‘We Can Continue To Disrupt’ the Taliban in Remote Areas of Afghanistan
Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-Del.) asked why the Taliban won’t simply reconstitute itself in the parts of Afghanistan that Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s population-security battle plan won’t flood with U.S. troops. It’s the Taliban version of the tried-and-true baseball strategy of hittin’ ‘em where they ain’t. Gen. David Petraeus’ sotto voce answer? The Joint Special Operations Command.
“The difference is, of course, in Afghanistan, we can go into those areas, we can continue to disrupt them,” Petraeus said. The Taliban “really reconstituted as much in remote areas of Pakistan,” while seeking to move into population-dense areas of Afghanistan. Further demonstrating the hybrid counterinsurgency-counterterrorism approach adopted by the administration, Petraeus continued, “We will be increasing our counterterrorist component of our strategy as well, and Gen. McChrystal may want to talk to you about that in closed session.” Did someone say JSOC? (Well, not in public, he didn’t.) “We’ve got to kill or capture those bad guys that are not reconcilable, and we are planning to do that, and we will have national mission force elements when the spring rolls around.”