General David Petraeus in a recent discussion with British military leaders used baseball expressions in order to clarify the situation in Afghanistan. He emphasized the Taliban had been driven from key areas in Helmand and Kandahar which has compelled them to reflect on future strategy. But, “the Taliban wants to reverse that. They want to regain those areas that were so important to them.” He went on to use the analogy that the Taliban are playing an “away game,” but their ultimate strategy is to play a “home game.” We assume that means regaining control of lost areas and assuming leadership in key areas of Afghanistan. Of course, at no time did General Petraeus use the expression, “home run” because it is doubtful if the current Afghan government even knows the meaning of the expression.
Petraeus emphasized that President Karzai is seriously attempting to contact Taliban leaders in hope of reaching a compromise. We believe such an agreement would constitute the “home run” that wins the ball game in Afghanistan.