Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Petraeus responds

The other day I joined a reader in wondering about the silence of Gen. Petraeus in recent months. Here is the general’s response: My comment for your blog, Tom, in the wake of the speech: I agree with General McChrystal that the situation in Afghanistan is “serious,” but the mission is “doable.” Needless to say, ...

576062_091202_Rickspet85771936b2.jpg
576062_091202_Rickspet85771936b2.jpg

The other day I joined a reader in wondering about the silence of Gen. Petraeus in recent months. Here is the general's response:

My comment for your blog, Tom, in the wake of the speech:

The other day I joined a reader in wondering about the silence of Gen. Petraeus in recent months. Here is the general’s response:

My comment for your blog, Tom, in the wake of the speech:

I agree with General McChrystal that the situation in Afghanistan is “serious,” but the mission is “doable.” Needless to say, the tasks there are and will remain exceedingly challenging, complex, frustrating, and downright difficult. But we need to do all that we can to ensure that Afghanistan does not once again become a safe haven for Al Qaeda as it was before 9/11. The President’s policy establishes a clear mission (on which Secretary Gates will elaborate in his testimony) and provides the resources to accomplish it. We need to get the extra US and NATO/non-NATO coalition forces to Afghanistan as quickly as we can — and that’s what we’ll endeavor to do.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

More from Foreign Policy

Soldiers of the P18 Gotland Regiment of the Swedish Army camouflage an armoured vehicle during a field exercise near Visby on the Swedish island of Gotland on May 17.
Soldiers of the P18 Gotland Regiment of the Swedish Army camouflage an armoured vehicle during a field exercise near Visby on the Swedish island of Gotland on May 17.

What Are Sweden and Finland Thinking?

European leaders have reassessed Russia’s intentions and are balancing against the threat that Putin poses to the territorial status quo. 

Ukrainian infantry take part in a training exercise with tanks near Dnipropetrovsk oblast, Ukraine, less than 50 miles from the front lines, on May 9.
Ukrainian infantry take part in a training exercise with tanks near Dnipropetrovsk oblast, Ukraine, less than 50 miles from the front lines, on May 9.

The Window To Expel Russia From Ukraine Is Now

Russia is digging in across the southeast.

U.S. President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken participate in a virtual summit with the leaders of Quadrilateral Security Dialogue countries at the White House in Washington on March 12.
U.S. President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken participate in a virtual summit with the leaders of Quadrilateral Security Dialogue countries at the White House in Washington on March 12.

Why China Is Paranoid About the Quad

Beijing has long lived with U.S. alliances in Asia, but a realigned India would change the game.

Members of the National Defence Training Association of Finland attend a training.
Members of the National Defence Training Association of Finland attend a training.

Finns Show Up for Conscription. Russians Dodge It.

Two seemingly similar systems produce very different militaries.