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Posts Tagged ‘General Stanley McChrystal’

by Tom Andrews, CommonDreams.org, June 23, 2010

Unfortunately, President Obama missed an opportunity today to not only replace an out-of-control general but an out-of-control and failing strategy in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, mainstream media continue to miss the most serious story contained in the now famous Rolling Stone profile.

Michael Hastings’ piece is about more than an adolescent general and his buddies’ school-yard shenanigans in Kabul and Paris. It was about a failing strategy in Afghanistan and the disconnect between how the administration portrays the war in public and the reality of how the war is actually being waged.

Here are three points in the Rolling Stone article that contradict what the White House has presented to Congress and the American people about the war in Afghanistan:

“Instead of beginning to withdraw troops next year, as Obama promised, the military hopes to ramp up its counterinsurgency campaign even further.” A senior military official stationed in Afghanistan told Hastings: “There’s a possibility we could ask for another surge of US forces next summer if we see success here.”

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Barack Obama is considering whether to sack General Stanley McChrystal as military commander in Afghanistan after summoning him to the White House tomorrow to explain his derisive criticism of the President’s staff in a magazine article.

Toby Harnden in Washington, Telegraph/UK, June 22, 2010

US commander McChrystal forced to apologise for Afghanistan  comments

General Stanley McChrystal Photo: AFP/GETTY IMAGES

“McChrystal has been directed to attend the monthly meeting [on Wednesday] on Afghanistan and Pakistan in person,” a senior American official said so the general could “explain to the Pentagon and the commander in chief his quotes in the piece about his colleagues”.

The decision over whether to fire Gen McChrystal, the architect of a new counter-insurgency strategy designed to turn around the nine-year Afghan war, for insubordination is one of the most momentous of Mr Obama’s presidency.

It comes at a time when his Afghan surge strategy is faltering. Gen McChrystal has delayed the summer offensive on Kandahar and said that Marja, which was “cleared” in a major operation at the start of the year, was a “bleeding ulcer”.

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By upping the stakes and sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, Obama dons the mantle of wartime president

Olivia Hampton, The Guardian/UK, Dec 2, 2009

US soldiers in Afghanistan, where they will soon be joined by 30,000 additional troopsUS soldiers in Afghanistan, as President Obama announces plans to send 30,000 reinforcements. Photograph: John Moore/Getty Images

In announcing his long-awaited Afghanistan troop decision on Tuesday night, Barack Obama donned the mantle of wartime president for good with the escalating conflict threatening to overshadow his tenure in the White House.

As part of the careful and treacherous balance he straddled in unveiling his revamped strategy, involving the accelerated deployment of 30,000 more troops on top of the 21,000 he dispatched shortly after taking office earlier this year, President Obama was careful to outline his plans to “finish the job” and finally extricate the US from one of its longest wars, starting in July 2011. To avoid being sucked into a quagmire in a war he did not start, the president must take heed of the lessons of history, where infusing more forces has yet to grant victory for the occupier in Afghanistan, that graveyard of empires.

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Also Guesses Ongoing War Might’ve Prevented Terror Attacks

by Jason Ditz, Antiwar.com, September 11, 2009

Speaking on the eight-year anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attack, top US commander in Afghanistan General Stanley McChrystal says that he sees no indication of any large al-Qaeda presence in Afghanistan.

Gen. Stanley McChrystal

Gen. McChrystal’s comments come at a time when the Obama Administration is facing an increasing revolt over the ongoing war in Afghanistan, and officials have used the “threat” posed by al-Qaeda as their primary justification for continuing the conflict.

Seemingly oblivious to having already dismissed the conflict’s ostensible raison d’etre, the general continued to defend the war, maintaining that it was winnable given increased effort and insisting that, while he had no evidence to back it up, he “strongly believes” the war has prevented other terrorist attacks.

Gen. McChrystal has recently presented a “new” strategy for the war, roughly five months after the Obama Administration’s previous “new” strategy involved a massive increase in the number of troops in the nation. It is widely expected that McChrystal will soon request another 20,000 troops for the war, on top of the previous escalation.

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By Philip Giraldi, Campaign For Liberty, Aug 3, 2009

In “Julius Caesar” Shakespeare’s Brutus counsels “There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken on the flood, leads on to fortune.” Shakespeare was describing how powerful men seeking yet more power, blinded by hubris, collectively brought about the destruction of the very republic that they claimed to love. Brutus was urging his fellow conspirator Cassius to fight the forces of Anthony and Octavian on the following day at Philippi in the belief that one more battle would end the civil war that had begun with the assassination of Caesar. Brutus concludes his exhortation with a personal note revealing that for all his high mindedness he was not unmindful of the lure of military glory, “omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries.” As has become increasingly clear to many, in “Julius Caesar” Shakespeare could have as easily been writing about contemporary America as the Roman Republic.

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