If Petraeus must step down from global, strategic, Combatant Commander to assume operational command of ISAF and USFORA and Operation Enduring Freedom, that’s a demotion, unless the new COMCENTCOM works for Petraeus instead of the other way around.
Unity of command means that all the forces are under one responsible commander. It requires a single commander with the requisite authority to direct all forces in pursuit of a unified purpose.
Petraeus can only succeed if he is given carte blanche to do what needs doing, change what needs changing, bribe who needs bribing, kill who needs killing and win over or neutralize the rest. The C-in-C may have promised him that. We shall see.
General Mattis would make an outstanding CENTCOM, but SECDEF passed him over for Commandant of the Marine Corps. Does Gates not like Mattis, or was he saving Mattis for this?
Pogues in DC are going to have to STFU and let the professionals get to it.
Most of the strap hangers on the big box FOBs will have to be reassigned to Combat Out Posts and Joint Security Stations.
ANA kandaks must be task organized and cross-attached and integrated into [U. S.] Regimental/Brigade Combat Teams.
District and village defense forces must be recruited, trained and integrated into provincial defence commands.
Force Protection must be reined in and risk must be accepted. Can’t go everywhere in four MRAP convoys with a minimum of 16 shooters in full battle rattle and sunglasses.
Petraeus as COMISAF will have to nail down exactly what the non-US contingents can be held responsible for, then hold their feet to the fire to do what they signed up for. The fewer caveated, salsa-dancing consumers of Cl I on the head count, the more bullets and go-juice we can move.
He’ll need to institute spartan Command Supply Discipline even more austere than McChystal. Fewer lobster nights at the DFAC, more barbequed goat. Adios Burger King, Pizza Hut, Subway, Popeye’s, Cinnabun, Tim Horton’s, and, yes, even Green Beans Coffee. That will suck, but there’s a war on.
He’ll have to bring all the contractors under control, bust a few COR’s to encourage the rest, send some non-performing expats home and put the fear of God (or Allah, as applicable) into all of them. Then he’ll need to defend the clean contractors from the critics.
Afghanize the war. Round up Afghan truck drivers, draft them into the ANA Transportation Corps and put the convoys under military discipline and escort. Afghan TC KATUSA’s.
Pashto ain’t Arabic. Americans can pick it up fairly quickly with some effort. That effort must be made. A quasi-fluent Pashto-speaker for every company-sized element.
Control the message, control the media, beat the Taliban and their enablers in the infowar.