Gen. McChrystal Rejects Call to Scale Back War Goals

Presses for Quick Decision on Massive Escalation

Speaking today at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, General Stanley McChrystal rejected the growing call among members of Congress and the Obama Administration to scale back his broad ambitions for a complete military victory and nation building success in Afghanistan and instead focus on tracking down al-Qaeda leaders.

“There short answer is: no,” Gen. McChrystal insisted, adding that any “strategy that does not leave Afghanistan in a stable position is probably a short-sighted strategy.”

Stability has been in short supply in modern Afghanistan, and after 30 years of internal strife bookended by failed international occupations it seems hard to imagine that it can be imposed on them.

But Gen. McChrystal still persists in seeking his 45,000 additional troops and all indications are he will eventually get them. He appears irked by the delays in approving the massive commitment, again noting that the war “will not remain winnable indefinitely.”

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of