In all the hubbub over Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s disastrous Rolling Stone profile which sparked an international furor today, I notice there hasn’t been time yet for most Beltway armchair analysts to focus on the article’s actual depiction of the state of American policy in Afghanistan.
To sum up: grim. The quotes from McChrystal’s team reinforce the assessment – there’s little confidence on display. (Here’s the full article in pdf, it’s worth the read.) As the RS article’s last lines put it: “There is a reason that President Obama studiously avoids using the word “victory” when he talks about Afghanistan. Winning, it would seem, is not really possible. Not even with Stanley McChrystal in charge.”
Is that an unfair assessment, too bleak? I’ve been a fairly consistent supporter of the Afghanistan war since the inception, but even I was struck that a “senior military official in Kabul” is quoted in the article saying: “There’s a possibility we could ask for another surge of U.S. forces next summer if we see success here.” So even hypothesized success of McChrystal’s current surge would result in more troops, not less, heading for the fight – a decade in.
Filed under: Government | Tagged: Administration, Afghan, Afghanistan, Barack Obama, CPSU, DoD, foreign policy, Gorbachev, Government, Gromyko, international relations, McChrystal, media, Medvedev, military, Najibullah, Obama, Pakistan, peace, Pentagon, policy, politics, president, Rolling Stone, Russia, Soviet, Soviet Union, USSR, war | 1 Comment »