US intelligence specialist: Petraeus put US lives at risk with PC war doctrine
Published: 19 November, 2012
Lieutenant Colonel John L. Cook was once a top counter-insurgency specialist trusted with the most sensitive missions, but his latest book, Afghanistan: The Perfect Failure, has turned him into the bête noir of the US military establishment.
Cook began his intelligence career in Vietnam, and his last assignment was four years in Afghanistan, where he oversaw the creation of the new local police force, until retiring in August this year.
While there he says he witnessed a new “politically correct” way of fighting that was meant to put a premium on the lives of local civilians, but instead paralyzed US soldiers and goaded the Taliban into ever more brazen operations. He also says that the Afghans’ lack of trust in their government means that US can never hope to win their hearts by supporting handpicked leaders in Kabul.
He lays much of the blame for US failures at the feet of General David Petraeus, who headed the US forces, first from Washington, and then directly on the ground, and established the rules of engagement.
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Winning over their hearts and minds? Or just mindless danger? (AFP Photo / Tony Karumba)