Pentagon Delays Afghan War Review

Secretary Gates Wants Gen. McChrystal to Consider 'A Few Other Ideas'

General Stanley McChrystal’s long awaited assessment of the situation in the ongoing Afghan war is to be delayed indefinitely, according to the Pentagon, as following his meeting with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates the secretary wanted him to “take into consideration a few other ideas. The Pentagon spokesman would not elaborate.

Gen. McChrystal was expected to recomment a “cultural shift” in the operation, as well as a dramatic increase in the size of the already unweildy Afghan security forces, to somewhere around 400,000.

But perhaps the most serious question was whether the general would call for a further increase in the US forces on the ground in the nation, above and beyond the 21,000 troop escalation already pledged by the Obama Administration. Though other officials had previously ruled out any more escalation before the end of the year, last month Secretary Gates conceded that it was possible the US might send more than originally planned.

General McChrystal was tapped to replace General David McKiernan as the top US commander in Afghanistan in May. Gen. McKiernan had only held the position for around a year, but it was a year that saw rising violence in the nation, a worsening civilian toll, and multiple official changes in strategy by the administration.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.