A Conversation with Gen. David Petraeus

i’m nick suppose and i wanted to welcome all of you to this incredible opportunity we have to have General Petraeus on our campus a conversation with one of our great national leaders and one of our distinguished faculty and the questions actually come from you the audience you submitted the questions beforehand and I was privileged to have lunch with the general and he is as knowledgeable and insightful I just wish I could appoint him to our faculty he’s actually quite qualified but let me tell you a little bit about his good friend and I think a main reason he came here and it’s my law colleague Mike Newton Mike is a member of the law faculty he is a West Point graduate and he has a long distinguished military career served in uniform for 20 years he then really became an expert on the law of war and the principles and the rules that govern hostilities and the conduct and accountability of those engaged in war Michael also served as an adviser to the Iraqi high tribunal and it should be a not a surprise at all that he is the co-author of an award-winning book called enemy of the state the trial and the execution of Saddam Hussein so we are very lucky to have Mike on our faculty teaching our future leaders talking about leaders let me just say a few words about this remarkable individual he is an top graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point he is also a top graduate of the United States Army command and General Staff College as if he had all this spare time he also decided it might be good to go back and get a PhD as an officer and of course he picked an easy program he decided he would attend Princeton University and get a PhD and do a dissertation on international relations in addition to of that he has had a long and distinguished military career that we are fortunate to say continues he has worked with presidents and administration’s from both political parties he has served a number of tours of duty in Iraq and he was the top commander in Iraq for 10 months at the end of October 2008 he was promoted to be chief of the US Central Command and has responsibility for the important part of the world that is drawing so much of our attention let me quite simply say he is one of the most distinguished and visionary and indeed influential leaders of our 21st century it’s my honor to introduce professor Mike Newton and General David Petraeus that all right Thank You general thank you so much well thank you very much for that very much over-the-top introduction chancellor occasionally I note after some very kind words like that that I’ve done an introduction once or twice in my life and never taken all that seriously since then but it’s very kind of you it is wonderful to be back here in Nashville and Music City at Vanderbilt I’ll mention my abiding love for this place in a moment and why I remain grateful for what you do here especially at your medical center but I do want to congratulate you first Chancellor and all of you really on what has been achieved here in recent years you know we’ve got a great team of researchers there that tell us about the places we’re going to visit and their words about this great institution this national asset we’re every bit as glowing as the ones that you just used in introducing me and I appreciate that very much it really is a pleasure to see so many old friends here so many distinguished individuals in this audience there are civilian age the Secretary of the army Jack it’s great to see you back here I know that the mayor is here somewhere your honor where did you go here he was here by golly it’s given me giving me

guidance of course your congressman at least one condo two congressmen are here well Congress man and a congresswoman is great to see you again congressman Cooper and Marsha it’s wonderful to see thanks to both of you for taking such good care of our men and women in uniform and their families at Great Fort Campbell the home of the wonderful Screaming Eagles Special Operations Aviation Regiment 5th Special Forces Group and a host of other wonderful units I I’ve often said I used to say when I was the commander at Fort Campbell that no installation no post in America had better neighbors than those outside our gates and I said it with great sincerity and I say it again to you here today and I remain very grateful to all of you for the way that you’ve looked after our and women in uniform and their families especially since 9/11 we’ve been engaged in some tough tough efforts we have troopers who have now gone back and their fourth full year tour in some cases I was just in Afghanistan last week asked for a show of hands of how many at a particular combat outpost had more than 36 months in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11 and quite a number of them raised their hands they do that by the way for a variety of reasons and prominent among those reasons is their sense that what they are doing is appreciated by their fellow citizens and I appreciate that very much more than you can can ever know by the way on the way here I got an email from another old friend bill har pal I’ll die mom out here he sent me an email typically trenchant Observation heard you’re speaking at Vanderbilt he said you can use big words there but again it’s also a privilege to be on the stage with Mike he is indeed what your Chancellor said he is he is one of the foremost international legal scholars when it comes to certain international law issues he’s well known for that he is a reason I am here actually he Dragoons me a year or so ago we couldn’t make it at that time but we’re finally here and this is a little bit bigger than that class we originally were going to sit down have a beer somewhere have a little seminar on something by the way I did I wrote down by the way Chancellor about that job offer that you made you know I got guy in my line of work never know his honey might little job security is a good thing you know I mentioned I should talk about my personal connection with your University because some 20 years ago or so I basically had my life saved here we were out on a range I was at battalion Kim Hyung battalion commander at that time and the great hundred first Airborne Division we’re out in a bigger aggressive live-fire maneuver live-fire exercise one of our great troopers knocked out a bunker with a grenade he went and came spinning around and he tripped very hard fell literally knocked himself out for a moment as he did we think he squeezed off around and that round having to go through my chest and thankfully I wasn’t wearing a flak vest at that time because that round went through and pretty clean and made a little bit bigger hole in the back but it kept on going and you know I’ve told over the years that it took enormous skill and instant reflexes to dive in front of my boss to take the round for him nobody quite bought that but I was standing next to general Keane at the time that is a fact and there’s a little bit of Mythology that’s built up over the years you know something about me piloting my own medevac aircraft down to Vanderbilt and I was you know tell him steer left steer right but no I was just trying to stay alive but I mean I ended up they took me they medevac me to the post Hospital there they put a chest tube in me without anesthesia which there any kind of pain which is an interesting experience it’s the only time I’ve ever had a doctor say this is going to really hurt and it and he was right and you know it’s also not true I didn’t actually do the perform the surgery myself either right in fact it was done by as some of you may know by doctor Bill Frist at that time he was still just a thoracic surgery just a threat highly successful leading thoracic surgeon in the United States and thankfully he was in the area they called him in it was a Saturday he came in and started you know civilian doctors want to talk to you I don’t I don’t mean I don’t know what this is all about in the military you know you sort of put your hands and the experts you know say let’s get on with it so anyway I’m laying flat on my back and I’m not breathing all that well because I had a hole in my lung and he’s asking you know well do you have any questions about the

procedure I said heck no let’s get on with it he said well you know are you sure you don’t have any questions by the way this is after I’d had to give him my insurance information or something by the way I also had camouflage on you know those days we used to wear this green and what black camouflage and people kept going by me and you know I think they thought they could get the paddles out real quick this guy’s he’s going down for the count but anyway so I’m on my back they’re about to wheel me and he said finally well you sure you don’t have any questions and I said well okay where did you go to college doctor and and he said Princeton I said super and I say how about medical school he said Harvard I said let’s go anyway so we did that and now what is true that was you know I got a little bit impatient at the pace that they were allowing me to recover so there was a moment when I figured I’d try to show him that I was ready to be checked out of the hospital this is actually when I was back up at Fort Campbell and so pulled a couple tubes out and did 50 pushups now by the way I want you to know it’s the only time in my life I’ve ever stopped at 50 pushups and it’s only because the doctor made me not anyway actually I had some wonderful troopers in those days and this is what they gave me afterwards this is the top of a box of MREs they cut it out you don’t get a Purple Heart actually for getting shot by your own troops unfortunately but they put one on here as you can see here’s a little little Purple Heart it’s got a dummy cord on it because we used to tie everything down in those days it’s a little bit of a fetish of ours and in fact even the trooper himself wrote something right here we had the chaplain bring him down here to Vanderbilt Medical Center told me needed to shoot a little straighter next time or something but we sent him to Ranger School nonetheless is a great trooper but so we got a big connection and and again it’s great to be back here it’s great to be back in a basketball season during which I understand you’ve beaten Tennessee twice yeah ranked in the top 25 no less that is great stuff I will say nothing about the army Vanderbilt football game of course it’s great to see some members of the military community here I think there’s a bunch of ROTC battalion students here somewhere they’re aware stand up say hooah please stand up and be counted alrighty there you are this is this is the mighty Gogol battalion I’m told I’m told that by the way by my executive officer Colonel bill Hickman who is the cadet battalion commander here back in 1982 1983 got his bachelor’s degree here and then did an MBA here as well and I’m delighted that he’s not only my exec but that his father is here and members of his family are here as well that may be how this thing popped up on the calendar after all maybe you weren’t so important it was telling the whole family was there Tennessee’s a generals new agent generals here stand up please max two months into the job whoo served us with us there in Iraq for a year as a member of the headquarters of the mighty 18th Airborne Corps from that other post to the east here Fort Bragg or something like that it styles itself the center of the military universe but we really know where the center of the military universe is and it’s surrounded by Oak Grove Clarksville hop town and Nashville a little of the south ok gosh I think that’s probably enough Mike when you go ahead and hit me with the first high and hard one here and if I can I might get up and walk around a little bit make a stuff for the TV cameras there it’s your stage sir and I do need to say a couple of thank-yous mostly before I forget in the first place it’s really important to reach out and thank the directors the leadership of the International Legal Studies program and the leadership of the College of Arts and Science your generosity your financial support the the encouragement the leadership makes these kinds of events possible Thank You number one thank you number two you’d be shocked sir you know you have a professional staff you see them day in and day out it’s been a real privilege and a joy to work with your staff I have to tell you though the Vanderbilt staff has met them step 4 step 4 step the Vanderbilt staff was better I’m super I better get him back out training that I never had a team of team we’re not proud to be step to step with anybody that’s a team of team princey louis i don’t know where prince scene is if you know prince scene and next time you see her you shake her hand she’s a heroine Prince scene Lewis bet fortune my co professor in the fall we

did this course that you refer to humanities 161 and it took it took brilliance to conceive it it took some guts and some leadership to allow us to teach it we did a very sophisticated interdisciplinary course on the war in Iraq that was conceived of by Katherine Carroll and the leadership of the College of Arts and Sciences led us do it many of those students are here and the third thank you I want to make is to those students and to the law students and so many other students that are here what we do at Vanderbilt sir is focused on educational excellence so and I got to tell you candidly the best questions came from them piercing questions the first question actually is the most common question submitted and I suspect it came from a lot of our students every single day in this university we do a form of small unit leadership that’s really what we do we mentor we teach we coach and I think you’d be pleasantly surprised if you if you mingle with them and many of them aspire to public service how many of them want to be leaders they yearn for that and so many of them I didn’t count actually but many of them have asked you for your mentorship what advice would you give these young emerging leaders what values to focus on what traits what would you say to them if you knew each of them individually well let me actually talk about perhaps the duties of a leader I usually will cast this as as the duties of a strategic leader but the truth is that the duties of leadership at any level and you not just a commander but the leader of a staff section leader of an organization of any type I think the duties are similar and they are as follows you have to try to get the big ideas right first and foremost and the truth is that the surge in Iraq was not just a surge of forces it was also and more importantly a surge of ideas we change the absolute approach that we were taking we change the big ideas we focus for example and security of the population first and foremost and recognize that you can only do that by living with the people you can’t commute to the fight you have to be there with them with your Iraqi counterparts we fostered reconciliation we promoted that we supported the concept of living our values of being first with the truth a whole host of admonitions if you will that comprise the counterinsurgency guidance that I issued and the big ideas some of which literally announced in the very first day during my change-of-command remarks and then echoed in a letter that I sent out to all our troopers so again first job any organization get the big ideas right the second is of course having developed those ideas you’ve got to try to educate the organization on them typically by first the educating the leaders immediately below you but then getting those big ideas echoed and re-echoed throughout the breadth and depth of the organization and ideally convincing people of their sheer wisdom and power so that they actually embrace them and if the big ideas are right you ought to be able to do that with 90 or 95% of the people and the rest of them you can sort of bring along so now you’ve got the big ideas right you got the organization and the leaders understanding them believing them realizing how to turn them into reality and then of course you have to oversee the implementation of the big ideas and you have to do that by going out seeing for yourself sharing risk and hardship when you’re in this line of work you know the sergeant-major Hill great old 101st Airborne Division SAR major still reminds me periodically you know he says soldiering is still an outdoor sports er let’s so you’ve got to get out and oversee the implementation and then you have to capture best practices worst practices lessons that the institution needs to learn and you then refine the big ideas on the basis of what you’ve seen out there how you see it applied you then transmit those to the leaders oversee their implementation and so forth and so it’s a continuous process but I think again this is as true of someone who’s leading a platoon of 30 soldiers who may be leading a university organization certainly leading the university itself but again I think at any level those concepts are what describe what leaders have to do now part of implementation of course is to get the very best people into place to get the resources and all the rest there’s a host of other tasks and and so on and I congratulate you on the billion dollars plus for example in terms of resources that you have garnered for this great university but that’s I think again for any leader at any level those are the responsibilities and it’s about how you apply those at the appropriate level with an understanding of the circumstances in which you’re you’re

taking action that are the key to success so we have a wonderfully diverse audience of community leaders many many of our young students who will one day wear the uniform of the Republic people from all varieties of walks of life leaders require the lead so I wanted to take just a second up front and have you orient people to the central command what is the concept of a combatant commander scope of CENTCOM just so that people have a common perspective sure of your of your area of responsibilities and then we’ll focus on some specific that would be great plus it also gives us a chance to exercise the you know the the inalienable right you know there’s a first and right right and you know it’s free speech is among those there’s a little asterisk on that actually if you ever look down the fine prints usually too small for most folks but if you blow it up it says in there that it is the inalienable right of every four-star Army General to use PowerPoint slides when communicating when exercising his First Amendment rights with laser pointer and so but it also enables us to test our folks back in the booth who are sitting up there right now sweating bullets thinking which slide is he gonna ask staff work and this is part of the joy of the conversation is to see how quick they can respond but if you can throw up the slide that shows the Central Command area of responsibility and that probably be a good idea and I’ll walk around a tiny bit here and so here we are Central Command is basically 20 countries first of all actually why don’t you back it up one take it to all of the geographic combatant commands just to show you where we fit in the grand scheme of things they are on their game today okay there are six geographic combatant commands and the so called if you will the war fighting commands and we divide the world up into areas of responsibility and you can see here where Central Command fits and interestingly as you can see it’s the smallest of the six geographic combatant commands but we’re proud to note that it clearly has far and away the most problems now if you go to the next slide we’ll go to the one that shows our area of responsibility again what this area encompasses is 20 countries from Egypt in the West to Pakistan in the east kazakhstan and the other Central Asian states in the north down to Yemen and indeed I want to make sure you know that we have the waters off Somalia because that adds pirates to our mix as well Johnny Depp as we say now in that area what we do is we endeavor to work with the host nations we work with all of our different civilian agency counterparts obviously from the State Department every country there with the exception of Iran actually Syria doesn’t have an ambassador either right now it has a chargee they’ve just nominated one but we work very closely with the the ambassadors the u.s. ambassadors we work with state department counterparts assistant secretaries literally all the way up to the secretary and some occasions with other interagency elements and certainly of course very much with all of the different intelligence agencies who have elements out here as well do you have a slide that shows who’s in that in the command do you have the one that shows the different elements that that we have and while you’re looking for that actually let me just talk about this observation on the bottom we did a strategic assessment all commanders typically when they take command of an organization do some kind of assessment we pulled a couple hundred people together civilian as well as military and looked at the different sub regions looked at the functional issues within the Central Command area of responsibility and we’re looking at big ideas do we have the big ideas right and the biggest of the big ideas that emerge from that was a recognition that countering terrorism countering extremism really requires more than just counter-terrorist forces in other words you don’t do in al-qaeda you certainly don’t do in an industrial-strength insurgency like the one we faced in Iraq with just Delta Force SEAL Team six and the other so-called high end special mission unit elements of the Joint Special Operations Command indeed it takes much much more than that it takes a whole-of-government approach and with an S on the end actually because it’s not just our government its whole of governments you got to have partners in these endeavors you know Winston Churchill had it right I think when he said that the only thing worse than allies was not having any so you want to have partners and we want to make it a whole of governments but it’s a civil military comprehensive approach that is necessary now in terms of the assets that we have again just to put this all in perspective these are the other geographic combatant commanders and then the specified commanders as well special ops command strategic

command Transcom in Joint Forces Command but we by law work for the Secretary of Defense so we tend to do it through the Chairman a fair amount of the time now there are components that we have there’s a three-star Army General three-star Marine general four-star commander in Iraq three-star naval commander he’s out in Bahrain four-star in Afghanistan three-star Air Force commander in based in Qatar and then a two-star special ops commander we also have the standing counter-terrorist unit three-star JSOC is in our region about 95 percent of the time as well and his forces deployed there work for us also and this just sort of shows basically the main headquarters that are out there somewhere I think the latest count actually that I saw today is a bit over 210 thousand soldiers sailors airmen Marines and Coast Guardsmen there’s another probably tens of thousands of Department of Defense civilians and probably about 200,000 contractors in fact as well a lot of discussion about that latter number by the way including on Congress and in Capitol Hill and I think appropriately so but the fact is that they enable us to do a lot more with those in uniform by performing a number of the tasks particularly on our bases like preparing food and repairing vehicles and a whole host of other tasks performed in our bases throughout the region that allow us not to have to have soldiers sailors airmen Marines and Coast Guardsmen doing those tasks and our forces can be out doing what only they can do which is outside the wire carrying out these tough missions that we have on the ground next question well sir you you focused on the big ideas to take your word yeah one of the big ideas of course to come out of the strategic reassessment was that you can’t kill or capture your way out of the problem so if you take that big idea and you operationalize it what does it look like tactically how does that then drive all the way down to the to the local village level well let me illustrate actually something in fact we showed it on Capitol Hill it’s called the Anaconda slide because it illustrates the point I was trying to make on that particular day was that again it takes more than just counter-terrorist forces to deal with al-qaeda in Iraq so this is how we conceptualize what we were doing this is again for a specific element specific enemy in Iraq it was the al Qaeda and associated movements inside Iraq these elements right here and there are a whole bunch of different groups in addition to a Qi but a Qi was the biggest on Soros in a second next now these elements require these qualities these items to sustain their activities obviously they’ve got to have a flow of weapons and explosives because they’re using that up they often need foreign fighters in Iraq there are somewhere around 120 foreign fighters a month at the height of it coming in through Syria very serious problem because a number of them were blowing themselves up now it’s down under ten or so per month they’ve got to have areas in which they can plan perform medical care rehabilitate take a break and so forth do some training and so that’s the safe havens they got to have some degree of popular support so they can move freely throughout different areas there’s typically some form of ideology certainly an extremist ideology in the case of al-qaeda they have to be able to communicate and direct their forces command and control money is the oxygen in these movements in fact truthfully a lot of what they do is about money there are don’t get me wrong at the top of these organizations there are true believers but an awful lot of the rest of it is just about a money and power and then they typically have a link al Qaeda in Iraq certainly had a link to al Qaeda senior leadership in the border areas of Pakistan now what we had to do is put pressure on all of these all of their needs we had to try to take them away challenge them reduce their access to them next and so we have to do it simultaneously and the point what I was trying to make on Capitol Hill this is back in September 2007 in the testimony back then it was that it takes more than just military forces to do this and specifically more than just counter-terrorist forces next now you do need counter-terrorist forces and indeed we killed or captured a substantial number of the worst of the worst of al Qaeda including Cowie who is the the best leader that they had in Iraq it takes conventional forces to take away the safe havens and sanctuaries and deny them from the enemy so not just clear and leave but clear and hold that was another one of the big ideas obviously is that you just couldn’t go into an area disrupt it get the enemy out and then leave it if you do though enemy will come back you had to stay in it so this is again living with the people and then obviously over

time we wanted to get more and more Araki conventional special ops forces and then we were able to get something called sons of Iraq ultimately at one hundred three thousand of these individuals working for us on our payroll these are basically local men who wanted to help keep al-qaeda out of their area actually we had some that were also hired to keep the militia out because there is also another anaconda slide for the Shia extremist threat this being the Sunni extremist threat primarily next but it takes much more than that it took politics you have to get into that these tribal awakenings were what produced the Sons of Iraq this is where we linked up with tribes and we said we will support you if you want to get al Qaeda out of your area or we’ll even do it for you which is typically what had to happen or we did it together and so that was what led to this pool of men it also led to volunteers for the military and so on and then you solidify that with reconciliation that actually is codified in law hopefully certainly in policies the Iraqis had a Reconciliation Commission and so forth over time and needless to say we’re constantly on the lookout for Sunni Shia Arab Kurd and other types of tensions that could produce more violence and so again you have to be very much in tune with that by the way of course it has to be a civil military effort in Ambassador Crocker and I published a civil military campaign plan very early on after agreeing that we were going to achieve unity of effort in what we did between the embassy and the multinational force Iraq next intelligence drives everything we’ve had breakthroughs in every discipline of intelligence including of course the proliferation of unmanned aerial vehicles that give us full motion video and various signals intelligence packages and a variety of other tools but the fact is it wasn’t the breakthrough in any one discipline it was key it was a fusion of all those the real breakthrough was infusing the products of all of the different intelligence disciplines and we actually created fusion cells fusion centers we required we had a big huge room we made the conventional forces the special mission units of Special Forces the CIA dia NSA nga coalition elements host nation reps all sit in the same room all with their feeds their their pipes or communications or digits or screens and everything else and had to sit together and we couldn’t didn’t allow barriers no walls and they actually had to talk together and it was amazing what happened when they did that next detainee operations were a big deal we had 27,000 detainees at the height of this I stopped the release of detainees when I first got there because it was a catch and release program we were basically not allowing the not creating the conditions in which our soldiers could live their valleys if they thought the guy is going to be back out on the street within a few days they might not take a surrender the next time not a good position to be in and so we reformed our detainee operations we did rehabilitation of the detainees we dramatically reduced the recidivism rate of those who released were Denton now down to somewhere around 5,500 detainees and coming down and about to transfer a couple thousand more to the Iraqis it’s really been a quite a considerable success I think especially considering where we were in the challenges I mean we basically were running terrorist University we didn’t know who the hardest of the hardcore were they would run these enclosures of 800 people and they were turning what were probably moderate bad guys into very bad guys right there underneath our eyes and so we had to get some counterintelligence in there we had to understand inside the wire what was happening just as we were seeking to understand what was going on outside the wire you have to identify who the irreconcilable czar and they have to be removed from the rest of the population next now at the end of the day you have to also help the host nation try to come to grips with the reasons why people might be drawn to extremism in the first place and that’s this whole issue of inadequate opportunity basically lack of decent education lack of basic services inadequate employment opportunities and all the rest of that and we got engaged again with our civilian counterparts and with our host nation counterparts and work those next and then you had to work outside the country we work through secondary countries to get to Syria we worked with source countries through the State Department Counter Terrorist office to try to make it harder for military aged males to fly in a one-way ticket from these different countries to Damascus from which they would go into Iraq and that also helped out a great deal tightened up the borders and then you have to get active in the information campaign the fact is we did not have an adequate information

Operations task force at all we basically just had a public affairs apparatus and that was not sufficient you have to have something that the members of Congress down here would know and recognize is actually a political campaign organization of a substantial campaign and you have to have media monitoring you have to try it we were first with the truth was our objective we weren’t about spin in fact I refuse to put lipstick on pigs in the spring of 2007 folks would say hey you’re making progress why don’t you go out and tell people I said I will let the press discover it so the most important commodity we have right now is our credibility and I am NOT going to risk it by prematurely announcing what appears to be progress when it happens they’ll see it in fact an old boss of mine came out put his arm around my shoulder this is as late as July of 2007 I think and said you know I’m starting to see some good stuff happening here all the rest of that he said I think you got there’s a perceptions problem out here and I said sir with all due respect what we have is a results problem and as a results keep getting better those perceptions will change and we’ll let that happen but you have to get active in that one of the big issues that I think in fact Congress is trying to come to grips with this so is it the executive branch and military services is what should we be doing in cyberspace cyberspace is a battlefield people are out there competing they are fighting in cyberspace it’s a battle of ideas it’s people are proselytizing it’s how the you many American cleric Anwar Awlaki in Yemen was able to reach out and touch some of the individuals some were attracted to him the alleged the Fort Hood doctor for example the Detroit bomber and so on so we’ve got to figure out how we’re going to operate there how much more active can we be while still again obviously maintaining First Amendment it’s another very important basic freedoms but this is what it takes it takes a whole-of-government approach and that again is the biggest of the big ideas about the overall effort because you can draw this out now and make it a regional approach and that’s what we have sought to do when it comes to combating extremism in the overall area of responsibility something that we generally assess as having made some progress over the course of last year in diminishing al-qaeda overall albeit with growth it down in Yemen although Yemen many authorities certainly have addressed some of that since the strikes in December and some other operations well sorry thing it’s clear that it does take a coordinated integrated governmental effort which which we have not seen frankly at some times in places either in this conflict or certainly in previous conflicts and the question that we got from a lot of people is what structural changes are we making now to integrate better State Department bureaucracy the ability to do micro grants very quickly for example that’s just an example or have we left it to be personality dependent are we making some structural changes to entrench these gains and then move forward in future conflicts we we have made structural changes in fact Congress has helped us the commander’s emergency reconstruction program is hugely important initiative and the money that they’ve provided for military commanders on the ground to do that the Provincial Reconstruction Team concept another very important one and then just the sheer concept of a civil military campaign plan you know ambassador Richard Holbrooke and I my diplomatic wingman for Afghanistan Pakistan will go out to the region in April and we will host a civil military review of concept drill rock drill as the military knows it will be all the civilian leadership u.s. civilian leadership and some of the coalition partners and some Afghan representatives all the military leadership together and we will walk our way through the campaign plan and that will be hugely important at the end of the day though personalities do still matter without question you can have the finest structures in the world but it also still takes personalities to make it work I was very fortunate obviously to have I think greatest diplomat in recent year is in ambassador Ryan Crocker as my counter diplomatic counterpart there in Baghdad as I mentioned we sat down on day one actually before day one before I when I called him he was still the ambassador in Pakistan when I took over and we agreed that we were going to work together and that cooperation was not optional it was mandatory and we waited by the way also for someone to think that we weren’t exactly straight and saying that that we didn’t mean it and obviously we then established that we did mean it so that’s hugely important you know why don’t I go to there’s a slide on Afghanistan that’s probably worth talking about because it explains what we’ve tried to do over the course of the last year and that’s related to this so if you can give me the puzzle slide maybe and just put the first one of

those up there what we have done over the course of the last year in Iraq is to try to get in Afghanistan is to try to get the inputs right the fact is we learned a great deal in Iraq about what it takes to carry out to make progress in a civil military campaign plan and with that knowledge recognizing that Afghanistan is not Iraq there’s a host of differences and obviously you have to fine-tune every lesson that you may take from any location to the circumstances of the location which you’re going to apply it but we knew off the bat we needed to make some significant changes the four-star in Afghanistan was not dual had it as he was a US Army four-star NATO commander but he was not dual had it as the u.s. four-star commander on the ground we fixed that they didn’t have a three-star operational level headquarters we’ve built one now with a great general in charge of it as I’ll mention NATO training mission didn’t exist it does now now it was to star level now it’s three star level rule-of-law Task Force didn’t have that function something we learned the necessity again in Iraq if you’re going to support what’s called reintegration in Afghanistan reckon reintegration of reconcilable is you’ve got to have an outfit that oversees it and has an intelligence element that helps you determine who is reconcilable and who isn’t I mean it’s hugely this is the essence of this stuff and we didn’t have a reintegration cell we do now to start UK officer in charge of it combine all the special operations these are a lot of different disparate special ops units some under NATO some not got to get them achieving unity of effort built that fusion cells as I mentioned and information Operations Task Force didn’t have one of those now interestingly same guy that did the IO Task Force in Iraq is now doing the IO task force in Afghanistan you know the reward for one good deed is the opportunity to do another next slide and that’s this next piece so we got the best people we could find and put him in charge and you’re familiar with these investor I can very general McChrystal you know huge experience in the region former Joint Special Operations Command commander he was working for us in Iraq with his forces trying to hammer al Qaeda and learning about reconciliation all the rest of that during the surge new special representative of the secretary-general Stefan de Mistura same when we worked with in Baghdad fantastic UN officer great UK ambassador who will be the NATO senior civilian rep and the three-star operational commander three-star NATO training mission commander three-star detainee operations commander two-star I Oh Task Force Commander next and then we worked on getting the big ideas right now we got the structures the people now you can actually get into this area as talking about earlier which is the big ideas the unity of effort a civil military campaign plan counterinsurgency guidance the tactical directive on the use of close air support so that we minimize civilian casualties I mean we could not have any more tactical victories that were strategic setbacks because in the course of killing a few dozen Taliban you also killed a dozen or so civilians you cannot do that and general McChrystal is very rightly implemented this or still or incidents there will be in war but we’ve got to drive them to the absolute minimum or you undermine your entire effort I mean we even have a tactical driving director the way we drove in Afghanistan was so egregious that we probably be better off just staying on the Bay because every time it went off and drove around town they made more enemies than they made friends with whatever mission they were on so again pretty important stuff then start thinking about how to do reintegration limit night raids I mentioned the civil mill campaign plan which would probably ought to pull up to the very top and then local defense initiatives and some other items there next and then you got to get the resources to enable that and so you know we did get a lot more forces over the course of last year but then another thirty thousand authorized by President Obama’s print as part of the AfPak strategy review policy that he announced in early December at West Point NATO forces kicking in additional forces this will more than I think it almost tripled the number of civilians on the ground additional funding and then the authorization of a hundred thousand additional Afghan national security forces who ultimately are the key to us transitioning tasks to them so that we can ultimately thin out our forces and begin to hand off security missions to them so over the course of the last year we were to get the inputs right and what you’re seeing in Afghanistan now are the beginnings of the output the initial operation in Marja and so forth and this will be the initial this is the initial operation of a 12 to 18 month campaign plan it is going to be hard you know

people ask me constantly are you optimistic or you pessimistic and my response is that I’m realistic and the reality is that Iraq has been hard it’s going to stay hard and it is hard all the time the fact is I was asked to go to Afghanistan on the way home for my second tour in Iraq when I stood up the train-and-equip mission there by secretary Rumsfeld so we detoured took a team over there looked at some areas that he wanted us to explore and the fact is I came back and this is when Iraq was going swimmingly we were winning and there was the term in those days it was the good war and I said you know with all due respect mr secretary I think Afghanistan is going to be the longest campaign in the long war the term that we used at that time and I think that sadly has proven to be correct but let us not forget why we are there that is where the 9/11 attacks were planned that’s where the initial training for the attackers was conducted before they went to the to Hamburg or to Germany and then on to us flight schools we cannot allow that country to again become a sanctuary or safe haven for transnational extremists amen I want to ask you if you’re optimistic or pessimistic but I would like to ask you for a second to take a take a look backwards for those who don’t follow these things closely we happen to be 90 days to the day away from the West Point speech the announcement of the change in Afghanistan policy you use the phrase unity of effort which is of course for those who don’t know a core military term and the principle of war a core principle of warfare the difficulty is of course that you’ve got you’re dealing with foreign governments unity of effort NATO political dynamics the u.s domestic political dynamic the dynamics in theater and as we mentioned between state etc can you talk us through that process of developing a unified cohesive strategy in Afghanistan to extrapolate the lessons learned from Iraq what was that like and how hard was it well you have two dynamics here you have the u.s dynamic and we are certainly the biggest contributor of troops of funding of civilians and so on and so that’s a pretty important dynamic and the process that we went through frankly with the president over the course of the fall leading up to that speech at West Point was I thought really a very healthy and very good process we had for example some 10 meetings if you count the final smaller Oval Office session we had in a Sunday evening shortly before he announced the policy where we met with him that’s an extraordinary number of meetings some of these sessions were as long as three hours I mean again at a huge commitment of time by the commander in chief and we really batted ideas around and challenged assumptions and refined concepts and narrowed objectives and all the rest of this in a way that I thought was was truly units certainly unique in my ex variance and again I thought it was very productive and very use useful there is also a process than with NATO and that is a process of course again our civilian leadership and then there is a force to our US Navy officer who is the supreme Allied commander Europe the NATO commander if you will he’s also dual had it as the European Command regional combatant commander and they were all involved in that and certainly general McChrystal and both his us had in his NATO hat needless to say and again that process I think went went well yes there are caveats that some units have and others restrictions that some countries place in their forces and the fact is there have always been caveat scosh when I was the operational chief in Bosnia for example and we had countries I don’t know 15 20 25 countries that had meaningful ground contributions i had a matrix on the on my desk underneath the glass on my desk and it had the countries down the left side and the tasks across the top and it had a checkmark in the box as to whether that country would do that task and whether we’re doing it in sown area outside its in his divisional area or in the whole country I mean this is what life is like and you get over it throughout southern Iraq we had coalition units when I was the commander in Iraq that had a variety of different caveats some spoken some unspoken and the challenge for a military commander candidly is to take what he gets state is requirements certainly I mean that’s our job our job is not to try to anticipate what Congress will want to hear or what the White House wants to hear our job should be to state the requirements as we see them to accomplish the mission that the president has laid out to us and that’s what we sought to do in both the Iraq

decision-making process and in the Afghan and any process frankly in in each level up has broader concerns that they factor in that’s appropriate and the president has more broad concerns than all of us and that is okay that’s that is reality but you get again the forces that are provided to you some from various countries may have some limitations on them or restrictions and then it’s the trick of figuring out how do you put it all together and make it work as best you can but that caveat so you know there’s never been a commander either who’s ever had you know enough probably money forces authorities you name it I mean it is always but at the end of the day having stated what you need having gotten what you got it’s your job to put it together and then to figure out how to accomplish the mission with that now there can come a point at which you you have to go back and say I can’t do it with this and so we have to refocus or do something like that but we’re certainly not at that point in either of these endeavors so it’s fair to say that you’re applying the inalterable fundamental principles of war that have been around since clausal which you’re applying them in a wholly new strategic concept which leads me to ask a question one of the few questions that i will read to you directly from a student you can tell this came from a student and i think you’ll appreciate it quote if you could write your doctoral dissertation again which for those who may not be aware the doc never ever wake up in a cold sweat every now and then thinking that my god i’m still i haven’t finished that dissertation well let me read there some here who appreciate me rephrase that slightly if he wanted to rewrite your doctoral dissertation on an assigned taiwanese i would check myself into an institution if that were the case and and here’s your assigned topic from your learning faculty again referring to the strategic context within which we operate we’ve talked a long time about the strategic corporal yeah here’s your assigned topic the american military learned what lessons from abu ghraib and what are the strategic implications please outline your main headings well I mean what they outline for me is that you have to live your values and that there’s two arguments for living your values by the way one is that it’s the right thing to do there will be some folks that won’t buy that actually or they’ll have a different interpretation of what the right thing to do is they’ll say well the enemy doesn’t have to do that maybe we ought to be a little expedient to and then I would provide the if you will the the realistic approach the practical approach and that is that every time we have taken expedient measures every time we’ve had something like Abu Ghraib which by the way that is a non-biodegradable that is never going away those photos are always there that memory is always present and it will be replayed and replayed on televisions and the internet throughout the Central Command region and throughout the world and every time something like that happens you suffer from it you you really get bitten in the backside by those kinds of activities so you must live your values again I believe we should live the values but again if someone doesn’t buy that believe the practical reality and that is if you don’t live your values you’re going to pay for it in the long run and you know again that’s the contribution that mike has made by the way you know operational lawyers in my view by the way and I’ve said this at the home of the army legal school and so forth which of course you attended there in Charlottesville Virginia they’re very important elements and what it is that we do and they generally help us to determine the right way to do something they’re not hindrances or not roadblocks or not obstacles you know we sit down and say this is what we need to do we think this is the right thing to do help us to ensure that we’re doing it in the proper way that we have the proper authorities and all the rest of that well let me extrapolate that down into the tactical level we’ve heard and we had wonderful noncommissioned officers that came into our class and you could hurt a pin drop as they talk to students about their experiences when an American goes into those settings with breathtaking self-discipline and professionalism and selfless service what difference does it make how do they know they’ll see it well first of all it makes all the difference in the world to have those qualities you use the term a moment ago strategic corporal or strategic lieutenant we joined that term to ensure that those leaders those individuals realize that their tactical actions their action at the ground level that the smallest of small units could have strategic implications they can have good strategic implications when they do something fantastic that again is echoed and re-echoed out well beyond the confines of their location or they can have bad strategic connotations if

something untoward is done and it also echoes Andry echoes I mean we had a sniper one time who decided to do target practice with a page out of the Koran when I was the commander of multinational force Iraq and needless to say getting that phone call was you know was was not one that that I welcomed and but in this case every leader I think did exactly the right action at the low level the brigade commander the minute you realized it went found that the most important shake and the other shakes in that area and said I apologized personally here’s what we’re doing about this case here’s what we’re going to do to educate our troopers to make sure that this kind of thing doesn’t happen again and that went all the way up the chain to where I apologized to Prime Minister Maliki in fact President Bush actually got her in a video teleconference and personally apologized to Prime Minister Maliki as well we went public with it immediately we were first with the truth we told the press what had happened we told them what we were doing about it we told them what would learn from it and we told them what we would do in the future to try to prevent such situations so and of course professor Carroll served on a Human Terrain team so that’s that’s one example what else are we doing to increase cultural awareness we’ve spent a long time we’ve spent decades focusing on being you know the best pr1 competitor to win the conventional war and now we’ve really fundamentally shifted our core you talk about shifting the big ideas what are we doing to increase the cultural awareness so they really can take American values and implement them in a culturally acceptable way that really does resonate in the host population well we’ve revamped the preparation of our units completely so a unit now from the great hundred first Airborne Division prepares in a very different manner than did unit back in fact when I was the division commander when we first went off to for the fight to Baghdad we were all about kinetics I mean we literally I remember sitting down in Kuwait we’re all getting ready to go and we’re starting to sense this thing is really going to happen and we had some folks come into the room and they said okay generals don’t worry you guys just get us to Baghdad and we’ll take it from there well I was looking around for those guys when we got to Baghdad and said okay you know you take it from here we’re ready to go back to Clarksville and hop down and do the victory parade and didn’t quite work out that way so we volunteer hold what it is that we did prepare prepare our leaders as well as our units our leaders we have a concept called the pentathlete leader we want these future leaders out here when they put gold bars on their shoulders to be pentathlete leaders they’re not just going to be sprinters or distance runners we want them to do both of those and throw the shot and the broad jump and a few other things in other words we want them to be able to do to attack and to defend but also to do various aspects of nation-building stability and support operations as the term is in our military doctrine so we are preparing our leaders very different then then the unit’s get a heavy dose of cultural awareness some of them will go off and do language training who will benefit from that you still have to though do your core functions I mean this is still there is something that uniquely those in uniform can do and we cannot shrink from that I mean I’m occasionally seen as mr. non-kinetic mr. nation-building mr. counterinsurgency well counterinsurgency is not just ability and support operations it is still also offense and defense there was a moment in fact I remember when in the spring of 2008 we called it March Madness that was the real March Madness you were having basketball March Madness but what we had was the militia attacking and it was a very very violent phase in Iraq we were getting hammered in Baghdad just hammered by 1214 volleys 10 Rockets each in the the green zone and all of our different bases there very very difficult period and so I remember I day or two into this I went over to the multinational division Baghdad headquarters and it was a routine update we worked our down around all the divisions we usually did one or two divisions a week and so you’d get to see each one of them about every three weeks every four weeks this focused area where they tell me what they were doing and and all the rest and they started going into this and it was their standard pitch and I mean they were telling me how we’re going to refill swimming pools and Bagdad and we’re going to get the parks going again and after about ten minutes of this this is good stuff except we’re getting hammered and I said timeout here fellows let’s talk about how we’re going to go out and kill or capture these rocket teams and mortar teams that are making life so unbearable for all of our civilian partners and indeed for ourselves and so again there are times when that’s something only we can do and we can never shrink from that nor do that and again it it’s this preparation if you will you still have to do your core functions but you have to do all

these other tasks as well and that’s why we need pentathlete leaders and that’s why we need these tremendously talented troopers that we have who have shown themselves so capable of innovative activities independent action initiative as well as determination courage and and just sheer excellence in their professional military skills by the way occasionally you notice folks that say oh geez you guys can’t fight anymore because they’re so busy helping with nation-building let me don’t tell that to our troopers don’t tell that to the ones that killed or captured 77 rocket teams in Sadr City in a three-week period now we do it differently we use unmanned aerial vehicles we tie in all kinds of new technologies the intelligence breakthroughs I mentioned and so forth we we try not to just batter a place to save it you know the reason we announced the Marja operation in Afghanistan way in advance was that so they’d know we’re coming and so they’d be out of the way if they didn’t want to fight we don’t want to destroy Marja to save it we wanted to take Marsha as intact as we could find the remaining insurgents in there keep the population in there if we could so we didn’t have thousands and thousands of internally displaced persons in the middle of winter and then secure it and then help revive it get the markets going again by the way almost all of them are open schools reopened and again all of the different basic services are restored and then improved so you actually touched on and I’ll go there I hadn’t planned on it yet but I will once we have using stability and support operations we’ve cleared an area we’ve established peace there’s schools the normal things are happening again what’s your perspective on how we maintain that area for the safety of civilized society and not let terrorist networks Rhian filtrate what can we do after the fact once we’ve cleaned out a pool to keep it clear you have to employ population security measures in Baghdad that meant concrete I mean we had tea walls we had these barriers that you literally have to shut off neighborhoods you have to control access to the area we employed ID cards in some cases that were so serious that you literally badged every single person who came in and out of a neighborhood you get your intelligence going so that again you can keep going out after them keep pushing them out further literally clearing some areas in some cases and then these hundred and three thousand sons of rock I mean we had checkpoints everywhere out there now that was a particularly brutal insurgency you you know don’t forget how bad Iraq was there’s a little bit of looking back now and saying geez that wasn’t so tough after all you know of course it was going to succeed I mean that wasn’t the sense I had at that time when I was sent off to do that NORs frankly in some of my returns to Washington but anyway I mean let me show you actually give me the security incidents for Iraq because it’s worth remembering that in December 2006 there were 53 dead bodies every 24 hours in Baghdad alone from sectarian violence by the way that was just sectarian violence or some other forms of violence as well this shows security incidents by week and you can see how high this reached I mean this is some 1,800 security incidents in a certain week now in terms of daily attacks that actually a real attacks not just found in cleared IEDs which are part of this as well we had some 200 20 or more attacks per day 220 now in the most recent months here really for about the last six months or so it’s been under 20 attacks per week each week and in many weeks it’s been below 15 attacks per day in those weeks on average so it’s a tremendous reduction that our troopers and of course all of the units of the hundred and first were deployed there during this time just about and they did spectacular work during that a couple of them in two rotations so it’s a very significant reduction having said that there’s no question that there are innumerable obstacles and challenges and issues there there’s quite a bit of high political drama with the run-up to the 7 March elections that will take place that will elect the new council representatives the Iraqi parliament that will in turn elect over what is likely to be a four or five-month period of political wrangling the next prime minister of the President and the council representative speaker we sometimes jokingly say that what we’re seeing there now is a rock recei you know it’s not Western democracy but it is functioning and frankly there is a government that is broadly representative of the people it is broadly responsive to them certain interest groups get a little bit more

attention I know that’s foreign concept in our country but with respect but again there’s you know it it it is functioning now touchwood because we hope it still functions in the same way after 7 March actually we hope it functions better but the fact is that you know back in this period here where the pipelines world full of holes the electrical towers were knocked down the bridges were blown up the roads were cratered and everything else basically all of that just about all that has been repaired in fact last year alone Iraq put 1,300 more megawatts on the grid just in that period and that was the culmination of again years of effort now all coming to fruition because of the improvements in security because you now had a foundation don’t get me wrong there’s still people being killed and there’s still high-profile attacks you want you give me the next slide and I’ll just walk all the way through this sequence this shows car bombs by the way this month right here was welcome back to Baghdad Dave Petraeus 230 car bombs in a single month I mean in Baghdad alone there were between two and three car bomb or suicide car bombs suicide vest attacks per day and a number of them as you’ll recall right in the center of the biggest markets which we had to wall off as you’ll recall as well and again in control access so you couldn’t allow vehicles in any of the market places these are markets that have tens of thousands of people in them huge mile-long open-air markets but again over time as we got our hooks into al-qaeda as we employed that anaconda strategy we’re able to drive down the level of violence but they’re still there don’t get me wrong again this is you know still somewhere around 15 or so of these per month that’s too many but it is so vastly reduced it is something that the society can at least cope with deal with and still continue to move forward with billions of dollars of oil contracts let now actually tens of billions of dollars they are going their intent on ramping up from the from the one point but actually they’re producing about two point five million barrels a day they export about 1.9 of that they want to ramp up to 10 million barrels a day that is in a colossal amount of additional oil on the market not going to be easy but they can do it next and again violent civilian death you know you can say what a heck of a metric that you have to use to measure your progress well it is it’s reality this is what we do and you can see here there were 3,700 civilians died a violent death in this period right here I think this is in the right in that winter of 2006 2007 timeframe surge started driving that down but again there still are a couple hundred or so one month we actually is below a hundred but they’re still again an unacceptable level but it is so vastly reduced that there is opportunity there Iraq has hope and that is what our soldiers and our Iraqi counterparts provided to them so you touched on an issue that I know people would very much value your perspective on we have coalition victories coalition tactical successes in the short term that in the longer term are really dependent on the evolution that the maturation of a sophisticated political environment political dynamic in the host country how do we how do we balance how can we help them without doing it for them how do we strike that balance of the right kind of assistance at the right time in the right way that they own success or failure bearing in mind that it’s ultimately our strategic success or failure well it’s theirs as well and again I think there’s a very sensitive balance there with assisting helping supporting but not intruding not trying to manipulate not trying to to run and that takes really skilled in particular folks in the State Department from AIG and indeed frankly our military leaders get engaged in this as well there’s no question you know we’ve met all the time with Prime Minister Maliki and always did it with my diplomatic wingman but you know we were heavily involved in this over time obviously you want them to be able to take it forward the security agreement for example that we achieved with a rock back in late 2008 hugely important and we have implemented it we’ve actually done what we said we would do we left the cities as we said we would in back last summer we will change the mission at the end of August we pretty certain by golly we’ll get down to that 50,000 or so that we that is part of the policy we think that’s doable and and so on so but again it’s there’s a very delicate and very sensitive balance that has to be achieved and of course they’re very jealous of their sovereignty in fact perhaps hypersensitive to that given

that we have occupied their country and no matter how you know beneficent we think we are people don’t like foreign troops on their soil and they almost resent having them there in the sense that they also resent the fact they can’t do it for themselves even though they grudgingly recognize that that we’re needed and thankfully we’re moving now in a process where you know there’s some six hundred and eighty thousand Iraqi security forces now we can transition we have been transitioning tasks to them and so that that’s the process that needs to continue well I’ll go there what lessons have we learned that are now directly applicable of course to Afghanistan about the pitfalls the the lessons learned in training host nation forces well we got a lot of questions about for example in the Sons of Iraq and the awakening forces the infiltration of those either with political jeschill Madhi political groups or with with al-qaida core al-qaida elements and that’s just maybe one in lesson but what other lessons have we learned about how to do that right well first of all you have to have a structure to do it and you know we built that structure in Iraq started late but we did eventually get that done we used to say that it was like building the world’s largest airplane wall in flight and while getting shot at and you know I that’s why I went back you know as a commander with hunter first got home was actually sent back very quickly doing assessment came home and then was told you’re you know your reward for doing the assessment as you go back get to do what you talked about assessing and so went back for 15 months more as a three-star to stand up the multinational security transition command Iraq and also than the NATO training mission in Iraq so you have the structure do you have to have adequate trainers and advisors and mentors and all the rest of that at all of the different levels then you got to get the big ideas right about what should that force look like how should it be based how should the structures work and so on and then you’ve got to get the training the actual doing of it right and the training piece of it and it then starts to come down to host nation leadership the challenge in Afghanistan by and large will be again it’s it’s not that the training of individual Afghan troops these these folks have been fighting since they were born they can fight and they will fight the challenge is where do find the company commanders the battalion commanders the brigade commanders they don’t you know that you just can’t put them through eight or twelve weeks worth of training our system it takes twenty years to produce a battalion commander 25 years to produce a brigade commander their staffs all the rest of this in a country that has 70 or 80 percent illiteracy that has police that can’t read the laws that they’re enforcing so you’ve got some big challenges here and again you got to just just keep biting them off and chewing on them and working them but it does take some real determination again as I mentioned we’re fortunate have Lieutenant General bill Caldwell is now commanding that effort he is one of the all-star team members who has put in place of a new organization that we needed there to do it so that’s again the very very short of it but it is really a very complicated process to built to help another country rebuild or build from scratch it’s ministries of Defense and interior and all the elements connected with them in that context how important have you found both the support of Congress and the support of the American people does that resonate in the host country population sure trying to mingle with and and are they receptive to that today does that it’s sort of a rheostat that helps you or hurt you as you’re doing your mission well first of all resonates with our troopers and one of the great things about frankly all these endeavors post 9/11 whether the folks support the endeavors or not is immaterial they support our troopers you know we’re driving away our son as you mentioned was up in the ROTC program at MIT there and we were up there visiting in one time and we were driving away and of course it’s Cambridge and you know Cambridge Massachusetts and so forth and so we’re driving away and there’s a sign over the bridge it says hate the war love the troops and I told my wife 50% ain’t bad yeah because it’s the right 50% and so first of all I mean what really matters is again that support for our military men and women and for their families but yeah certainly I mean the sense that the the country is with you that there is the determination the the National will plays a big part in this and I mean we’ve sought to work very hard to make sure that countries in the region Afghanistan Pakistan in particular don’t misinterpret for example what President Obama said in his speech come July 2011 when we are going to begin a responsible drawdown of our forces very carefully

chosen words and we will begin a conditions-based transition of tasks again very carefully chosen and we’ve explained that to them very very thoroughly what he was really getting at there was in a message that was in addition to the message of the additional commitment the additional forces resources civilians funding and so on was this message of urgency and that is not a bad message because there are some partners out there there are some countries that need to know that the American people are impatient that Congress is impatient and they should be and that this can’t go on forever so people have to step up to the plate and so on and I think that was a was a useful message as long as it’s clearly interpreted as such well speaking of stepping up to the plate in my trips to Iraq one of the things that really struck me working with judges and lawyers was the the individual personal courage they bought in and they would you would ask them why are you doing what you do they say we are at war we are war for the soul of our society and we’re willing to sacrifice as so many of them did the dedication of our book says to to a couple of named individuals one Iraqi one American and all those who have suffered at the altar of human freedom and dignity we found those in Iraq commonly are you finding the same kind of patriotism the same kind of public spirit civic mindedness in the villages of Afghanistan that’s going to give them the base to build long-term stable structures certainly there is some of it but but certainly actually as in Iraq it’s not uniform it’s not universal one of the channel as well-known challenges in Iraq has been predatory governance I mean what there needs to be as governance it achieves legitimacy in the eyes of the people not government that preys on the people or is corrupt or takes privileges at their expense and certainly that’s an element of this one challenge with the election that was held this past year is that it didn’t give the new government a sense of greater legitimacy by its act to be truthful I’m not sure that it’s turned out to be as big a deal in Afghanistan for the people as it was actually perhaps in our eyes but it was a factor and again it was you know all other things being equal to obviously like to have had an election that was seen as free and fair as opposed to one that had that that was as tainted as that one was well which gets back sir in your strategic direction if you could if you could articulate your perfect vision of American support to elections in the in these countries what would it look like well I hope it looks like what will take place in Iraq again touchwood you know what we have done there is been part of the international community led by the United Nations assistance mission in Iraq other elements that help with election monitoring and guidance and expertise we have supported the Iraqi development of the security plan which they will carry out we’ll do some enabling you know our UAVs will be up our intelligence-gathering platforms will provide a variety of different forms of assistance but they’ll be the ones securing the polling place and there will be thousands of polling places in Iraq I forget how many tens of thousands of candidates there are by the way so this is certainly the way we’d like as we approach it now again touchwood there are threat streams out there there are challenges al Qaeda desperately wants to disrupt this process there are some other elements in society there that want to intimidate people but at the end of the day I think this is again roughly what we’d like to see in in other countries you know eight by the way one of the test questions that somebody gave me in one of these the other day is one that we’ve asked ourselves what’s the most dimmer country in the Central Command area of responsibility remember those 20 countries from Egypt in the West Pakistan in the East Kazakhstan in the North Yemen in the South might actually be a rock believe it or not now you know some will argue Lebanon I mean it’s an interesting political dynamic there it’s a pretty tough one you know if you get it wrong there you may not see the Sun rise again but you know there’s some some but by and large there this is in that region an example of some form of representative and responsive governance again touchwood that it continues and a strongman doesn’t try to take over and pull all the reins of power to himself but I’m not sure they’ll let them again to elect the next prime minister will require a cross sectarian and cross ethnic and cross political party coalition you cannot be elected as a prime minister if you don’t pull in you obviously it’s going to be a shield we would expect it’s a Shia predominant country well over 50% are Shia 20% or so Sunni 18 or so percent Kurd or so somewhere in there and then some other minority elements Christians you cities

Shabaks Turkmen and so on well at the end of the day it’s going to take one of the major Shia parties probably pulling in some of the other minor Hsieh parties it’s going to take a major sunni contribution and it’s going to take the kurdish political parties which tend national elections to unify and that’s what it will require so it’s going to going to be a team effort I’m cognizant that our time grows short sir so I want to ask one of the questions that was again very frequently received in various forms different people ask it in the same way and it’s related to elections partly because just on a personal level I’ve never defined victory just as we held an election therefore we win you know it’s much more than that so can you articulate how you would define victory what’s your vision what’s your what’s your how would you describe the end state where are we headed where would we like to be well you remember I made the mistake of you know first you know if you have a reporter with you remember he’s in the back you know when you’re doing something some of you recall great historian in fact in Washington Post reporter Rick Atkins and three-time Pulitzer Prize winner actually rode in the back seat of my Humvee in the fight to Baghdad when I was commander to the hunter first Airborne Division and you know over time I actually didn’t time either I forgot he was writing a book or I didn’t realize it or something but anyway I made the mistake of starting to ask early on I could tell this wasn’t necessarily going to be precisely how we envisioned it and I would periodically ask him how does this end and it obviously became a bit of a quotable quote it eventually became the title of a book by someone else by Linda Robinson and way the way I’ve hoped it would end again what a good outcome would look like again would be in Iraq in which there is a government that is representative all the people that is responsive to all the people that can provide security for its population internal and with respect to any external challenges that can provide a steadily improving level of basic services for its people of education electricity fresh water and and on and on and that over time becomes an increasingly important member of the regional community of states and of the global economy remember this is a country that officially has the third largest proven oil reserves in the world has the most sulfur in the world it has it’s the land of the two rivers the Tigris and Euphrates so it has enormous agricultural potential as natural gas just has a wealth of blessings and perhaps best of all it has people who are industrious it has human capital you know that you have communities of Iraqi Americans here and you’re very familiar in fact with their qualities so it has enormous potential and if it can we used to say it’s okay to shout don’t shoot and if it can resolve its problems by high political drama and emotion and shouting but not shooting the I think the opportunities there are just enormous the potential there is enormous and it may actually have the second most or perhaps even the most oil reserves in the world because there’s been no real exploration done there for decades that’s true sir our time grows short and on behalf of many people here you know we thank you for your moral courage for the vision to see a better way ahead a strategic shift a big idea that needed to happen and then the guts to collect a group of people like John Nagaland Pete Mansoor and you know my classmate HR McMaster those kind of guys who had the initiative and the vision to see that you collected those and and that in a sense was a huge service both to our Republic into humanity and particularly to the people in the region who whose lives literally have been changed because of your leadership we thank you for that in the morning when we get up many of us and we we puff our chests and we say I’m going to go save the world we’re just puffing our chests you literally mean that we appreciate that well let me you get the last okay let me just handle us I mean first of all first of all I mean this is about a team effort it was about a team of teams or was never you know an eye on this it wasn’t one person by any means it was always about a whole host two people and I I guess the most important people and all that really are the ones that I’ll show in this particular slide here some of you have seen this before but this is what it was really all about and this is why it is such a privilege to do what those of us in uniform do and why when you are lieutenants you’ll have the most awesome responsibilities than anybody can imagine it’s about these individuals right here this some of you have seen this again this is what 1215 soldiers sailors airmen Marines rien listing looks like this is a ceremony in the 4th of July 2008 it was in Baghdad

this is in combat and the great sword Maj Marvin Hill and I again former 101st command sword major had been with me as he’s now in third tour together we sat down a few months prior to the fourth of July and we said hey you know wouldn’t be great to have a couple hundred folks maybe gather around do a reenlistment ceremony again because you’ll recall the first year we were there we’re in the hundred and first we wanted to have a hundred and one people re-enlist we ended up with about 150 the first year we were there together when I was a commander and he was the command sir major of all the forces in Iraq we had a few hundred people so we just wanted to do that again it was a neat thing to do and it was relatively it wasn’t to logistical II challenging so we put the word out and we said okay hey we’ll do this try to give a little inducement you know said if you come and get a photo with a commander and SAR major get a coin you know you can whatever Tim on you know whatever it takes if you’re desperate so anyway we did this and he came to me a few weeks before the fourth of July and he said hey sir I’m getting a little worried I said what do you mean aren’t enough guys signing up he said no no actually there’s about seven or eight hundred and it’s growing every day I said whoa that’s I mean you know this you can have too much of a good thing when you’re in combat you’ve got to move all these people in this became a combat operation we got a housing for the night we have to have their re-enlistment counselors with them I have to sign every reenlistment I don’t use it I don’t use an iron pen or you know one of those deals that signs for you so you know this is 1215 signatures in addition to 1215 photos and coins and all you know okay so they did what a what a privilege it’s going to be awesome and it was incredible now the deal here is that all of these individuals had been in Iraq just about all of them before again they’re mostly mid mid grade and so you had individuals in here who had perhaps three years in combat in some cases certainly all and had at least a year they knew what they were doing when they raised their right hand they’re there Riaan listing in combat knowing that they would be asked to return to redeploy again after this tour was up and yet they still did it and I think they did it because some mentioned they felt as if they were serving something larger than self performing a mission that matters to our country and to our fellow citizens and because they love doing it with those who are on their right and left their their fellow men and women and you form there’s nothing more special than these folks right here and really I’m here today to talk about what they have done and it’s always a pleasure to explain the great tasks that they have taken on and the results that they have achieved and so let me end just by saying what I said right up front and that is that I’m also here to say thanks to a community that takes care of these individuals and their families as well as any community in our great United States and probably better than any other but I don’t want to get in trouble with Fayetteville North Carolina or some other places or Killeen Texas and we are very very grateful to you that’s one reason that I’m here today and so let me just say in turn that we appreciate very very much what you have done for our men and women in uniform and for their families and I thank you for that it’s a privilege to talk and I bless you I better go say hi to marketing here you