Petraeus Vows 'Relentless' Pursuit of Taliban

By Arun Kumar

Washington, Jun 30 (IANS): A Senate panel has approved the nomination of Gen David Petraeus to be the top US commander in Afghanistan after he assured lawmakers he would continue "relentless" pursuit of the Taliban.

The full Senate is expected to vote Wednesday on the confirmation of Petraeus, named by President Barack Obama to succeed Gen. Stanley McChrystal after McChrystal resigned over a Rolling Stone magazine article in which he and his aides were quoted making disparaging remarks about administration officials and their allies.

The popular general, the key architect of the successful surge strategy in Iraq, also stressed his continued support for the Obama's July 2011 withdrawal date at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday .

As Republican senators questioned him about Obama's Afghanistan's policy, Petraeus reiterated a comment he made during hearings on Afghanistan two weeks ago: "It's important to note that July 2011 will be the beginning of a process ... not the date by which we head for the exits and turn off the lights."

But Senators of both parties praised Petraeus, with the 2008 Republican presidential candidate John McCain calling him "an American hero."

When Republican Lindsey Graham pressed Petraeus on a recent letter sent by anti-war Democrat congresswoman Barbara Lee tying support for war funding to a plan for withdrawal, the general said putting such conditions on war funding "would be contrary to the whole policy, which is conditions-based."

As committee members sought answers about how well the war is going, Petraeus pledged to review the size of the Afghan security forces within four months of his confirmation. He would also begin to review implementation of the war's increasingly controversial rules of engagement, he said.

Petraeus said it's important to ensure that the intent behind the rules, to limit civilian deaths in Afghanistan needs to be balanced by the need to ensure "we bring everything to bear."

"What we need to do is ensure that the application of them and the tactical directive, which talks about close air support, that that is uniform and that there aren't leaders at certain levels who are imposing checks and balances when lives are on the line," Petraeus said.


Top Stories

Leave a Comment

Title: Petraeus Vows 'Relentless' Pursuit of Taliban

You have 2000 characters left.


Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.

Please note that sending false messages to insult, defame, intimidate, mislead or deceive people or to intentionally cause public disorder is punishable under law. It is obligatory on Daijiworld to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.

Hence, sending offensive comments using daijiworld will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will be held responsible.