McChrystal, Obama and Afghanistan


Interesting piece here.

Gen Stanley McChrystals frank report on Afghanistan insists that more troops need to be sent or the mission will be a failure. If the US expect]Nato to do some heavy lifting [/url]they'll be in a bit of a jam as Afghanistan starts to become a massive election issue in every Nato country. The French are fearful of of street riots and violence, The Poles feel betrayed by the missile shield fiasco and with their foreign minister saying "this has ended any illusions we have had of the US. The US is just a regional ally", the people of Britain are starting to "tut" with increasing volume with britain - France - and Germany drawing up plans to withdraw, The Kanuck PM has said frankly that he's planning to withdraw in '11, Italy and Germany have been hit rather hard in recent weeks and the election in Germany is now almost soley focused on Afghanistan.

So take that all into account when Obama made his statements earlier, having already read McChrystals report weeks before it was leaked to the press today, to the effect that there would not be an increase anytime soon.]

In fact I just found a nice video which talks extensively about it.
On 27 March 2009, while flanked by his Sec of Def and Sec of State, Obama announced a new COIN Strategy for Afghanistan, now, nearly 6 months later,
on the major US Sunday news programs on 19 Sep 2009 Obama stated the US had no, what is going on in DC?

Is this the change US voters chose?
My take on this is that the US is finally realising that activities in AFG do nothing at all to further US strategic interests - indeed they actively work against them, recent US concessions to Russia being the obvious example. Once US troops are out of AFG then the US can reset them and use them to project power into parts of the world that matter.

What does baffle me though is the lack of public debate in the US on this topic. What should be a debate on the art of the possible descends into a babble of ad-hominem attacks on individuals (usually accompanied by stupid names and mis-spellings).

This is not about Obama, McCain would be doing exactly the same. And that is to redefine victory, pop smoke and run for the door. McChrystal on the other hand I see as influenced by the Schwartzkopf/Powell generation; that is he's seeking to either get what he needs or get out sooner rather than later, placing the interests of the US Army ahead of those of the administration.

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