This is significant, because this speech sets the pace and tone of the new management in Afghanistan.  This is an excellent first step, and I absolutely agree that unity of effort is the one thing we should be able to control, before we press forward.  That means everyone comes together and rallies around the strategy and goals, and insures their efforts do not negatively impact the overall effort. Unity of effort is vital to success in war.

     What is interesting though, is that Petraeus is making great pains to create this revitalized unity of effort in Afghanistan amongst all the top civilian and military leadership, but he is also missing a huge group that must also be brought under this umbrella of ‘unity of effort’. That group is contractors….all 110,000 plus contractors working in Afghanistan.

     So the next question with that, is how do you reach all of these contractors, and how do you insure they all are focused on unity of effort? What contractor general or CEO would you talk with, to get something like this done?  That is a good question, and because there is a lack of centralized authority or organized labor for this gaggle of civilian workers, all Petraeus really can do is get the word out on how each and every one of us can contribute to this ‘unity of effort’. He can can also make sure that contracts that are signed have language that pushes along a company towards this unity of effort, and he could also personally talk with the CEO’s of companies and insure they are on the same sheet of music.

     Those are just some ideas, but I do know one thing.  If he does nothing about contractors, then how could he or anyone expect any kind of synergy or synchronicity?  How could expect any kind of harmony with operations or interactions with one another? In other words, you cannot treat us like the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about. If Petraeus wants to be the great unifier, contractors are a group he must bring under the tent. –Matt


Petraeus Calls for United Effort to Win Afghan War

Ayaz Gul

3 July 2010

New U.S. commander of the international military mission in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, has called for united efforts to solve the problems of the war-ravaged country. The U.S. general made his first public comments a day after arriving in Kabul to take command of the 140,000 American and NATO forces.General David Petraeus has arrived in Afghanistan to lead the international forces at a time of rising Taliban insurgency. The month of June was the deadliest for the U.S.-led coalition since the Afghan war began nearly nine years ago.Addressing hundreds of local and foreign guests gathered at the U.S. Embassy to mark America’s Independence Day, General Petraeus underlined the need for unity to deal with the challenges in Afghanistan.”This is an effort in which we must achieve unity of effort and common purpose, civilian and military, Afghan and international, we are part of one team with one mission,” he said. As the U.S. general put it for the Afghan audience, “Your success is our success”.”In this important endeavor cooperation is not optional. This is a tough mission. There is nothing easy about it. But working together we can achieve progress, and we can achieve our mutual objectives,” he said.President Barack Obama nominated General Petraeus as the new commander of the international forces in Afghanistan after his predecessor General Stanley McChrystal stepped down last week for making critical remarks in a magazine article against senior officials of the U.S. administration.General Petraeus arrived in the country after the U.S. Senate approved his appointment and he will formally take command of the 140,000 U.S and NATO forces on Sunday at a ceremony in Kabul.Hours before he landed in Afghanistan, Taliban suicide bombers raided an office of a U.S.-based aid group in a northern province, killing five people and wounding more than 20 others. Foreigners were among the victims.General Petraeus is credited with turning around the war effort in Iraq and pioneered the current counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan, which entails tackling the Taliban in their strongholds while relying on the Afghan government to simultaneously improve local governance and development.But many believe that the unchecked corruption in the administration of Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the booming drug trade are hampering political efforts aimed at stabilizing Afghanistan.Story here.