A growing number of high profile failures have people in the Pentagon openly expressing doubts about the so-called “McChrystal Plan,” the latest in a long series of new strategy for the Afghan War. Now those doubts are being parroted in Congressional hearings on the war.
“I think we are all concerned,” said Rep. Davis (D – CA) of the conflict, the longest in American history, while others focused on the pending Kandahar offensive, which has been delayed indefinitely by local opposition.
The White House shrugged off the concerns, saying it “welcomes” the opportunity to explain and that “we anticipated that as we increased our resources in this effort, that it would be increasingly difficult as well.”
Yet the Obama Administration’s public face was starkly different over the past six months as it began its new strategy, trumpeting a mythical shift in momentum and predicting a decisive turnaround that would make it obvious that the war was being “won” by the end of the year.
Instead America has been met with increasing failures, a major falling out with the Karzai government, a failed occupation of the fictional city of Marjah, more galling because that offensive was done mainly for PR purposes and even that didn’t work.
Having already announced two major shifts in war strategy, both of them escalations, in their first year in office, the administration is reluctant to admit that they are heading inexorably toward abandoning the McChrystal Plan. Yet the alternative is to pretend that the strategy is still on track and to claim, beyond all reason, that some major gain is on the horizon.