Gen. Stanley McChrystal today announced that the long-planned invasion of Kandahar, initially slated for sometime this month, has been delayed indefinitely because of a lack of support among the local population.
“I think its more important that we get it right than we get it fast,” McChrystal insisted, adding that local politics were more difficult than he expected and that it might take months to get the offensive off the ground.
Though the lack of local support is certainly a factor, the floundering occupation of the fictional city of Marjah is another. Nearly four months into an invasion which was supposed to be over in a matter of hours, troops are still facing daily firefights over the tiny farming community, with commanders saying the operation may extend past the fall.
The “government in a box” invasion of Marjah was supposed to be a test case for the very large, very real city of Kandahar. Yet if they cannot drive the Taliban out and prop up a Karzai-appointee in the largely irrelevant farming village, it is perhaps unsurprising that Kandahar locals don’t like their chances of doing the same in a city that is seen as the center of Taliban activity.