General Petraeus’ Message in a Bottle

In a lengthy interview with the Washington Post, General Petraeus, a good soldier, expressed support for President Obama’s decision to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan next July. But his statements about our progress in the war, and the difficulties ahead, belie any claim that we can succeed if we significantly draw down our forces beginning in less than a year.
According to the Post, Petraeus said he sees incipient signs of progress, including nascent steps to reintegrate low level insurgents who want to stop fighting. He also “warned against expecting quick results in a campaign that involves building Afghan government and security institutions from scratch.” He told the Post “it’s a gradual effort; it’s a deliberate effort.”
Petraeus added that it is too early to ascertain whether Afghan security forces can assume responsibility for various parts of the country. And he noted that “the enemy is trying to outlast us.”
I wonder what the General is trying to tell us.

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