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Posts Tagged ‘McChrystal’

Could “Success” in Afghanistan Be Worse Than Failure?

Success means that the fifth poorest country in the world and foremost narco state is ours for years to come.

July 12, 2011, Washington, D.C. — In triumphant testimony before a joint committee of Congress in which he was greeted on both sides of the aisle as a conquering hero, Gen. David Petraeus announced the withdrawal this month of the first 1,000 American troops from Afghanistan.  “This is the beginning of the pledge the president made to the American people to draw down the surge troops sent in since 2009,” he said, adding, “and yet let me emphasize, as I did when I took this job, that our commitment to the Afghan government and people is an enduring one.”

Last July, when Gen. Petraeus replaced the discredited Gen. Stanley McChrystal as Afghan war commander, he was hailed as an “American hero” by Senator John McCain, as “the most talented officer of his generation” by the New Yorker’s George Packer, and as “the nation’s premier warrior-diplomat” by Karen DeYoung and Craig Whitlock of the Washington Post — typical of the comments of both Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives at the time. Petraeus then promised that the United States was in Afghanistan “to win.”

In the year since, the Taliban insurgency has been blunted and “a tipping point has been reached,” says a senior U.S. military official with the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, who could speak only on the condition of anonymity, in keeping with the policy of his organization.  By every available measure — IEDs or roadside bombs, suicide attacks, Taliban assassinations of local officials, allied casualties, and Afghan civilian casualties — the intensity of the insurgency has weakened significantly.  The Afghan military and police, though not capable of taking the lead in the fighting in their own country, have been noticeably strengthened by American and NATO training missions.  President Hamid Karzai’s government, still considered weak and corrupt, has succeeded in putting an Afghan face on the war.

Democratic critics of Gen. Petraeus, and of President Obama’s surge strategy, were notably quiet this week as the general toured the capital’s power hotspots from John Podesta’s Center for American Progress to the American Enterprise Institute, while being feted as the hero of the moment and a potential presidential candidate in 2016.  As in 2007, when he was appointed to oversee George W. Bush’s surge in Iraq after the critics said it couldn’t be done, the impressive charts the general brought to his congressional testimony once again vividly indicated otherwise.  The situation in Afghanistan has undergone an Iraq-like change since the nadir of July 2010 when critics and proponents alike agreed that the nine-year-old war was foundering, the counterinsurgency strategy failing, and polling in the U.S. highlighted the war’s increasing unpopularity.

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The tabloid drama between the White House and McChrystal should give way to some sober assessments about Afghanistan.

June 24, 2010 |

After the media firestorm ignited by Gen. Stanley McChrystal and his staff criticizing officials in the Obama administration, it’s high time that Americans get back to the basics about Afghanistan.

Basic #1) Afghanistan does not constitute a vital interest to the United States.

Don’t believe the hype about Afghanistan being critical to America’s security. Al Qaeda poses a manageable security problem, not an existential threat. And whatever economic value the region holds, Stephen Walt, citing Jack Synder’s Myths of Empire, does a great job disputing the contention that Afghanistan is a strategic asset because it is brimming with natural resources.

Basic #2) We Don’t Need to Remain in Afghanistan to Protect Pakistan.

It is commonly held by the foreign policy elites that if Washington abandoned Afghanistan to its fate, emboldened jihadist groups could spill into neighboring Pakistan, fatally weaken its government, and seize its nuclear weapons.

This thinking is misguided.

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General McChrystal’s Rolling Stone Interview A ‘Significant Mistake,’ Gates Says

ANNE GEARAN and JULIE PACE | 06/22/10 12:33 PM | AP – Via Huff Po

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the top U.S. general in Afghanistan made “a significant mistake” and used poor judgment in remarks to a magazine reporter.

Gates says Gen. Stanley McChrystal has apologized to him. Gates also says he has recalled McChrystal to Washington to discuss the matter in person. That’s on top of the White House summons that McChrystal appear there Wednesday.

The Pentagon says McChrystal will hold a separate meeting with Gates.

Gates’ statement says nothing about whether McChrystal should keep his job.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the top U.S. general in Afghanistan made “a significant mistake” and used poor judgment in remarks to a magazine reporter.

Gates says Gen. Stanley McChrystal has apologized to him. Gates also says he has recalled McChrystal to Washington to discuss the matter in person. That’s on top of the White House summons that McChrystal appear there Wednesday.

The Pentagon says McChrystal will hold a separate meeting with Gates.

Gates’ statement says nothing about whether McChrystal should keep his job.

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McChrystal’s Rolling Stone Interview: General’s Team SLAMS Key Obama Officials (SLIDESHOW)

Huff Post- First Posted: 06-22-10 10:18 AM   |   Updated: 06-22-10 11:25 AM

Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s candid Rolling Stone interview prompted the White House to summon McChrystal, the most senior military commander in Afghanistan, to the capital for a standing meeting. McChrystal usually participates via teleconference.

Below are some of the most notable quotes and details from Michael Hasting’s profile of McChrystal, his staff, and the war that the U.S. is fighting in Afghanistan.

>>>PHOTOS HERE<<<

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White House Briefing Video: Live Stream Of Press Briefing With Robert Gibbs

Huffington Post First Posted: 06-22-10 12:54 PM   |   Updated: 06-22-10 12:55 PM

Visit this page for live streaming video whenever Press Secretary Robert Gibbs gives the White House press briefing.

>>>VIDEO HERE<<<

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OBAMA CARRIES OUT BUSH/OILCO PLANS IN MIDEAST

WHY WE WILL NEVER, EVER, EVER LEAVE THE MIDDLE EAST

YOUTUBE: THE DOORS
“Intro Apocalypse Now”
It didn’t end well…

Solar, Shmolar, It’s Oil & Gas We Really Want

Dick Cheney’s Assassin-In-Chief, General “Spook” McChrystal, hinted to the new Rupert Murdoch Wall Street rag that we are losing in Afghanistan. This was his preamble to a demand for dropping another 10,000 American troops into the Hole In Nowhere. McChystal’s predecessor in the Hole was fired for suggesting we needed 10,000 more troops in Afghanistan.

But wait, there’s more! McChrystal is offering a different strategerie in the Hole: Instead of actively going after the hostile Afghans, we will passively wait for them to come after us where we hide among the less-hostile Afghans. In Vietnam, that was called “The Strategic Hamlet Program.” No relation to the melancholy Dane. But it still had a tragic ending.

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OBAMA OUTSOURCES AFGHANISTAN

JUST IN CASE AFGHANIZATION DOESN’T WORK

Anti-War, Anti-Bush Candidate Follows Bush Iraq Strategies & Tactics In Expanding Afghan War

So. It’s come to this. This mellow Hawaii dude, this Harvard man, this community organizer, this brother from the South Side of Chicago, with the African-Muslim name and the fiery black Christian preacher, this guy who promised to “end the war within eighteen months,” this “socialist’ is turning out to be pretty much Bush. He’s not going to rule out or prosecute torture. He’s going to cover it up. He’s not going to close Gitmo and bring about fair & speedy trials in civilian courts inside the US. He’s pulled some troops out of Iraqi cities, but not out of Iraq. He’s going to redesignate them as “non-combat,” not redeploy them. So.

Obama has expanded the war in Afghanistan into Pakistan, against their will. We’re losing people there now, and in Afghanistan, where there’s a troop buildup and a major offensive going on. It’s not going well. How do we know that? For one thing, there’s a new “Phoenix Program” under the command of Dick Cheney’s personal global & domestic assassin, General McChrystal. Can Cointelpro be far behind? Plus, we’re starting to hear the kind of bullsh*t we used to hear from Defense Secretaries like Melvin Laird and Robert McNamara about “winning hearts & minds” and “Vietnamization,” i.e. turning the war over to the locals. That was a disaster in Vietnam. We got our asses kicked out of there when it failed.

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