!!!

    August 2, 2010 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Edstock

      You're correct, of course. The fact that few of the "allies" are willing to contribute more than token military or financial support in these bogus "wars" is one indication. The fact that the remaining ones have listened to their own citizens and have set firm dates by which they'll get the hell out of both countries is another. In the US it's currently political suicide for any member of congress to admit it's time to cut our losses and withdraw. A year or so from now I expect they'll start to finally listen to the majority of Americans who are against the "war", but it will take enormous courage for any politician to take the step of supporting a withdrawal.

      August 2, 2010 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |
    • George Patton

      Very good posting,A.Day.Congradulations.

      August 2, 2010 at 3:28 am | Report abuse |
  16. Scott A

    Nothing says "Sorry we killed your wife and children when we bombed your house" like a nice cup of tea. Here's a way you can counter the insurgency....LEAVE! You create terrorists just by being there. We in the U.S. wouldn't like it if our country was invaded and we didn't know if our house was going to be bombed any minute now. Yes, terrorists are evil and it'd be nice to stamp it out completely, but you're never going to be able to since there are terrorists everywhere on this planet. The guy who flew his plane into the IRS building was a terrorist and that was within the U.S. itself and nobody could stop him.

    August 2, 2010 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
  17. John

    we will ALL meet our maker someday immediately after our final exit: No amount of pleas of ignorance, ambivalance, and/or procrastination will give you a speck of opportunity to escape your accountability for not taking some role or influence that could have assisted in ending this war..peace

    August 2, 2010 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
  18. LATIN LOVER

    @AJ. DICK CHENEY: "American soldiers will be welcomed with Roses". What is your analysis?

    August 2, 2010 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      It is the way the goodness of the people of this country was hijacked .... while people bury our dead endlessly people here are being decived by their media in to thinking that their government is doing good ... no religion, race or nation is evil .. having said that .. with the enormous might of this country it's propel can not be oblivious to what is really going on around thw orld i the name of the trojan horse they call democracy!

      August 2, 2010 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
  19. LATIN LOVER

    What people forget is that there is a "COALITION OF CRIMINALS" invading Afghanistan. There is no way that the Afghan
    will side with "CRUSADERS" to kill their own people. ASK THE SOVIETS!!!

    August 2, 2010 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
  20. LATIN LOVER

    @ AMANDA. Would you help foreign troops in the USA to kill Americans? Why do you expect the Aghans would help
    the invadors to kill their own? Your racism and arrogance is pathetic!!!

    August 2, 2010 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
  21. Suleyman the Magnificent

    These infantile rules by the culturally disconnected, will in no way, shape, or form, avoid the final catastrophe that looms over the horizon for the western invaders. What rules will you issue next? Learn Pashto or Urdu, or Kirgyz, or Uzbek or Tayjik? Yeah right, gimme a break. You don´t learn culture, customs, language, idioms, nuances, history, etc., etc., in one rinky-dink tour downrange. Wanna win this war? Then move to Afghanistan for at least 20 to 30 years, bring your dependents (who knows they might even become muslim!), otherwise be prepared to follow the course of all the other empires that found their grave in Afghanistan. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the tomb of empires.

    August 2, 2010 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
  22. cnn1bigjoke

    Thinly veiled mockery by the ashats at CNN. What advice could CNN give? Perhaps how to take a once thriving news agency and run it into the ground to the degree that Fox News has 10Xs their ratings?

    August 2, 2010 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
  23. oracularman

    Is CNN or someone stupid posting this story? What would happen if the Tea was poisoned. The US Army needs to keep secrets and not play dumb.

    August 2, 2010 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      no this is the picture that needs to be sold to the good citizens of the US that every time you pull the trigger hearts and minds are won ... the fine print is the trophy is splattered on a wall near by!

      August 2, 2010 at 12:11 am | Report abuse |
  24. mmi16

    War has been a hallmark of mankind...since there have been men.

    The Afgahn War is not about military might but about winning the people...people that appear too cowardly to take up the fight to save themselves from corruption and oppression.

    August 2, 2010 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
    • DAISHI

      They did that when they drove out Russia.

      August 2, 2010 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
      • AJ

        you really do believe that don't you .. that war brings peace ... for ome who loses their child or has a limb torn off ... ask them ...

        August 2, 2010 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
  25. Amanda

    All people want to be treated with respect. Even incredibly obnoxious, bad mannered people will often respond better to someone who treats them with such. Victory could be better achieved at a grass roots level. I say Go Petraeus!

    August 1, 2010 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      you meant those who manage to live which would take at least a milion out of Iraq an unknown number out of Afganistand, take the ones out in the most inhumane torture in Abu ghraib like prisons, perhaps forget about the hearts and minds of the parents swearing they will never start a family after the alarming rise in birth defects in Fallujah ... oh yeah all they had to do with the war on terror was being guilty of having oil and may be we should take ou the millions who have had their limbs blown off ... it would only be fair to take out the 4 to 6 million refugess in thier own country in Iraq ... wel the list goes on and on .... perhaps we could start with laying flowers on unmarked graves .... we the people of the rest of the world plead with you to at least for once realize the atrocities you have unleashhed on the rest of the world!

      August 2, 2010 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
    • George Patton

      Amanda,get over your ignorance,please!

      August 2, 2010 at 3:25 am | Report abuse |
  26. Sykes

    I've never served in the military, but the last thing I would see myself doing in fatigues is drinking tea.

    August 1, 2010 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amanda

      This isn't our grandparents war. We are not in a country fighting an enemy approaching from without (ie; Germany in WWII), instead we are in a country fighting an enemy that is within. We need the people on our side, or what's the point?

      August 2, 2010 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
  27. Insan Mukmin

    In my country, the term "coffee money" means a bribe. If you drink coffee with someone, means you are bribing them. Is that what the phrase "drink lots of tea" in Afghanistan is also?

    August 1, 2010 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Tony

    Why wasn't this the objective from the get-go? I remember the phrase of winning their hearts and minds but I guess hand grenades and rockets don't necessarily win hearts and minds as much as disentegrate them...

    August 1, 2010 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      one would have to be incredibly naive that wars ever win hearts and minds ... just reverse the situation and ask yourself if your country is invaded for WMDs that never were or for one person .... on the pretext of democracy a million lives are lost when just a few decades back next door in Iran a democratically elected government is overthrown ... the only thing common being oil in both these instances ... wars only win cadaveric samples of hearts and minds .... they breed hatred and nothing else and chidlren emotionally scarred for the rest of their lives ... but as long as CNN or fox don't put a face on them it's ok ......

      August 2, 2010 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
  29. AJ

    It is so striking to see the disconnect that some of these posts represent with the horror of being in the middle of a war. Just some days ago there was a story of 90 civilians scortched to death when an oil tanker was struck from air, in fallujah deformed and dead babies are being born because of the rdaiation and not very long ago there was a story fo troops fishing out bullets from the body of a dead afghan woman but the media is so deceptive in how it prersents the ugly wars. It makes people in the US believe that these are just plastic lives, plastic children with plastic dreams. Absolute good against absolute evil and a million faceless lives lost in Iraq alone are a price that had to be paid. For what? oil? If one day of actual lives destroyed by these wars of "necessity" is shown on TV trust me the war will end the very next day. Americans are by and large good people who would not have such killing in their name. If only they could educate themselves about the world through actual reading and exploring other voices rather that the commercial truth they want to hear through the main stream media. Peace

    August 1, 2010 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Khalid

    9/11 attacks has a started a ferocious war against those fight the US (Muslims) but it has also started a very valid and legal argument. Why it is OK for the US Government to aid the Israeli government kill Muslims and occupy their lands, but it is NOT OK for a Muslim country or any other country to aid a group of Muslims kill Americans?? Killing of innocents is common because the the US government practises it and calls it "collateral damage".

    August 1, 2010 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Geo In TO

    Also, try to explain to them that there are limited resources on the planet, limited food sources, dwindling fish species, etc ... and why it's a good ideal to curtail their breeding. The new sources of funds that have been flooding into the country isn't going to last forever, and not to get used to it.
    It wouldn't hurt to say these things, right ?

    August 1, 2010 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Tienhoa

    Petraeus's opinions are not new, many his predecessors though about this but fails to adapt to Afghan. A major quenstion is why the U.S and its allies can not achieve in combating Taliban insurgents. It is easy to answer this question because Taliban is a extremist group. Their ambition is to set up and maintain Islam rules for Afghan.

    August 1, 2010 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
  33. pappster

    end the war now. GET US OUT

    August 1, 2010 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Mitch

    Check out Winning Hearts and Minds video to see the soldiers in action. I'm proud of our people over there:http://www.winninghearts.blip.tv/

    August 1, 2010 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
  35. LATIN LOVER

    YOU DON'T GET IT PEOPLE!!! What "Westen style freedom" you talk about? Western historyis a catalog of GENOCIDE, RA
    CISM, COLONIALISM, and PILLAGE. The MUSLIMS are fed up with Western imperialism and discrimination against their
    culture and traditions. They love BURKAS and you love BIKINIS. Another misconception is that "We fight them there rather than here". IF this attack continues against Muslims, your Grandchildren will fight them in the streets of USA.

    August 1, 2010 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
  36. beasterdamas

    It's too late...

    August 1, 2010 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
  37. GoArmyGo

    Your "human touch" theory will prove useless with this generation. Independence is a lesson that cannot be taught or donated, it must be earned.

    August 1, 2010 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Montana Al

    Human kindness, communication, compassion, and the connection with others is what builds futures and breaks down walls. Look at what Greg Mortenson did in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. He built hundreds of schools for girls to improve the chances of getting underpriveleged children and those without means a chance to build a future for themselves and their communities. If you haven't read 'Three Cups of Tea' and/or 'Stones into Schools' you won't begin to understand the challenges our government faces in defeating the enemy in their own backyard.

    August 1, 2010 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Our global economy and society has had a positive effect of helping us all to evolve as humans that love and care for each other regardless of race, religion, origin, etc. Our political and diplomatic policy leaders unfortunately have not kept pace with this progress and the power-struggle continues...the true power of human negotiation is the solution, not war.

      August 1, 2010 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  39. arjun

    Too late. The game is already over. The US could not capture or kill OBL or his Taliban cahoots. The war which started 9 years back, has ended with thousands or casualties and billions of dollars down the drain.
    The US economy is brought to knees and Pakistanis got billions of dollars aid for doing nothing.

    August 1, 2010 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Jax

    People, human nature, which we all want to believe the worst of, is not black and white. Petraeus showed he knew what he was doing in Iraq. Love it, hate it and him, he got a job done no one else had or wanted to. I'm actually really glad he's now in charge of Afghanistan. reach out to the people, whether their working for the Taliban or not. -win them over- so that they realize that there's another way than their way, at the same time, work with those you know you can trust. Empower them to take their damn country back and half your job is done right there. BTW, I'm a liberal, not all of us are idealistic bed wetters that need their mommy to make a decision.

    August 1, 2010 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Jan

    Let's see: it's the Christians fault. No, it's the Moslems fault. No, it's the Republican's fault. No, it's the Democrats fault. The Teabaggers are causing it. No, blame the left. It's the Mexicans, Blacks and Jews that are doing it.
    Go ahead and blame Bush, Obama, the rich, or the poor. Have at it, tear each other apart, perhaps launch a nuke or two. It doesn't matter, not in the least. Because personally, my bet's on the Mayans.

    August 1, 2010 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Saladin

    In order to win the fight in Afghanistan, we have to make allies with the Afghans and earn their trust and respect. If they think we're continuously looking down on them, that can't happen. Petraeus is making the right call, I just wish it had come sooner.

    August 1, 2010 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • jane

      Well what about the people in Kasmir, and Thailand, and Africa who are being killed by Muslims in the name of their faith? Should they offer tea also?
      This isn't an invasion of Afghanistan. Instead Islam declared war on the West and we are defending. Strategy to offer get to know the locals isn't a movement of peace. It's defensive so our soldiers don't get killed.

      August 2, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  43. John

    If an Afghan or Pakistani came to your house and wanted to befriend you over a few drinks (in hopes you adopt his lifestyle or govt. policies)..u would probably tell him to f*** off. Buying them off with dollars doesn't work either, in the long run.

    August 1, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Showing genuine love, respect, and trust for other people is what matters at the end of the day and provides the best possibility of fostering a positive outcome..imposing culture and govt upon other societies is going against the collective good of mankind.

      August 1, 2010 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Jeff

    A whole 10 years of not drinking tea with the locals, is that it ? oh my god !! what a freeking miracle...! ah ha, Thats it ! Were gonna win this thing ! lol !

    August 1, 2010 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Jane

    What are the credentials of the Human Terrain Teams? And what about those two guys that were off base lately and killed... ? The blame was on a firefight... Let's connect the dots.
    The method of killing is usually beheading but spies will also be castrated and left to bleed out in the street. Expect more of this if we don't put some real experts in there.

    August 1, 2010 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Evad

    Interesting: My son with two deployments to Afghanistan did just this. Not only had tea with them he learned their language to have simple conversations with them. He was always invited to sit with them and have tea.

    He would photograph the locals and their families with his Polaroid Camera. The photos stayed with the locals. He was welcome and trusted. He learned a lot about their life and traditions.

    Then his commanding officer reprimanded him for fraternizing with the locals and made a companywide announcement that this was an unacceptable practice.

    The locals still looked for him and invited him to tea.

    August 1, 2010 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jane

      Yeah, generally humans have manners and there are kind people. That has nothing to do with their style of battle. Sharia Law dictates to lay in wait for the enemy. We are walking into a giant trap, Islam has declared war... and we're having tea. I feel bad for the friendly tea guests who don't know the real customs.

      August 1, 2010 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • Evad

        Jane

        Peace starts with two people communicating and trusting each other.

        My son learned their customs by being with them. He learned a lot about how the Taliban controls the locals. Good communications works when people trust each other.

        My son did meet the Taliban and traded more than tea with them. In one such meeting four Taliban went to be with Allah. These nice Taliban were planting crops, or rather IEDs, to be harvested by anyone going by.

        August 1, 2010 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Moe

    You people are confused, let me clarify things for you. We are fighting them there so we dont have to fight them here. We are building a shining beacon of freedom that will be emulated throughout the region. You see they hate us because we're free. Oh ya, and they're evil and God is on our side. Also, I dont eat french fries I eat freedom fries, and Palin-Bachman in 2012!!

    August 1, 2010 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  48. bizzaroclown

    that way of thinking only works if ideally you can trust everyone and they don't stab you in the back once you lower your defenses. The enemy doesn't play fair, they advance by deceit and by any means they can and even at the cost of killing their own people. They use our American humanitarian bleeding heart morals against us , knowing that every time we screw up and bomb a bunch of inocent people because of false intel that we lose more trust from the afgan people as well as causing outrage here in the US among thoe opposed to wars.

    August 1, 2010 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Richie Serrano

    Really your just figuring this out....The Scientists finally get it...Greg Mortensen was telling you what to do for a few years now..US government you really need to wake up..Jeez

    August 1, 2010 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • marysd

      Yes, Greg Mortensen's ("3 cups of tea") really has the right idea. I you educate a mother, she will keep her son from the Taliban. The culture of violence and hatred in Afganistan did not just start yesterday and trying to change a culture will take time. Put the women in charge!

      August 1, 2010 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
      • Moe

        Absolutely, all we have to do is drink tea with these people and they'll fall in love with us. Also, theres a bridge in Brooklyn I can give you a real good deal on.

        August 1, 2010 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
  50. mes

    Strategy isn't being leaked here. And the Taliban is already aware of this, it is part of the Afghan culture.

    Read: Three Cups of Tea, and Stones into Schools, by Greg Mortenson. By having tea, getting to know village elders, and the people of the region, it is incredible the progress that has been made, and will continue to be made using this strategy. By talking to the people, learning their needs, and focusing on empowering them and their needs (education) that's where progress stems from. Petraeus has it right.

    August 1, 2010 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jane

      Assuming they want to have Western style freedom... which they don't. This is a very strict Muslim nation and always will be. Our battle is against the training camps that are in Afg and Pak who are supplying terrorists who plan on striking within the US soon. Instead this general wants to go make friends. hmmmmm. Muslims will not rat out muslims... that's their culture. Muslims will use human shields. Muslims will lie, infiltrate our bases, sacrifice their lives to kill and be martyred. Muslims don't want our friendship because we are considered inferior.
      Maybe the general is looking with tunnel vision.

      August 1, 2010 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  51. LATIN LOVER

    BOTTOM LINE: PEOPLE HATE TO SEE FOREIGN TROOPS PATROLLING THEIR STREETS AND KILLING CIVILIANS IN WE
    DDING CEREMONIES!!!
    The USA is killing civilians on purpose ramdonly to make up for 9/11. Afghanistan is already in the pages of history as an
    American defeat. The lesson: Weapons will never undermine people's determination to protect their land.

    August 1, 2010 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jane

      It's a misconception to think thay 911 was the beginning of slaughter of non-muslims by Muslims. There has been over 15000 incidents of Islamic terrorism since 911. It's also a misconception to think they hate us because we're free. But both very common misconceptions.

      August 1, 2010 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jane

        Another misconception is that there is a seperate "Taliban" from the civilians. Afghan warriors are farmers by day and warriors by night, in other words, the theology that drives them to fard ayn comes from Islam. Muslims will not adapt Western customs or laws and throw roses at the feet of those battling for their freedom. Fard ayn means they want us out because the law states non-muslims must convert or leave, if they don't then they must die. This simple concept is something that the General isn't considering with his inexperienced Human Terrain Teams.

        August 1, 2010 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Real USMC Forever

      Beeeoch, get off the heroin!!! You sound like some stupid Paki!!!!

      August 10, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Darkus

    I looked up admonitions just to be sure, and yes he misused it. The rest of the article isn't much better. The newsworthyness of it is minute.

    August 1, 2010 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Ak2190

    In the tribal areas, if they invite you into their house as a guest, they are honor bound to protect to with their life. You may be detained, but they cannot kill you. Now if Taliban law trumps tribal law, then you're in trouble.

    August 1, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  54. mario

    Kill as many ragheads as possible and then come home.

    August 1, 2010 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Rana

    Also share your drinks I mean beers with them as well to learn deeper history.

    August 1, 2010 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ak2190

      That is not a part of hinduism. Don't be an idiot.

      August 1, 2010 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  56. diesel2u

    whats worse that the general is telling the war strategy on the news or the wiki info being leaked?

    August 1, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Smith in Oregon

    If the American Government stops pouring Billions of taxpayer dollars to Pakistan, a huge decrease of Taliban fighters are going to be immediately seen. If the American Government point-blank orders Pakistan to stop sending it's Pakistan Taliban fighters out of Waziristan into Afghanistan to weaken and topple the Karzai Government or America will enter into Waziristan and lay waste to the Taliban Islamic Emeritae therein. The war in Afghanistan between Pakistan's Taliban and India's Pustun fighters would almost entirely cease.

    August 1, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ak2190

      It's obvious you know nothing about world history. The Taliban were created by the United States, indirectly. When the USSR was trying to take over Afghanistan, we trained and gave weapons to a group called the Mujahedeen. Osama bin Laden was a member of the Mujahedeen. The members of this group later became the Taliban and ruled Afghanistan and its offshoots include Al Qaeda. The northern tribal areas of Pakistan are susceptible to the Taliban and other extremist factions because they are in essence alienated and separate from the Pakistani gv't. They are poor, uneducated, and isolated and they follow ancient tribal customs and do not welcome outsiders. This is why the gov't can't control them and the Taliban use them to hide their activities. Now if the gov't attacks these tribes then it will cause civil war and the gov't will most likely fall because the public will not support attacking Pakistani citizens to pacify a foreign power. Can you imagine what would happen if the US govt tried attacking our extremists on the request of say...china?

      August 1, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  58. jefffbo

    Oh it is that easy, oh there is a formula about crazy people and the general wants to follow it, oh... hahahaha ! Why didnt we think of that 10 years ago son of a bi t ch es

    August 1, 2010 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  59. S R Wakankar

    To win this war,India is the KEY.Non-Arab Islam(ie Hindu Islam) of non-Arab(ie Hindu) Asia,of which the AfPak is the birthplace.This whole problem is due to Arab Islam, which is for the Arab, by the Arab, of the Arab.Outside Arabia, Islam takes the unfortunate turn of becoming Imperialism.AfPak people are the worst victims of this medieval imperialism.They ty to be more Arab than the real ones.This is the problem.Pakistan calls it bomb as the Islamic Bomb.Pakistan must change from an anti-Indian state to an Indian State, which it is, by all means.It was British India. But,our bad luck, it has become an international colony of terrorists, challenging the whole world.Pakistan will have to change like, once her own sister-nation B'desh changed for ever.It renounced the very word Pakistan and became B'desh.Similarly, Pakistan should become Muslim India, instead of Pakistan which is a foolish word, an absurdity of the highest order.This word adds up to the vicious ideology of gobal jihad.The Pakistan word has to dropped and buried for ever if culture and civilisation are to be saved from terrorists.
    Hindu Islam and Hindu Asia-ie Non-Arab Islam of Non-Arab Asia can solve the problem.AfPak must come back to the culture and traditions to which it earlier belonged-the pre-Arab pre-Islam era.

    August 1, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ak2190

      That will never happen and I don't want it to. If you forcibly annex Pakistan then India will be in the same state as Pakistan is.

      August 1, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Sincamisa

    Huh? The Taliban hide among them. Yea right drink tea with them.

    At what point do they become responsible for their own security. Get out. This is a quagmire. General Betray-us, you need to rethink this crap...same old crap, different crappy war. Wow, how stupid are we Americans.

    August 1, 2010 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Mark

    I actually found something I agree with you about. Thank you.

    August 1, 2010 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Tony Woods

    ..."Earn the people's trust, talk to them, ask them questions and learn about their lives," he wrote. Coalition troops should be "a good guest," learn the local history and "make sure you have the full story. Then kill them"
    Gen. David Petraeus

    August 1, 2010 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      You're an idiot.

      August 1, 2010 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  63. tryuncut

    he is getting his millions whether US wins or Loses...high school drop out.

    August 1, 2010 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Jane

    read a fresh perspective about the Human Terrain Teams and lack of real knowledge about Islam!
    posted a couple of days ago:
    http://www.centerforstrategicanalysis.org/america.htm

    August 1, 2010 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Lori Rumsfeld

    He might be a good General. But his is fighting on someone else country.
    And America has no victory exit for Afghanistan nor Iraq.
    America has only one exit of this George W Bush wars.
    And that is leaving with nothing gained. No winging hearts and minds in this countries. No big monetary gain, except for Dick Cheney Halliburton and special interest Military Industry$$$$$
    BIG TIME LOSS ON BLOOD AND TREASURE.
    NO victory parade. Worse than Vietnam.

    August 1, 2010 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      Well stated,Lori.

      August 1, 2010 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • johnrj08

      Well, in Vietnam we did have nearly three times as many troops and lost ten times as many soldiers. We'd have to go a ways for Afghanistan to be as bad as Vietnam, but they're both awful, useless, pointless wars that wastes American lives and treasure. As bad as the Taliban is, it never tried to attack us until we went after it. And there are other Islamic regimes in the Mideast that can be just as harsh and anti-American as the Taliban. If we're going to have 160,000 troops in Afghanistan, they should all be positioned along the northeastern border, poised to go into northwestern Pakistan to get Bin Laden and Zawahiri.

      August 1, 2010 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ak2190

      This war can't be won because we have no idea what we are fighting. That area of the world has never been conquered for long and it is the biggest quagmire on earth. Those people are genetically wired to endure. They have been for thousands of years. We can't go in and change that in a few decades or even centuries.

      August 1, 2010 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • SteveR

      Great Post Lori, and i would imagine former NEOCON hack DONALD RUMSFELD is no relation nor welcome at Christmas! love how you made it so simple to understand Peace and Luck

      August 1, 2010 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  66. johnrj08

    We need to get out of Afghanistan right now. Not next July. That God forsaken wasteland isn't worth one more drop of American blood. We obliterated the Taliban in 2002 and installed a corrupt semi-democratic regime and within a year of being distracted by Iraq the Taliban got back into action. Now, they're stronger than ever. Why? Because most of the people of Afghanistan prefer the Taliban to the Karzai government. And they resent the American occupation. We would have to position a battalion of Marines in every village for the next 20 years to completely eradicate the Taliban. And even then some of them would just hide in the mountains. Get out now. Insert an intelligence apparatus to monitor Al Qaeda and deal with them surgically, just like we're doing in northwestern Pakistan now.

    August 1, 2010 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Bob Ramos

    Fight the Taliban "relentlessly." Don't tolerate corruption. Drink "lots of tea" with the locals.

    --------–

    Fight the Taliban – No problem

    Don't tolerate corruption – How does the soldier do this when our own government does?

    "Drink Tea" to make friends – We have been trying that for over nine years. Does it work? Ask the serviceman that went AWOL in Afghan last year; ask the two young sailors who left the American compound last week. All three were killed.

    It is hard to understand what the General is thinking off when he says the above. I guess he thinks the soldier does not have access to internet news? No wonder our fine young people come back with all sorts of mental problems.

    August 1, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan D

      I normally don't bother to correct spelling mistakes, because frequently they're accidental typos, but you keep re-using the term 'Nu con' in your posts – I think you mean Neo, not Nu. Nu is the 13th letter of the greek alphabet. Neo is latin for New. If not, what do you mean, so I know what the posts are intended to say?

      August 2, 2010 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
  68. Glenn Beck lover

    My God be with those who bare this task not only for them but their families as well and may they be forgiven for the things they have felt or worng on both side of this conflict, so let forgivness be between the and allah and let our soilders arrange the meeting

    August 1, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  69. LATIN LOVER

    GOD RIDDANCE! "Fight the Taliban and know the locals"? BUT...the locals hate it when you kill their civilians and des
    troy their neighborhoods. Can you be more arrogant and racist, Petraeus?

    August 1, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • DAISHI

      How many Afghanis do you know?

      August 1, 2010 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
  70. Andrew Lubin

    @Brown. Marjah's not a failure; it's still very much in progress. You might want to remember the expression "The enemy gets a vote," and in their town / their country, they get a lot of votes.

    August 1, 2010 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      Andrew,exactly what do you take us for???

      August 1, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • BUBBA--ALABAMA STYLE!!!

      The saying is 'if you can't beat them join them' but 'when in Rome do as the Romans do' works just as well.

      August 3, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  71. LATIN LOVER

    "AFGHANISTAN: THE LONGEST LOST WAR". An Essay by James Petras. @ petras.lahaine.org

    READ THE TRUTH PEOPLE!!!

    August 1, 2010 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan D

      I highly doubt that much truth is found on webpages and/or books that use the term 'Zionist' in that manner...

      August 2, 2010 at 12:23 am | Report abuse |
  72. LATIN LOVER

    WACK-A-MOLE: The tacting being used in Iraq and Afghanistant against the colonizers of the Millennium.
    Rebels hit one place and show up at another one. GUACAMOLE?(Avocado, chopped onions, cilantro & olive oil).
    Petraeous got so frustrated that he is paying the rebels and inviting to join the government IF lying down the weapons.
    TAX PAYER money to buy the 9/11 planners. Uhm...A LOST WAR!!!

    August 1, 2010 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan D

      You might want to let the nurse know that your meds aren't working anymore...

      August 2, 2010 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
  73. Victor Inoa

    ;

    August 1, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Victor Inoa

    ../index.html

    August 1, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  75. mosaso

    then he will become a MUSLIM and that how invaders change

    August 1, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  76. Art of War

    This is a smart strategy. We have learned from Vietnam. Vietnam was lost because of political reasons and not knowing the people. Obama picked the right guy.

    August 1, 2010 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sgt. CrewDog

      Art of War,

      I 100% agree with you on this statment. Gen. Petraeus is exactly the right man for this tasking. I know from first hand experiance that his methods work. We cannot keep fighting this war as it has been done in the past. A new approach must be taken. If the people don't trust us how are we supposed to accomplish the mission?

      August 2, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  77. bigfoot

    There is no winning this war. All this BS is moot.

    August 1, 2010 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      Let's hope so,bigfoot.

      August 1, 2010 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • BUBBA--ALABAMA STYLE!!!

        You are a piece of cr@p.

        August 3, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Edstock

    Thanks for leaking our strategy, General. Now the Taliban knows our secret way to win the war.

    August 1, 2010 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • junior

      haha yes...the taliban will just get rid of the tea. now our strategy is bunk.

      really? wow....if this is what you think, i'm quite glad you're not in the military.

      August 1, 2010 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
  79. Air Bud

    Correct term know is spelled KNOW!

    August 1, 2010 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Air Bud

    Objection if they get to no the locals that will stall them from work. They can get to know soldiers thats the only thing that won't probably distract them!

    August 1, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jimmi

      Of course it will stall them. If they get to know the locals then they will know where all the good opium parties are.

      August 4, 2010 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
  81. brown

    What a paradox ... 'A highly publicized offensive in the southern town of Marjah has turned out to be less fruitful than expected'

    Please blow smoke up someone else's behind!

    August 1, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  82. Will

    If we nuked these guys 9 years ago like we should've then this wouldn't even be an issue. Our boys would be home and we'd all still be working.

    August 1, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      Will,

      Your Dumb, now lets look if everyone followed your thought process. "if we nuke the americans, we wouldnt have to worry about them in our country anymore." Or... "If we just fire Will now, it will save us added costs in the future, and I can go play golf and sit on my boat."

      August 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sticky

        "Your Dumb"

        Oh the irony.

        August 1, 2010 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joseph McCarthy

      Will,have you absolutely no decency in you at all?Never have I seen such right-wing drivel in my life!!!

      August 1, 2010 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tom Posey

        Neither have I,Joe.That's telling him!

        August 1, 2010 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ryan D

        Previously, I hadn't even thought the far-right actually thought to take the 'just nuke 'em' idea with any seriousness. I thought that was the domain of the ignorant. (I may be optimistic, but I like to think that both left and right-wing people think, just differently – as opposed to not at all.)

        August 2, 2010 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
    • jimmy

      Your a clown. Good thing your in no more of a position of leadership than co-manager at burgerking.

      August 1, 2010 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  83. Andrew Lubin

    Duh; and he needs to spell this out? It reads like he copied this from the successful Marine campaign already 12 months in progress in Helmand Province.

    August 1, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • scroo yoo

      yes,some people need this spelled out for them-thinking for yourself isnt a military attribute

      August 1, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jaybob

        Actually, it's encouraged. Of course, there are limitiations on making decisions on your own. Doing whatever you want results in these things like wikileaks.

        Of course, most liberal activists can't do anything beyond regurgitate things others have said, spew rhetoric, and name-call. I'd say the military is centuries ahead of them.

        August 1, 2010 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jaybob

        Now you're using my name,Phunnie boy.Shame on you!

        August 1, 2010 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Yes, it's called giving direction, it's called leadership, it's the way to do it. Whether it's successful is a different subject, but you folks love to critize, no matter what is done, the usual hypocritcal, Monday morning quarterbacking. The General is doing the hard work and giving direction, while you xitch and moan and complain and sit behind your computer.

      August 1, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • Wzrd1

        Frankly, I'd not want the General's job for all the tea in China!
        But, he IS giving good guidance. While I was deployed in the middle east, having tea and conversing with the locals served me well and saved a lot of grief.

        August 2, 2010 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • bizzaroclown

      ya your not in there to think for yourself , your in there to take your orders and do your duty. You can follow those orders and still turn around and get in trouble and well you just have to take it

      August 1, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • nomoregobldgk

      and if the conversation runs dry before that first cup of tea goes cold refer to apageinthelife the secret of min for some talking points

      August 1, 2010 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • evoc

      Sure, under the Bush regime, civility was not prioritized. This is a new approach for the troops....common sense. It may also serve to help the mental status of troops, and subdue some of the after effects of being there.

      August 1, 2010 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      We have 18 year olds who have been given a gun and the power over life and death. It does need to be spelled out to them. Young men can be brash and impulsive no matter how well they are trained.

      August 1, 2010 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan D

      I was more surprised by the 'don't e a pawn in anyone else's game' statement... isn't that what soldiers, by definition, are? Pawns in the game between world leader(s) (and in this case shadow organizations.)

      August 2, 2010 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
    • jesus

      Military intelligence is an oxymoron. It is absolutely necessary for Patraeus to disabuse troops of the John Wayne approach of wiping 'em out. Taliban are brother Muslims to many locals. We are not. Educating the average foot soldier is needed, even education involving the most basic common sense matters

      August 2, 2010 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Major M

      Then we must be selective in choosing the combat units to send. The 82d, for example, doesn't have a track record for winning hearts and minds. And, tours need to be long enough so that those bonds can form and hold... I don't think it will work.

      August 2, 2010 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
      • TLamb

        Watch it with the 82nd and its track record . It is a fine track record.. as for the comment on extention of tours your right but tell that to your Spec 4 who is 3 months away from ETS.

        September 1, 2010 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |