General Petraeus turned the war in Iraq around

He served as Commanding General of Multi-National Force – Iraq from January 26, 2007 to September 16, 2008. During this time he was also General Betray US. From October Petraeus will serve as Commander of the U.S. Central Command.

Question:

Do you think his work was really crucial for the improving of security situation in Iraq?

Answer:

Peter Dahl Thruelsen, Research Fellow at the Institute for Strategy at the Royal Danish Defence College

Yes, I definitely think so. No doubt that the introduction and implementation of a politically and intelligence led focused counterinsurgency strategy which incorporated and integrated all the elements of political, military, civilian and economic assets into an overall strategy have been a success. The implementation has shown that a focused use of especially the international military together with a massive boost of the national Iraqi security forces is the way forward. Also, the inclusion of the local community into the fight against the insurgents has paid positively off. But the experiences also shows that if the national Iraqi political leadership is not facilitated to interact and is not genuine willing to support the process it will not work in the long run.

It is of cause important to remember that we still are not there in Iraq, but some crucial obstacles have been eliminated.

These lessons regarding the strengthening of the national security forces and the national political genuine willingness to support the process is something that can be transferred to Afghanistan, if success is to be reached there. Especially the facilitation of an overall all including political process is crucial.

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