Col. Ralph Peters: General Petraeus’s COIN Strategy Will Fail In Afghanistan
Apropos of the questions that Dave Schuler raises in his post, I found this discussion with Laura Ingraham and military analyst and author Ralph Peters from Friday to be very interesting, aside from Ingraham’s snarky and mostly irrelevant comments:
Essentially, Peters argues that the Counter-Insurgency strategy that famously worked well under Petraeus’s command in Iraq is completely ill-suited to the situation in Afghanistan and that, instead, we should be following some version of the Counter-Terrorism strategy that was advocated last year by Vice-President Biden, a strategy that would, of course, require a much smaller military footprint on the part of the United States.
Peters seems to think that the only hope in Afghanistan is for Petraeus to recognize that COIN will not work in Afghanistan and to convince the President to change his mind. The likelihood of this happening seems doubtful for two reasons. First of all, Petraeus made his career on COIN, and said during his confirmation hearings that he full supported the strategy that had been in place since November. Second, I’m not sure that the President would consider it politically viable to change strategies in mid-stream, and especially to one that will result in a significant withdrawal of troops during a time when both he and the Republicans will be preparing for the 2012 elections.