RADDATZ: Because this went around the world so quickly, because as soon as it -- he announced it, and it was on the internet, and we talked a bit about that yesterday, what does that tell you? And what are your concerns about the reaction to the Muslim world to Americans?
PETRAEUS: Well, first of all, it obviously says a lot about the information environment which we carry out operations. Indeed, as we discussed the other day, one of the -- the areas in which we have to work very hard is to try to be first with the truth, is the admonition that we offer to those who are working in public affairs, strategic communications and so forth. And it -- it becomes increasingly difficult, because, of course, the insurgents sometimes have news bureau desks -- already programmed into their cell phones. And -- so, we're trying to gather information and to ascertain the facts. And then to -- to share them again as widely as we can, as quickly as we can, to ensure that -- terrorist propaganda doesn't stay out there for too long unchallenged.
And ideally, again, we actually get the headline first. So that the pace of this -- and many people have remarked how the 24-hour news cycle and so forth that it continues to compress -- the -- the rapid pace with which news just goes around the world, as you noted -- in cyberspace -- is a reality. It is a challenge. And sometimes it's an opportunity. In this case, I think there was also a little bit of a slow news cycle. You know, it was over the Labor Day Weekend.
RADDATZ: Labor Day Weekend --
PETRAEUS: There wasn't much else going on. And all of a sudden this was latched onto by a number of different news organizations.
RADDATZ: Beyond the information war, what -- what does it say about our relationship with the Muslim world? That the Muslim world, parts of it certainly, would react so rapidly to that?
PETRAEUS: Well, there are predispositions out there. In some cases, to be fair, they are founded on other images -- that are in cyberspace --
RADDATZ: (OVERTALK), Abu Gharaib, Guatanamo --
PETRAEUS: --a number of other -- incidents along the way from which we've learned very, very hard lessons. But we have sought to learn those. We have sought to take corrective action. We have sought to be an adaptive learning organization. But again, there are predispositions. There are people who want -- who will use the platforms that they have -- even religious platforms -- to incite others and to inflame public opinion -- in various populations around the world. I think those are more the exceptions -- than the normal, but they are out there. And they can -- they can be used and they have been used.
RADDATZ: And that's one of your enormous challenges. I mean, yesterday, going down there and seeing the female engagement teams from Jordan and -- and the challenge you face in dealing with the Muslim world. And convincing the Muslim world that American soldiers are -- and Marines are here for a reason.
PETRAEUS: Well, it is -- the -- this is a very complex environment. We often talk about, in fact—with awe actually as we describe what our young men and women in uniform and our coalition partners and -- and others are able to do in these very, very difficult and very complex situations. Operating in cultures that are very different than our own. Different languages. And, of course, multiple languages in a country like Afghanistan.