Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fears for Afghan strategy after 24 hours of turmoil

Counterinsurgency is not working, say experts, and critics warn that replacement strategy indicates more of same

The Guardian

"....Obama then stripped McChrystal of his command at the end of 24 hours of turmoil that left the White House furious, not only about how the administration was characterised in Rolling Stone magazine, but by the creation of an unnecessary political crisis at a crucial time in the war in Afghanistan.....

Obama insisted that in sacking McChrystal he was making a change of personnel, not policy. The appointment of General David Petraeus, the architect of the counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq, was a signal that Obama does not plan to shift from the plan he committed to last year....

He said that in his view the most damaging aspect of the Rolling Stone article was the exposure of "real lines of friction within the Obama administration, which I have experienced myself".

Concerns about friction within the US military-political system over Afghanistan were reinforced by the article, in which American troops expressed a lack of confidence in the strategy. As one soldier says to McChrystal during a visit to a forward base: "Sir, some of the guys here, sir, think we're losing, sir.""

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