By David Morgan
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Even before he takes command of U.S. military strategy for and , is reaching beyond the military sphere to encourage international support for stabilizing the region.
U.S. General David Petraeus addresses journalists after a meeting with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown at 10 Downing Street in London September 29, 2008.(Andrew Winning/Reuters)
Petraeus, whose innovative thinking is credited with helping save Iraq from civil war, met International Monetary Fund and last week in preparation for new efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan, officials said.
The move, unusual for a military commander, underscores the Pentagon’s emphasis on unifying military, economic, political and diplomatic aid to help the two countries cope with militant violence and economic dislocation, officials said.
On October 31, the Army general will become head of Middle East and Central and South Asia., responsible for American military interests in 20 countries across the
“The purpose (of the World Bank and IMF meetings) was to touch base and note the Central Command’s interest in supporting comprehensive approaches in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and others,” said a military official close to Petraeus.
His arrival at Centcom is widely expected to reinvigorate U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, where U.S. and NATO efforts face grave challenges from an increasingly confident Taliban.
The United States has 32,000 NATO., including 19,000 under Centcom command and 13,000 under
Petraeus will launch a 100-day assessment of U.S. strategy for Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq and other countries in the Centcom region once he takes over, officials said.