War in Afghanistan fundamentally sound according to Gen. Petraeus
UNCENSORED NEWS | August 15, 2010 at 01:25 pmby
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In a wide-ranging, hour-long interview with The Washington Post, he said he sees incipient signs of progress in parts of the volatile south, in new initiatives to create community defense forces and in nascent steps to reintegrate low-level insurgents who want to stop fighting. With public support for the war slipping and a White House review of the war looming in December, Petraeus said he is pushing the forces under his command to proceed with alacrity. He remains supportive of President Obama's decision to begin withdrawing troops next July, but he said it is far too early to determine the size of the drawdown.
The New York Times reported last week that military officials, concerned with pressure Obama was feeling from fellow Democrats to wind the war down quickly, were building a counter-case to minimize the planned withdrawals. The Times quoted an administration official as saying the military's argument was "that while we've been in Afghanistan for nine years, only in the past 12 months or so have we started doing this right, and we need to give it some time." Obama is due to formally assess progress in Afghanistan this December, and Petraeus said, "What the President very much wants from me and what we talked about in the Oval Office is the responsibility of a military commander on the ground to provide his best professional military advice. Leave the politics to him."