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Ear to the Ground

Petraeus Fires Off First Set of Guidelines to Troops in Afghanistan

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Posted on Aug 2, 2010
AP / J. Scott Applewhite

Now that Gen. Stanley McChrystal has departed the scene, Gen. David Petraeus has assumed command of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, and in a tactical document released Sunday he revisited one of his predecessor’s guidelines for carrying out airstrikes and zeroed in on a sensitive topic that dogged McChrystal during his tenure: civilian casualties.  —KA

The Guardian:

But for all the emphasis on winning hearts and minds, Petraeus also signalled a new aggression in the fight against the Taliban, ordering troops to “pursue the enemy relentlessly”.

While McChrystal’s rules of engagement have not been altered, a rule on the use of air strikes against buildings has been clarified after a review revealed that many junior officers applied it too rigidly.

It requires extreme care to be used when air strikes or artillery fire are ordered on buildings where insurgents are fighting in order to avoid destroying houses or killing civilians who might be sheltering there. The clarification seeks to dispel the belief of lower-level commanders that such strikes on abandoned homes are completely forbidden.

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By Billy Hobe, August 7, 2010 at 7:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Publicly “Obama Needs To Take An Oath Of Honesty”
——————————————————————————-Don’t falsely charge an innocent person of wrong doing, for the Lord God will not forgive your wickedness.

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By felicity, August 3, 2010 at 11:11 am Link to this comment

gerard pretty well said it all. I’ll add ‘pitiful’ to
describe our so-called policy in Afghanistan.

“Take off their sun glasses when talking to Afghans?” 
That’ll be interesting since people in the Near East
are terrified of people with blue eyes (calling them
“devils”) because in the days of the Ottoman Empire
many of the invaders had blue eyes, seldom seen among
the native populations. In fact if a ‘native’ has blue
eyes it’s assumed that there was a Turk somewhere in
his genetic wood-pile.

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By Hammond Eggs, August 3, 2010 at 12:13 am Link to this comment

But for all the emphasis on winning hearts and minds, Petraeus also signalled a new aggression in the fight against the Taliban, ordering troops to “pursue the enemy relentlessly”.

Petraeus himself will not be pursuing anything relentlessly except the Republican nomination for the presidency - if McChrystal doesn’t beat him to it first.  My money is on McChrystal who basically called Obama and the people around him a pack of deluded, cowardly shits and got himself fired and martyred which has an enormous amount of political sex appeal to the beer hall brawlers and dueling scar crowd that is the Republican party.

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By ofersince72, August 2, 2010 at 10:02 pm Link to this comment

I didn’t watch,  to boring and i am to busy.

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By gerard, August 2, 2010 at 5:29 pm Link to this comment

How many times have our recent officials—including Reagan, George Bush, Barack Obama and now Petraeus, raised that index finger and dictated some inane order to “make no mistake about it” ... blah, blah! 
  That particular gesture is the totally unconscious hallmark of the petty, dictatorial, school-teacherish personality, far beneath what should be sober, self-reliant and thoughtful command.
  Grmmmph! for the umpteenth time!  The triteness of it makes me grind my teeth in disdain. Notice how often photographers catch it.  They know (perhaps without knowing) the symbolism.
  Next week we may see Clinton shaking her finger at North Korea, if she hasn’t already done so—and maybe even if she has, but forgot. The one thing about Americans is that they are so transparently unaware!

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