Just a few hours before President Obama vowed to stay good on his promise to be out of Iraq by the end of August 2010, Gen. David Petraeus (the commander of American forces in Afghanistan) laid out a new set of plans for the Afghan war.

afghan boy drinking teaThese new “rules” expanded restrictions on artillery strikes and aerial bombardment but attempt to build a sense trust with the Afghan people who, for the most part, want the Taliban out of the country just as much as the American troops do.

In these rules, the general exhorts the troops to take off their sunglasses, get out and walk among the civilians whenever possible,  generally “be a good guest” and, or course, “drink lots of tea.”

Anyone who has read the book Three Cups of Tea (highly recommended – see my review here) will know that tea is the drink of choice in the region, enjoyed by rich and poor alike.

After all, not only will drinking tea help the soldiers relate to the Afghan people but it will also keep them healthy and strong!

And these new rules especially hit home for me, as my brother Michael is currently serving in the Army over in Afghanistan.  Hope he brought plenty of good tea with him!

Wishing all our troops safety, health and plenty of great tea experiences – come home soon!