BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan (Nov. 6, 2008) – The top U.S. Commander for Iraq and Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus, visited Bagram Air Field Thursday to talk with commanders and get an updated assessment of the war on terror.
During his first visit to Afghanistan since becoming the commander of U.S. Central Command, Petraeus talked about the issues that Coalition forces are facing.
“Certain parts of Afghanistan have spiralled downward, but there has been continued progress in other areas, and that’s the challenge we have to confront,” Petraeus said. “Clearly there is additional emphasis, focus and resources that’s required for the Afghan-Pakistan region, and it is a region. These two countries can’t be looked at in isolation.”
Petraeus went on to explain what steps the U.S. is taking to better support operations in Afghanistan.
“The additional forces for Afghanistan have been requested by Gen. McKiernan and he has made his needs known,” Petraeus said. “The Coalition leaders and leaders at Central Command in the Pentagon have been working on those needs. The United States has already committed an additional U.S. Army Brigade Combat Team. That was made possible by offering one that was headed for a tour in Iraq.”
Petraeus also talked about President-elect Sen. Barrack Obama, and how Obama and his team will focus on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“There is a process that has already begun at the Pentagon,” Petraeus said. “That’s the discussion among the transition team members, President-elect Obama, the senior military leadership and the defense leadership. They will discuss objectives, resource requirements and then the relative degrees of risk.”
He finished the interview by talking about the troops and how they should react to their soon-to-be commander in chief.
“I think the troops should be very confident,” he said. “We swear an oath to obey the orders of the president of the United States. It’s a tradition that we fearlessly defend and cling to, and it’s one that we will all very much honor and look forward to honoring as President-elect Obama is inaugurated on the 20th of January.”