David Petraeus Quotes
David Howell Petraeus AO (/p??tre?.?s/; born November 7, 1952) is a retired American military officer and public official. He served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from September 6, 2011, until his resignation on November 9, 2012. Prior to his assuming the directorship of the CIA, Petraeus was a highly decorated four-star general, serving over 37 years in the United States Army. His last assignments in the Army were as commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A) from July 4, 2010, to July 18, 2011. His other four-star assignments include serving as the 10th Commander, U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) from October 13, 2008, to June 30, 2010, and as Commanding General, Multi-National Force – Iraq (MNF-I) from February 10, 2007, to September 16, 2008. As commander of MNF-I, Petraeus oversaw all coalition forces in Iraq.
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The art of coalition command - whether it is here in Afghanistan, whether it was in Iraq or in Bosnia or in Haiti - is to take the resources you are provided with, understand what the strengths and weaknesses are and to employ them to the best overall effect.
This is actually true of the overall fight against al-Qaeda and trans-national extremists, that as you put pressure on them in one location, they'll seek safe haven sanctuaries in other areas. So you do have to continue to pursue them. But they have less capability.
Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters - all connected to the next-generation internet using abundant, low-cost, and high-power computing.
We're here so that Afghanistan does not once again become a sanctuary for transnational extremists the way it was when al-Qaeda planned the 9/11 attacks in the Kandahar area, conducted the initial training for the attackers in training camps in Afghanistan before they moved on to Germany and then to U.S. flight schools.
The progress in Iraq is still fragile. And it could still be reversed. Iraq still faces innumerable challenges, and they will be evident during what will likely be a difficult process as the newly elected Council of Representatives selects the next prime minister, president, and speaker of the council.
If you look at casualties, you find countries that had much higher loss rates per capita than the US. Denmark comes to mind, the United Kingdom, they have suffered heavy losses at various points, the Germans as well.
The fact is that Iran doesn't want to see the Taliban come back any more than do most Afghan citizens.
Reconciliation is what takes place, of course, at higher levels. President Karzai has been very clear about the red lines for reconciliation, accept the constitution, lay down their weapons, cut their ties with al Qaeda and essentially become productive or at least participating members of society in that regard.
The president and I sat down in the Oval Office, and he expressed very clearly that what he wants from me is my best professional military advice.
The Germans have done wonderful work. Not long ago, a German battle group battalion conducted a very impressive counterinsurgency operation in a portion of Baghlan province. I think these are the first counterinsurgency operations conducted by any German element after World War II. And they did a very impressive job.
President Obama has said that our aspirations should be realistic. We are not going to turn one of the poorest countries in the world, that was plunged into 30 years of war, into an advanced, industrialized, Western-style democracy. What we want to achieve is Afghanistan's capacity to secure and govern itself.
If you don't want to have to kill or capture every bad guy in the country, you have to reintegrate those who are willing to be reconciled and become part of the solution instead of a continued part of the problem. And then, above all, the resources.
I just don't know whether it was all destroyed years ago - I mean, there's no question that there were chemical weapons years ago - whether they were destroyed right before the war, (or) whether they're still hidden.
US forces have been increased [in Afghanistan ] from some 21,000 to about 31,000 over the past two years and a number of coalition countries have also increased their forces, there still are not sufficient troops.