Petraeus Downplays Afghan Drawdown

Insists Pullout Will Be 'Gradual'

Speaking today on National Public Radio, top Afghan commander Gen. David Petraeus reiterated just how slowly NATO’s withdrawal from Afghanistan would go, insisting that there was not going to be a “lights out” moment.

The comments come just a day after an interview with ABC News in which Petraeus insisted that the war could take another decade and that it was “like watching grass grow or paint dry.”

But instead of claiming the illusory “progress” in the NPR interview like he so often does, Petraeus instead conceded that the Taliban were making inroad in northern Afghanistan, a region in which they had an extremely limited presence before the 2001 US invasion.

It’s a process that has been ongoing for years,” Petraeus admitted, adding that “you take steps forwards but you also take steps backward.” Which perhaps explains why after nine years of claiming “progress” very little seems to have been accomplished.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.