29 June 2010

BUB: McChrystal and Afghanistan Fallout

A quick look at the stories coming out of the maelstrom surrounding the ISAF command change...

Real Clear Politics lists 5 questions they think General Petraeus should answer.

Announcing Gen. McChrystal’s relief and Petraeus’s nomination, the president was emphatic in saying that his action was a change in people, not policy. But the nation-building policy begun by President Bush in Iraq and Afghanistan and continued by Obama, is – by objective criteria – failing. It deserves to be dissected publicly, and Petraeus is the best person to explain how it could work.


While the media fallout continues with the argy-bargy between Rolling Stone and, well, pretty much everyone else.

Here's the latest wrinkle: On Monday, both the Washington Post and ABC defended their use of anonymous sources to attack Hastings' report.

The Post said their use of a source described as a "senior military official" was necessary.

“Given the significant impact of the Rolling Stone story," Washington Post National Security editor Cameron Barr told Yahoo, "we felt the public's interest in seeing what military officials had to say about how it was reported and fact-checked was greater than in keeping that information to ourselves because the officials wouldn't come on the record."


As more than one editorialist points out, McChrystal wasn't really the problem in Afghanistan

The problem, of course, is that McChrystal (and his boss, Gen. David Petraeus, to whom Obama turned to head up Afghan operations) has advocated a counterinsurgency strategy that provides security to a given area so that locals will be won over to the government and stop cooperating with the Taliban. However, a counterinsurgency strategy depends on being able to put security in place for the long term, along with a functioning local government.

As many of President Karzai's local officials are unreliable and corrupt, they hold little attraction for the locals. In addition, U.S. forces, even with the surge, are not sufficient to provide the sustainable levels of security needed, and Afghan forces do not appear capable of playing a major role.

By: Brant

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