Administration Frustrated by Pentagon’s Struggles in Afghan Escalation

Gen. McChrystal Says Deployment Pace Was Never Realistic

Top members of the Obama Administration are reportedly up in arms over what they say is the failure of the Pentagon to live up to the president’s promise to have 30,000 additional troops deployed as part of the December-announced escalation by the summer.

Gen. Stanley McChrystal

Several officials, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates, had promised the troops would be in place by summer’s end, and the strategy reportedly hinges on the ability to add a lot of troops to the nation in a short period of time.

It had been speculated since the announcement of the escalation that the Pentagon would struggle to add so many troops to a landlocked nation with virtually no infrastructure and few paved roads. Still, Admiral Michael Mullen insisted the logistics people would figure it out.

But now that General Stanley McChrystal, the commander in Afghanistan and architect of the escalation, is under fire for the delays, he is angrily insisting that the president’s deployment pace was “never realistic.” Though it is unclear how much the delay will set back the escalation’s pace, it seems officials are already looking to shift blame.

But one has to wonder what would have happened if General McChrystal had gotten the 80,000 additional troops he at one point sought. If the Pentagon can’t get 30,000 troops into the combat zone in the next nine months, it seems as if that plan would’ve taken several years to implement.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.