In a sign that the administration is gearing up for a long haul in Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus is set to open a new operation at U.S. Central Command to train military officers and analysts for assignments in Afghanistan and Pakistan lasting up to 10 years, FOX News confirms.
The decision comes as top military officials say the fight in Afghanistan is getting tougher and security is deteriorating.
The Washington Times first reported that the new training center, called the Center for Afghanistan Pakistan Excellence, will be opened. It will reportedly be led by Derek Harvey, one of Petraeus' close analysts in Iraq.
Harvey told The Washington Times that the operation will focus on fielding intelligence from a wider array of sources, including teams who are interacting closely with the local populations.
"If you only rely on the intelligence reporting, you can get a skewed picture of the situation," he said, calling the new approach "widening the aperture."
He said the training program will immerse officers and analysts in local culture and language, and that they will be asked to sign on to work in the region for at least five years.
"In Afghanistan, we are planning for success, and that requires human capital. We are putting into place the things we need to do for that," Harvey told the Times.