General Petreaus Makes First Public Remarks About Afghanistan


General David Petraeus stated that the American and NATO forces can succeed in Afghanistan and that he opposes a gradual withdrawal of troops starting in July of next year. Making his first public remarks since taking over for General Stanley McChrystal last month, he said:

“The president didn’t send me over here to seek a graceful exit,” the general said from his office at NATO headquarters in downtown Kabul. “My marching orders are to do all that is humanly possible to help us achieve our objectives.”

While admitting that he faces an extremely difficult task, Petraeus feels that the efforts in Afghanistan can finally progress despite deteriorating support back home. The general, who recently said that we would not be in Afghanistan forever, also stated that he believes that President Obama will give him the time and support needed to achieve positive results.

Petraeus Opposes a Rapid Pullout in Afghanistan [NYT]