Brenda Amador Erin Armendariz
Gina Barnett Gabriela Garcia
Jorge Lopez Rebecca Morales
Given the war against terrorism in Afghanistan, life for the citizens of Afghanistan as well as ISAF and USFOR-A troops is very difficult. The direct force used against civilians and insurgents has been that of excess during battle. As an expected outcome from war, many lives have already been lost. General Patraeus has revised and updated his tactical directive emphasizing the “disciplined use of force”.
General Petraeus faces an uphill challenge with his mission and campaign in Afghanistan known as COIN. Patraeus' strategy of counterinsurgency has all eyes focused on it and is being carefully monitored not only by those in the United States and Afghanistan, but by the enemy as well. COIN aims to not only rid Afghanistan from its insurgents, but to also protect the local population from them. Patraeus uses tactics to highlight the cold-blooded brutality used by the insurgents. Although the information can inform and emphasize the killing, the enemy can use the same methods against the American forces and report civilian casualties suffered from the American troops. Casualties are the result of war, however this sensitive information can be manipulated in an already unfavorable and unpopular war. Petraeus remains firm in his tactics yet must be prepared to counteract and address enemy publications and communication to hinder that of his campaign.
In his updated tactical directive, General Patraeus states commanders are to meticulously search the area for any civilians before firing any arms; given there is no direct danger imposed to the safety of troops. General Patraeus stresses the importance of using the momentum that is already in action to continue to fight the war on terror in Afghanistan. The communication of events is also encouraged by the General. The edited tactical directive is an updated version from the previous document submitted July 1, 2010.
The method calls for troops to have a constant ground in the communities. It requires that they interact with the people and engage the population. The problem with this effort is that it relies on prolonged military occupation of these areas. Once U.S. troops leave, insurgents are likely to return since there is no evidence that local forces have gained the ability to defend the area. This is contradictory to President Obama’s claim to withdraw troops starting July 2011. General Petraeus advises that only a few troops leave and urges that success can be reached but it would take time.
America’s main concern with prolonging occupation is that the U.S. cannot win the fight in Afghanistan. General Petraeus’ job is to “make the case the war is winnable and we’re in the process of winning it,” said Stephan Biddle, a defense policy expert with the Council on Foreign Relations.
One of his strategies to prove that he is behind a winning force is by claiming early signs of progress in routing the Taliban to their southern strongholds. This claim fails to mention that violence, despite the removal of Taliban, is increasing. Progress is difficult to measure since some areas receive ideal results and others like Marjah, who was predicted to be the model of American strategy, are struggling. He also reports the claim of an “over 45 percent decline” of civilian deaths from war-related violence between December and August. These issues are difficult to measure due to various reasons making these claims too precise. Petraeus succumbed to the public relations temptation of wanting to make the figures seem as rosy and as authoritative as possible and runs the risk of accuracy and credibility to his PR campaign. He made no attempt to qualify his dramatic claims.
General Petraeus has sent out numerous releases in an offensive strategy to shed light on the insurgent’s attacks on Afghan Civilians. In…