GEN’ PETRAEUS’S MISSION IN AFGHANISTAN
General David Petraeus, who is credited for the relative success in Iraq and was nominated, on Tuesday 06/29/2010, to the new commander of the war in Afghanistan, is facing some similarities between the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but much more differences between the two wars.
In Iraq there is a common knowledge of reading and writing, a large secular middle class, which generally formed the Baath party, an elite of former security, police and military personnel, a perception of an Iraqi state, an industrial infrastructure and a tradition of a functioning state, although it was for many years under the brutal dictatorship of Saddam Hussain. The Baath party oppressed, brutally, any kind of Islamic militancy and any possible connection between the larger Shiaa community of Iraq and Iran.
When General David Petraeus took over the command in Iraq, in 02/2007, the Shiaa community was heavily infiltrated by Iranian agents and the insurgence against USA was carried out by radical Jihadist, many of them not Iraqis. The situation was the base of common interest between many Sunni Iraqis and former Baath members to cooperate with USA against the Jihadi Islamization of Iraq and Iranian domination in the Shiaa community and the formation of the Awakening Councils, which were the key to Patreaus success.
In Afghanistan there is over 80% illiteracy, a tradition of xenophobia, there is no middle class, no experience at all in running a functional state and the perception of Afghanistan as an independent state is unclear. Traditionally Afghanistan was a coalition of ethnic tribes, each one with its own autonomy and own militia. Afghanistan, which is totally devoted to Islam as the aspiration for life, totally lacks any perception of a secular life, democracy and elections – all imported to Afghanistan by the Western Democracies. Other than money and traditional tribal rivalries there is no common ground for a genuine cooperation with NATO-ISAF in Afghanistan (see also – IMPOSING DEMOCRACY).
Internationally and politically the support for the war in Afghanistan in USA as well as in Europe, after 9 years, is draining out very fast. With or without the promise of President Barack Obama to begin the pull out of troops by summer 2011, the Taliban and alike are fully aware that the time for USA and its allies in Afghanistan is limited while they will stay there forever.
The mission of General Petraeus, is, therefore, mainly about finding a successful way out then a recipe to victory.