Global Security Headlines

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

McChrystal´s Decent Interval

White Paper of the Interagency Policy Group's Report on

The United States and its Nato allies are losing the war in rugged Afghanistan against a more rugged foe – the Taliban, the Islamic fascists and former leaders ousted after the US invasion in October 2001 following the 9/11 attacks.

However, the Taliban were never defeated and threaten to retake the country after NatoWhite Paper of the Interagency Policy Group's Report on´s disastrously disjointed and disunited eight-year fight, according to General Stanley A. McChrystal´s bleak assessment.

Delivered at the end of August to US President Barak Hussein Obama, he urgently requested 40,000 more combat troops, a political migraine for his commander-in-chief. So far, the president has punted on any decision.

General McChrystal offers at best his commander-in-chief a decent interval, maybe one to two years of breathing space, in the opinion of GSM, before a precipitous retreat in face of an interminable and insurmountable insurgency. The Western democracies will be overcome by exhaustion in terms of blood and treasure in the end.

In three phases, he hopes to reverse Taliban gains and seize the initiative to improve the security situation or ´´defeating the insurgency is no longer possible.´´Higher casualties (and attendant political costs back home) are expected initially to save the war effort while a second component consists of winning the hearts and minds of the Afghan people.

The ´`Afghanization´´ calls for Nato troops to concentrate on the defending population centers and less reliance on air support for combat missions to reduce deaths of innocent civilians. The general forgoes a major Nato advantage and needlessly jeopardizes the foot soldier who will feel the brunt of hand-to-hand combat without air support.

The McChrystal plan is not a strategy at all. It countermands President Obama´s proudly and publicly pronounced policy goals on March 27, 2009 ´´to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and to prevent their return to either country in the future.´´ The announcement came before General McChrystal was appointed and an in-theater assessment could be made. Thus, the president acted naively.

The McChrystal plan only buys time which is usually on the side of the insurgent facing a foreign army in his homeland just like before in Vietnam and like now in Afghanistan.

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