August 12th, 2010
09:26 AM ET

Opinion: Petraeus faces mission impossible

Many hope that Gen. David Petraeus will save the day in Afghanistan, following what they see as his great success in Iraq. His appointment has been met with nearly unqualified praise. ...

When you meet him, it is easy to see why he is so popular. He is well-educated, West Point and Princeton doctorates; politically savvy, no nasty quotes in Rolling Stone or anywhere else; and very personable.

So it distresses me, but I feel feel honor-bound to point out that the Iraq he left behind is in shambles; that he is not applying what worked in Iraq to Afghanistan; and that the challenges there are much more daunting than in Iraq.

Read the full Opinion from Amitai Etzioni, a professor of international relations at George Washington University and the author of several books, including "Security First" and "New Common Ground."


Filed under: Petraeus • Voices • Your View
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. KT

    Perhaps if the Islamic leaders got together and handed over Mr. Bin Ladin we would not see Quron burnings occurring here in the US. Secondly, if Saudi Arabia was held resposible for their part in all of this, would we be roaming the hills in Afgan Country? I think not. Maybe the "Jihad" so earnestly proclaimed by our fellow human brothers who happen to be Islamic radicals will come to fruition. What then? Game over for Mecca.

    September 9, 2010 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
  2. Mohammed Omar

    Hello.... one thing i would like to say is that Muslims should be able to have there holy place in NYC because it's not fair how Americans get to have their church and how Jews get their holy place and also everyone has a freedom of religion and freedom of speech. So, i think that us Muslims deserve to have our Holy Place. Also, us Muslims pay taxes to stay here and that's not fair we work our butts off for like 18 hours just to pay our taxes so i think that should totally have our holy place in NYC. Everybody has their freedom in America and also people say that the USA has freedom and this is not freedom for us Muslims okay. So i hope that you guys understand and thank you for reading it!!!

    August 27, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • KT

      Question. Can we build a Church in Saudi Arabia? I think only with bloodshed.

      September 9, 2010 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  3. amarjit

    US & Nato operation is successful in Afghanistan with new strategy of socio-military operation. After victory, civil authotrities & organizational infrastructure must consolidate the gains made on the ground. Afghanistan Govt with Karzai at the top has his own problems of historical diversity of the tribal loyalty coming on for thousands of years with Afghan territorial properties & proximity to so many countries & migrated population. Over & above Pakistan continuous generation of Talibans, funding,planning & prolonging association of US financial commitment alongwith oil rich countries funding under cover of religious umbrella is another perpamanent setback in real world of politics. US & Nato have cetainly been successful in the motive as Al Qaeda & Talibans are cornored in Afghanistan loosing open & declared aid from Pakistan. Time is great strategic element of operation which should not be given to Pakistan to gain leverage & revive Talibans comeback which has to be checked by US only. Any comeback or withdrawal from Afghanisan in the near future will give wrong signal to these terror groups & Pakistan to use time strategy to revive operation with fresh injection of arms more so with its presumed immunity of being nuclear armed. Any hasty or abrupt withdrawal will invite success of Terror strategy of Talibans & Al Qaeda in Afghanistan & reemploy in the Western countries as well US with larger religious base.

    August 25, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Khalid Bey aka S.cheatham

    America should have never been in afghanistan in the first place. did they learn from viet Vam? The French was there before America, Got their buts handed to them! Russia get it's but handed to them. So what does America do the same thing they did in the Nam getting their BUT Kick! When, When will U learn America!!!

    August 16, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • KT

      Khalid,
      Your absolutely correct. We should not be in Afganistan at all! Nor should we have entered Iraq!!
      We should have immediately invaded Saudi Arabia. What were we thinking!! Ah well, maybe if you all hand over Bin Ladin we can all stand down. Oh yeah...I forgot, your Islamic Brothers are protecting him.

      September 9, 2010 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  5. PacoAteMiami

    From the beginning we should have done what we have every right to do... rain hell on Afghanistan for harboring Al Qaeda and keep doing it until they stop. Why did we have to buy into this nation-building mission? We are far too nice.

    August 15, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • PacoAteMiami

      We need to strike back in self-defense with whatever level of force is required to definitively counter the immediate threat and deter future threats. We need to start making much more painful consequences for attacking the US instead of trying to "win hearts and minds".

      August 15, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Eric14

    If the Western Powers abandon the country, war will continue. If they stay, war will continue. This is already becoming apparent in Iraq. What to do? I offer the following.

    1. Coerce Israel into opening negotiations with Palestinians with a view to Israel complying fully with international law.

    No need for further points. US government has not the will to coerce Israel. In fact the opposite is happening as Israel draws the United States into an utterly needless confrontation with Iran. The folly of it all is amazing. Illegal Jewish settlers should realise that they have the blood of many on their hands. Their religious extremism is as bloody in its results as the Taliban's.

    August 14, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • KT

      Eric,
      Perhaps there are lessons to be learned on both sides here, but I don't think Jewish settlers had a part in the events of September the 11th, 2001. WHERE IS BIN LADIN?! Probably in Saudi Arabia, watching CNN and eating his dates.

      September 9, 2010 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  7. Joseph McCarthy

    Please everybody,just ignore this photo as this nut is only trying to drum up more right-wing war fever!!!

    August 13, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Angle

      Why should i ignore that, do you think you are so important you can tell others what to think?

      August 13, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Lafayette,IN

      Joseph,I agree with you.

      August 14, 2010 at 6:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Bledsoe

      Of course you do, you are both the same person!

      August 14, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Smith in Oregon

    Of course this war is impossible for a remote occupying nation to 'WIN' when nearby Pakistan continues funding, equipping and supplying the Pakistan Taliban aka Waziristan Taliban fighters murdering American, NATO soldiers and undermining the Afghanistan Karzai government.

    August 12, 2010 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Daniel-2

    Why have you stopped taking my calls?

    August 12, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  10. dave

    “Birds of a feather flock together.” “The person we are most likely to marry is someone we have a lot in common.”
    It is a sad human condition where we do not like people who are not like ourselves. People who speak differently than us – we do not like them. This hate also occurs between people who are different races and religions, as well.
    I feel this human condition for people to not like those who are different; will make the Afghanistan War difficult to win. Imagine if we had soldiers patrolling our streets who did not look like or spoke the same language as Americans.
    Look at our own country, different groups of people have a major conflict difficult to solve (i.e. immigration problem, gay marriages.) Could it be the different languages, religions, race and who to marry is causing this problem to worsen? (We Americans even hate people who are not a member of our own political party as well.)
    Until we find a way for humans to move away this tendency to not like those who are not like ourselves; we will continue these insane wars and conflicts where no one wins.

    August 12, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel-2

      Have i said something wrong?

      August 12, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel-2

      Thank goodness for that i thought you didn't love me anymore.

      August 14, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Thinker

    May require a Balkanization of Pakistan to win in Afghanistn

    August 12, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Daniel-2

      The one country that needs Balkanization is Iraq in order to curb it's violence.

      August 12, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jim P

    Very well put,USMC Forever!Need I say more???

    August 12, 2010 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  13. USMC Forever

    Hopefully he may fail since we have no business being there in the first place!We need to do just like the Russians did,that is just pull out!

    August 12, 2010 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Daniel-2

      Extremely well put,USMC Forever! Thank you very much for this imput.I couldn't have said it better myself.

      August 12, 2010 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Right-Wing Thug

      If we're already there, wouldn't it make more sense to conduct the mission responsibly as opposed to failing tremendously?

      I mean, you finish what you start, right?

      August 12, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
      • George Patton

        Not necessarily Right-Wing Thug,especiaaly when it's the wrong thing to do and this war is definately wrong!!!

        August 12, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |