Geek Mythology

June 23, 2010

I see a bad moon rising.

Filed under: Main — Mackanlee @ 9:39 am

Well the shit has really hit the fan this time. As I write this US general Stanley McChrystal, the guy who is leading the American war effort has been called back to Washington to explain himself for comments he has made about senior members of the current administration in an article called “The Runaway general” in the latest issue of Rolling Stone. The president is pissed off. Obama is described in the article as being intimidated by him and the top military brass in their first meeting and McChrystals aides are described as calling Vice President Biden “Bite me”. This couldn’t have come at a worse time. The war effort is at a critical juncture and its not looking good for American and NATO forces as it is. No one knows the situation on the ground as well as McChrystal does and replacing him now would mean a major setback for the operations in Afghanistan. But keeping him on would also signify a huge breach of trust between the Pentagon and the White House.

Many of the snide comments in the article where made by McChrystals team of advisors during a recent trip to Paris when they where all stuck on the ground due to the ash volcano. They called going to a meeting with a French minister “gay” and didnt have good things to say about Holbrook or Eikenberry either. The only ones who they seem to feel has McChrystals back is Hillary Clinton and Robert Gates. To me it looks like the American war effort in Afghanistan is starting to come apart at the seems. The article also includes many disgruntled comments from soldiers who feel they they can’t operate freely enough under McChrystals COIN (counterinsurgency) strategy. COIN strategy focuses on clearing areas of enemies and then holding them to be able to insert a new local governance that is not collaborating with the Taliban.

Many say that this strategy is the real problem. That it is much too ambitious and impossible to achieve in an area like Afghanistan. When the aim is nationbuilding then the bar is set too high. Vice president Biden discussed using a much smaller foorprint in the region but he was rebuffed. Instead the administration went with McChrystals counterinsurgency plan. Now it is becoming more and more clear just how difficult this will be. The Afghan war has stubbornly refused to follow Washingtons orders and now it is not only Afghanistans erratic leader Hamid Karzai who they percieve to be the problem it is the US administrations main general. He has supposedly submitted his resignation and his future hangs in the balance. We will know within a day or two wether or not he will keep leading the war effort or be replaced.

Here is a comment from Rolling Stone about the article:

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