Petraeus, who pioneered the counterinsurgency strategy he now oversees in Afghanistan, has just months to show progress in turning back insurgents and convince both the Afghan people and neighboring countries that the U.S. is committed to preventing the country from again becoming a haven for al-Qaida and its terrorist allies.
"We are engaged in a contest of wills," Petraeus said as he accepted the command of U.S. and NATO forces before several hundred U.S., coalition and Afghan officials who gathered on a grassy area outside NATO headquarters in Kabul.
Petraeus, widely credited with turning around the U.S. war effort in Iraq, said the Taliban and their allies are killing and maiming civilians — even using "unwitting children to carry out attacks" — in an attempt to undermine public confidence in the Afghan government and the international community's ability to prevail.
"In answer, we must demonstrate to the people and to the Taliban that Afghan and international forces are here to safeguard the Afghan people, and that we are in this to win," Petraeus said on the Fourth of July, U.S. Independence Day.
The descent into complete madness continues. There is no way to "win" in Afghanistan-- we are either there forever or until the US finally falls apart.