June 24th, 2010
06:20 PM ET

Petraeus, the Ph.D. warrior, faces big test

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.

Bergen writes:

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.

Read the full commentary


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soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Jared

    I'm glad someone with applicable knowledge is taking control. I'm optimistic that Petraeus will get the job done. Good luck. You have our support.

    And Mr. "Smith in Oregon", you do not speak on behalf of all taxpayers. I support this war, and believe it is winnable. Once a society tastes freedom, structure, and security, they won't want to give it up. This coming from a liberal-leaning moderate. Get 'em boys!

    June 27, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave knutson

      Petraeus is olike Obama and Biden absolutely cluless. THREE BLIND MICE!!!

      June 29, 2010 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Smith in Oregon

    Gen. Petraeus,

    Afghanistan is not going to become America's 53rd. State.

    The US soldiers are not going to in-mass become Afghanistan citizens.

    There is no total removal of the Taliban soldiers and fighters from Afghanistan, the Afghanistan residents are the Taliban soldiers and fighters.

    If the goal of America's Occupation of Afghanistan was to root out the Al Qaeda members, Mission Accomplished, they moved to Pakistani ISI-CIA safe-houses years ago.

    Time to declare victory and bring the US troops home from Iraq and then in Afghanistan Gen. Petraeus.

    Gen Petraeus, American taxpayers would appreciate it if you ordered ALL troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to return the majority of their equipment back to USA instead of dumping it or simply leaving it for the Taliban to use in Iraq or Afghanistan then demand the American taxpayers pay for replacing 95% of the gear with new and hyper-expensive replacements.

    June 24, 2010 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |