Monday, December 03, 2007

Petraeus Plan Heads to Afghanistan

Iraq veterans are now combating the Taliban, but must be retrained for the specific Afghan terrain. This is from Michael M. Phillips via the Wall Street Journal:

Six years into the Afghan war, the Army has decided its troops on the ground still don't understand well enough how to battle the Taliban insurgency. So since the spring, groups of 60 people have been attending intensive, five-day sessions in plywood classrooms in the corner of a U.S. base here, where they learn to think like a Taliban and counterpunch like a politician.

The academy's principal message: The war that began to oust a regime has evolved into a popularity contest where insurgents and counterinsurgents vie for public support and the right to rule. The implicit critique: Many U.S. and allied soldiers still arrive in the country well-trained to kill, but not to persuade...Army officials say they've made great strides this year providing troops with Afghanistan-specific training before they reach the combat zone -- including counterinsurgency seminars for officers and scenario exercises for foot soldiers.

Now that the Battle for Iraq is almost won, look for greater efforts in the New Year to bring an end to the even longer campaign in Afghanistan.