Petraeus to tweak Afghan strategy: More civilian casualties ahead?

KABUL, Afghanistan (July 4) – Gen. David H. Petraeus assumes command of NATO's International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan during a July 4 ceremony at the command's headquarters in KabulOn July 5th, U.S. Senator John McCain told reporters that the new U.S. Commander in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, will probably tweak the current U.S strategy in Afghanistan.

After meetings with Petraeus and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, McCain said that “General Petraeus is reviewing the entire rules of engagement and probably there will be some tweaking. We got that impression from him.”

The current rules of engagement, put in place by former U.S. Commander Stanley McChrystal, place tight restrictions on the use of U.S. firepower in hopes of reducing the number of  civilian casualties caused by U.S. and NATO forces. “Tweaking” the rules–a euphemism for loosening those restrictions–will likely result in an increase in the number of civilian deaths.

Read more: Patrick Falby, “Petraeus may tweak war strategy,”  AFP, July 6 2010

Photo credit: Doug Houser

Tags: Afghanistan, Afghanistan strategy, David Petraeus, Misc..., Rules of Engagement, War in Afghanistan