Gen. David Petraeus will intensify the American counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan, top military officials tell the Wall Street Journal. These officials are blaming implementation of the strategy, not the strategy itself, for setbacks this year. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, whom Petraeus replaced this month, focused on catching Taliban leaders at the expense of protecting civilians and building up the Afghan government, the officials say. Gen. Petraeus is expected to focus on training Afghan security forces and security for civilians. The general is under great pressure to accomplish a lot quickly, as the July 2011 deadline to begin withdrawing troops looms. So far, he’s managed to get Afghan President Hamid Karzai to endorse a plan to create village defense teams.
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