That's the way General David Petraeus described the counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan during a recent interview. Pockets of progress around a war torn nation could spread and the Taliban could ultimately be defeated.
The problem is, what works on paper doesn't always work on the ground.
This week I'll interview the General in Afghanistan as he launches a mission to win hearts and minds...not just there...but here in America, as well.
Support for the war continues to wane, and it will be a Herculean task to turn things around before July of 2011...when troops are scheduled to begin withdrawal.
Petraeus has rejected a widespread pullout that would leave Afghanistan vulnerable to the Taliban.
But the pressure is on to demonstrate a spot of oil can spread as quickly in the sands and mountains...as it can on a map in a war room.
That's a page from my notebook.