Meet the new, old boss in Afghanistan. Same as the old, old boss (as well as the old, new boss.) Spencer Ackerman:
In a new letter to the troops and civilians of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, their new commander, General David Petraeus, underlined a point he made in his confirmation hearings last week: the overall task is to secure the Afghan people from harm, but the rules of engagement won’t stop you from finishing fights with insurgents.We must destroy the village in order to save it, yadda yadda. This is where we're at after almost 9 years: still can't tell the good guys from the bad guys, so let God sort em out after the ordnance is done reshaping that "human terrain".
“We must also continue our emphasis on reducing the loss of innocent civilian life to an absolute minimum. We must never forget that the decisive terrain in Afghanistan is the human terrain,” Petraeus writes today in the letter. “Protecting those we are here to help nonetheless does require killing, capturing, or turning the insurgents. …[A]s you and our Afghan partners on the ground get into tough situations, we must employ all assets to ensure your safety, keeping in mind, again, the importance of avoiding civilian casualties.”
(Note the addition of “turning the insurgents,” a tweak of the typical kill/capture formulation, indicative of the Karzai government’s desire to “reintegrate” or “reconcile” with Taliban and other insurgent forces.)
Same as it ever was.