October 15th, 2010
08:17 AM ET

Petraeus: 'Right strategy' in place

The top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan said Friday he is confident that the tough fight in Afghanistan is headed in the right direction and he backs the president's peace moves.

"No one should have any illusions about how difficult the fight will continue to be as we and our Afghan partners strive to bring peace to a nation that has suffered through more than 30 years of continuous war," Petraeus said in a lecture at the Royal United Services Institute.

"Still, I believe that we now have the right strategy in place."

He cited military efforts to improve security in the southern Afghanistan's Kandahar and Helmand provinces and focused on the importance of increasing the size of the Afghan security forces.

He said there has been progress in literacy, health care, the insfrastructure, and the economy.

"The kind of developments we've seen, the ongoing efforts to establish an effective government, and the hard-fought but steady security gains all provide grounds to believe that our efforts in Afghanistan can achieve progress, and over time, together with the Afghan people, can enable accomplishment of our important objectives there," he said.

There have been reports of informal contact between members of the Taliban and the Afghan government, and Afghanistan has formed a High Peace Council devoted to pursuing reconciliation moves with militants. President Hamid Karzai said on CNN that unofficial talks have been taking place.

"NATO and the United States both do support president Karzai's initiatives in this regard, and the red lines he's established, in terms of reconciliation: that any seeking to do that would have to lay down their weapons, renounce violence, cut ties their ties with transnational extremists, and accept the Afghan constitution. And that is the state of play right now," Petraeus said.

Petraeus was in London on Thursday meeting with British officials about Afghan issues, including last week's failed operation to rescue a British aid worker from kidnappers in Afghanistan.

He said learning how British aid worker Linda Norgrove died was his "personal priority." Norgrove, who had been held hostage since late last month, worked for DAI, an agency that provides various services to developing nations.

Petraeus on Friday again promised to get to the bottom of Norgrove's death.

The initial report on the rescue mission by the troops who carried it out did not mention throwing a grenade, but Petraeus said "it was very clear that there was a throwing motion and an explosion that followed that, and that a grenade had been employed."

"We will investigate to determine the specific facts in a joint and completely transparent U.S.-U.K. effort that will then be shared completely with the Norgrove family as soon as the results are established. And of course, there's an issue of the autopsy that has to be conducted, that will be done here in the United Kingdom. My understanding is that will be undertaken very shortly. And that is a critical element of this, of course, because again, one cannot jump to conclusions."


Filed under: Petraeus
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Roy

    Interview with Maulavi Abdul Kabir, member of the Leadership Council of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

    Q: Some times, we hear rumors claiming that the leadership of Taliban is engaged in peace talks with the Americans and the Kabul administration. They say, the talks were held first in a certain country, then in another given country. Moreover, media reports refer to your role that you have willingness to engage in peace negotiation. Who circulate these amours and what is their objective?

    A: No doubt, the Americans have faced defeat at the military field. All their stratagems have gone awry. Now the Americans and their allies are making efforts to have some gains in the diplomatic field. Therefore, they launch spurious efforts under the name of reconciliation and peace time and again. They are trying to produce some fabricated indications in order to give cosmetic leverage to their claims. They mention names of a few members of the leadership of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, saying, they have had contacts with them or at least, shown willingness to initiate negotiation. In fact, all these are futile propaganda of the invaders aimed at creating mistrust between the Muslims and the Mujahideen. You know the enemy have not produced any evidence despite many claims to indicate that the officials of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan were engaged in talks with them. Nor they are able to produce one. This explains that the talks have not taken place nor the officials of the Islamic Emirate are intending to engage in the talks.

    October 20, 2010 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  2. Dan in Lafayette, IN

    Also if you live by the fire you die by the fire! There is no truth in 360 degrees, just death and destruction!

    October 18, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Lafayette, IN

      Oh I know what you are saying and I tell you that there has never been a person nor will there ever be who walked in this 360 degrees as you speak of with the exception of Jesus. And those who force this truth of 360 degrees on any person is more of a hypocrite than the Pharisees were, because they too thought they were better people in God's eye's than the sinners that they treated poorly!

      October 19, 2010 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
  3. BANGASH

    NINE YEARS BACK WHEN US FORCES CAPTURED KABUL AND AT KANDAHAR MULLAH UMAR WAS STILL LEADING WHEN KARZI CONTACTED HIM FOR PEACEFUL SURRENDER IN EXCHANGE FOR GENERAL AMNESTY TO ALL TALIBAN. MULLAH UMAR AGREED AND PEACEFULLY HANDED OVER KANDAHAR TO KARZI BUT NEXT DAY DONALDS RUMSFIELD REJECTED THE DEAL AND SAID HE CANNOT SEE MULLAH UMAR SEE ROAMING FREE IN AFGHANISTAN BEFORE OUR EYES. TODAY AFTER NINE YEARS USA COME TO RECOGNIZE THAT KARZAI WAS RIGHT AND HAVE AGREED TO SEE HIM ROAMING FREE PROVIDED HE ALLOW USA TO LEAVE AFGHANISTAN PEACEFULLY. THIS IS LAW OF NATURE THAT WRONG IS ALWAYS WRONG AND IT CANNOT MADE RIGHT WITH THE POWER OF GUN. UNLESS AND UNTILL USA DO NOT RETURN TO THEIR BASIC NATIONAL VALUES i.e UNIVERSAL JUSTICE, EQUALITY AND FRATERNITY USA IS BOUND TO FALL AS THE LAST EMPIRE OF IMPERIALISM. LOSSES DURING LAST NINE YEARS ARE IMMENSE BUT SOONER IT IS STOPPED THE BETTER WILL BE THE RESULTS.

    October 17, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Lafayette, IN

      Did the Taliban agree to lay down their arms and give up their beliefs in strict Islamic sharia law of the sixth century that seems not to allow any women any rights or would they have stopped terrorizing the population to join their extremist view of Islam including killing young boys if they did not join in on their carnage!

      October 18, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dan in Lafayette, IN

        Truth huh? The Taliban godly people huh? We created the northern alliance huh? Islam a peaceful religion when they want to control the world HUH? Sharia law a just and humane way of life to make life pure and beautiful huh? The Taliban only killed the Hindu (filthy) and Pharaonic pot head trinity 180 degrees (criminal) pretending to be god man and that's OK huh? Like I said you are a false prophet and your 360 degrees will go down to the center of the earth following the great tribulation! See you all in a 1000 years thereafter!

        October 18, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Onesmallvoice

    Something to turn on the NATO forces in Afghanistan,I presume. I guess that Phunnie boy's going to make a joke out this too!

    October 17, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Daniel-2

      I wouldn't wonder!!!???

      October 17, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dan in Lafayette, IN

    This is the first time I have written on this blog and I think that Gen. Petraeous is correct in saying that we are moving in the right direction with the exception of the gung-ho Americans trying to rescue Norgrove we are improving the Afghans lives and their security from the death and destruction that the Taliban and their terrorist allies only offered them!

    October 16, 2010 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Lafayette, IN

      Sorry folks,I never posted the above.That's Phunnie boy trying to discredit me again.

      October 16, 2010 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
      • Daniel-2

        Don't feel bad,Dan. He does this to me all the time,the jerk!!!

        October 16, 2010 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
      • Onesmallvoice

        He does it to me too Don the crepe just won't stop.

        October 16, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
      • Dan in Lafayette, IN

        Although I have no use for this war,I still wish that you'd stop dishonoring our troops,Phunnie boy(Onesmallvoice).I know how much you want a laugh out of life but this is going a little too far!

        October 16, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • Andrew Lubin

        I can't see anything he said to dishonor our troops Don perhaps i missed it???

        October 16, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
      • Andrew Lubin

        Hey Phunnie boy,blog under your own name instead of mine! Then again, I guess that you're too yellow to!!!

        October 16, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • Onesmallvoice

        I used to use my own name before you appropriated it...

        October 17, 2010 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
  6. ronald j mcloughlin

    As someone who grew up during WWII, I am sick, sick of war. It seems we've been at war all of my young life till now.
    We are wasting our mozarts, our bethovens, etc. Even as the taliban is negotiating there are warmongers who are saying, "Just as we start winning, they want to negociate." The arrogance, the narcissum, ontinues. END THIS WAR, please.

    October 16, 2010 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Daniel-2

      ronald,you said it all. I too am sick of all these right-wing nutjobs and their narcissum.No wonder our national treasury is constantly broke fighting all these unnecessary and useless wars!

      October 16, 2010 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
      • Onesmallvoice

        You are right there Don we don't need anymore of that blah blah blah.

        October 16, 2010 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  7. spacewalker

    Sir.....Do not tell your future plans ...But Just do it . when you say the enemy too can get ready according to your plans.

    October 15, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Forthelovea

    Whatever......of COURSE he's gonna say he backs the peace moves of the President or he would be out of a job like the countless millions in America. Does anybody expect him to state anything different? He's bucking for Chief of Staff. He certainly doesn't want to end up like McCrystal. Like Bugs Bunny used to say "What a maroon"

    October 15, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Lafayette,IN

      Well said,Forthelovea.Quite true.

      October 15, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
      • Onesmallvoice

        Well said Don i am glad we agree on this again!!!???

        October 16, 2010 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
      • Onesmallvoice

        Hey Phunnie boy,who's Don? I can't find his statement anywhere. Is he another right-wing Tea Partier?

        October 16, 2010 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  9. Daniel-2

    If this general is right,it's enough to make Polyanna want to cry! Enough of this sickening bravado!!! We need to get peace negotiations under way and just forget our arrogance and self-rightiousness and stop the bloodshed!

    October 15, 2010 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Lafayette,IN

      That's right dan we shouldn't let the left wing MIT supporters control things there also get the paki taliban out!!!???

      October 15, 2010 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
      • Dan in Lafayette,IN

        What left-wing MIT supporters are you talking about,Phunnie boy? However you're right about one thing,we should never let a bunch of people who don't exist in the first place control anything.

        October 15, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |