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August 12th, 2010
10:38 AM ET

Opinion: Petraeus faces mission impossible

Amitai Etzioni
Special to CNN

Amitai Etzioni: Expectations are sky-high for popular Gen. Petraeus in Afghanistan

Amitai Etzioni: Expectations are sky-high for popular Gen. Petraeus in Afghanistan

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.

Rep. John Kline of Minnesota said he was confident that Petraeus "has proven his leadership in Iraq and is extremely well-qualified for this job." Sen. John McCain, speaking for himself as well as Sens. Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman, said, "We think there is no one more qualified or more outstanding a leader than Gen. Petraeus to achieve a successful conclusion of the Afghan conflict."

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.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Opinion
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Annie Kate

    Petraeus is a good general and if he can't do whatever it is that needs done in Afghanistan then probably no one else can either. I'll be glad when our military personnel, who have served with such valor and bravery, will come home. And if Afghanistan does indeed turn out to be "mission impossible" I hope Petraeus is not faulted for what the country's leaders got us involved in.

    August 12, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
  2. Bud Lang

    As a Naval veteran of 9 years, a father, grandfather, and now great-grandfather, I speak form (ancient?) experience. Americans have no reason to be in Afghanistan or Iraq. We tried the same tactics in Vietnam and Korea. The answer was tens of thousands of American heroes killed or physically and mentally damaged for LIFE. In WWI and WWII, we fought battles. And won! Today our heroic troops march down some street, get killed by "roadside?" bombs. Then march down the same street again one week later. Allow Congress and the Senate march down those streets and see how fast the war ends. Finally, not one person has asked who supplies those rockets, bombs and guns to the Afghans and Iraqies? CHINA and possibly RUSSIA. Our allies????

    August 12, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
  3. SFC7. Lorenzo Eady USA RET

    @andersoncooper This matter need to have the attention of the American people. Why would the Congress and Senate allows the Veterans Administration to stall on Combats Vet's claims until he or she expires so the VA want have to pay a claims. its's disgrace to the United States government. Yes blame all the delays on the VA back log a poor excuse. we have Viet Nam veterans expiring from agent Orange, Iraq vets expiring from the toxic, and radiation ammo used, Afghanistan combats vets the same way. Statement from SFC7. Lorenzo Eady USA RET. and awardee of The Silver Star.

    August 12, 2010 at 11:33 am |