McChrystal Terms Afghan War ‘A Draw’

Growing Doubts Over Kandahar Offensive

Some six months into the “McChrystal Plan” the US had dramatically increased its military presence in Afghanistan and President Obama has claimed they are making “undeniable” progress. To Gen. McChrystal though, the war is still “a draw.”

And even McChrystal’s claims of a draw are questionable, based on his insistence that the Taliban’s momentum has been stopped. This is not well supported by recent data, however, which has shown a rising death toll, rising numbers of Taliban IED attacks, and ever increasing numbers of civilian killings.

And the June invasion of Kandahar, supposedly the primary military goal for 2010, is the subject of growing doubts among US military commanders, failed efforts to “rebrand” the effort with the hokey title the “Cooperation for Kandahar,” and increased concerns about the readiness for the Karzai government to assert itself in the city.

US strategies in Afghanistan have had a history of falling apart a few short months after being sold to the American public as a cure-all, and perhaps predictably the McChrystal Plan too is starting to go off the rails, a victim of its own unrealistic promises to turn around the war in short order.

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.