Petraeus: 'Fight hard' in Afghanistan but 'be a good guest'
WASHINGTON – A new set of Afghan counterinsurgency guidelines issued by General David Petraeus includes the instruction to "be a good guest" but urges troops to "fight hard" and get tough on corruption.
The three-page manifesto, dated July 27 and issued in Kabul, is a blueprint for the behavior of members of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, led by Petraeus.
Excerpts of the 24-point document include:
"Secure and serve the population. Only by providing them security and earning their trust... can the Afghan government and ISAF prevail.
"Live with the people: Position joint bases and combat posts as close to those we're seeking to secure as is feasible.
"Confront the culture of impunity: The Taliban are not the only enemy of the people. The people are also threatened by inadequate governance, corruption and abuse of power -- the Taliban's best recruiters.
"Fight hard and fight with discipline: Hunt the enemy aggressively but use only the firepower needed to win a fight. We... cannot kill or capture our way to victory. Moreover, if we kill civilians or damage their property in the course of our operations, we will create more enemies than our operations eliminate. That?s exactly what the Taliban want. Don?t fall into their trap.
"Identify and confront corrupt officials. President (Hamid) Karzai has said, 'My government is committed to fighting corruption with all means possible.' Help the government achieve that aim.
"Be a good guest. Treat the Afghan people and their property with respect."
Petraeus took over command of more than 140,000 US and NATO troops in Afghanistan on July 4 from General Stanley McChrystal.
McChrystal was removed last month after he and his aides showed disdain for administration officials -- and President Barack Obama -- in a Rolling Stone magazine profile.
Obama has said he wants to begin drawing down troops in mid-2011, creating a timetable for the Afghan security forces to be able to take responsibility from the foreign forces.