Progress in Afghanistan like watching 'Paint Dry': General Petraeus

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Washington, Sep 15 (ANI): General David Petraeus, who was appointed to replace former General Stanley McChrystal as the top US Commander in Afghanistan in June, has conceded that a successful counterinsurgency campaign could take up to ten more years, but said he intended to stick to the 2011 draw down date.

In an exclusive interview to ABC News, General Petraeus, who was appointed commander of the Multi-National Force-Iraq in 2006, explained his decision to speak out against a Florida preacher's plan to burn Korans.

General Petraeus is looked upon as a man, who turned the tide of violence in Iraq and who can do the equal in Afghanistan.

Respected by Democratic and Republican lawmakers alike, his public stance that Koran-burning could incite anti-American violence against U.S. troops in Afghanistan was quickly echoed by President Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain, and may have contributed to Pastor Terry Jones' decision to cancel 'Burn a Koran Day', ABC news reports.

Despite the damage being done, General Petraeus said the fact that Jones was stoppedrom hosting the event has helped repair America's image.

"When you saw the outpouring of emotion, of rejection of such an action by so many Americans-from all areas, all walks of life, all segments of our population, I think that sent a very powerful message to those of the Islamic faith around the world," the paper quoted General Petraeus, as saying.

"Yeah, again, in some respects, I'd say obviously what took place up until this point has been of enormous importance. The sacrifices made have been-very-very important to this overall effort," said General Petraeus, when asked where Afghanistan was in terms of the "COIN clock", and if success could take nine to ten more years.

"But it is just at this point that we feel that we do have the organizations that we learned in Iraq and from history are necessary for the conduct of this kind of campaign. We got the leaders in place, the big ideas and so forth with our Afghan partners. Although still growing even there, in terms of the required number of Afghan national security forces,' he added. (ANI)

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