- Jul 9, 2006
Cover of the March 24th issue of Newsweek:
The link to the Newsweek article:"You can't kill your way out of an insurgency," General David Petraeus
told Newsweek in an interview in his Baghdad headquarters. He has moved
soldiers out of their secure megabases and into small outposts deep inside
once alien and hostile neighborhoods, and he has ordered his men out of
their armored convoys. "Walk ... Stop by, don't drive by," says Petraeus,
reading from a "guidance" he is drafting for his soldiers, Newsweek reports
in the March 24 issue "The Petraeus Generation" (on newsstands Monday,
March 17). The objective is no longer to take a hill or storm a citadel,
but to win over the people.
But this new way of war needs a new kind of warrior, Newsweek reports.
Five years into the longest conflict the U.S. military has fought since
Vietnam, young officers have been blooded by multiple tours in Iraq and
Afghanistan. They have learned, often on their own, operating with
unprecedented independence, the intricacies of Muslim cultures. Brought up
in rigid, flag-waving warrior cultures that taught right from wrong, black
from white, they had to learn to operate amid moral ambiguity. Most
recently, and hardest of all, they've had to reach out and ally themselves
with men who have tried and often succeeded in killing their own soldiers.
It is hard to overstate the achievement of this Petraeus Generation of
officers, but their success, is terribly fragile. And while the skills
these American officers have gained aren't critical in murky conflicts like
Iraq, they are not universally valued or trusted within the Pentagon.