Now, after 13 months, the 58-year-old Petraeus is coming home to head the Central Intelligence Agency. Since that day in the Oval Office, hopeful signs have begun appearing that he may have performed the seemingly impossible task of stabilizing the Afghan battlefield.
The article, by reporter John Barry, doesn’t provide much detail on what these “hopeful signs” are, but Afghan civilian deaths are up 15 percent in the first half of 2011 vs. the first half of 2010. (Maybe that’s why an Afghan media executive cited in the piece contends that “not everyone in Afghanistan fully appreciates what Petraeus has achieved in his year there.”)
As for U.S. troops and their non-Afghan allies, 705 of them were killed in the 13 months Petraeus was in charge of Afghanistan–as opposed to 725 in the 13 months before that. Other than that, I’m sure he had a great war.