Having unceremoniously dismissed of Gen. Stanley McChrystal just one year after installing him as the commander and public face of the Obama Administration’s favorite war, the President has brought in a “new” general, but all parties involved were quick to assure that the disastrous McChrystal Plan, a strategy to escalate the war in Afghanistan an enormous amount, would remain in place and that the change was essentially a cosmetic one.
NATO leadership, British and German officials, even the Afghan government itself, have all predicted that the strategy, one which the Pentagon was openly questioning before the recent budget push, does not need any sort of rethink, and that the plan, such as it is, will remains as it has been since President Obama took office. More escalations, more troops, more funding, and more predictions that the situation will get worse before it gets better.
In that regard Gen. Petraeus is an extremely convenient replacement, because if there is one US military commander with ample experience in transmitting false hope to the Congress, it is surely him. In fact in his role as Centcom Commander Petraeus has been regularly called upon to predict that the situation will worsen in Afghanistan but that some improbable victory would emerge at some indeterminate point down the road, if only everyone believes hard enough.
In fact, analysts say the only change Petraeus will bring, to the extent it is a change at all, is a rhetorical one. Several other officials have dismissed the July 2011 “drawdown date” for Afghanistan is largely meaningless and Gen. Petraeus appears to be firmly in the crowd opposing any exit date. The could be spun as “renewed debate,” but it is more realistically an opportunity to finally do away with yet another timeline.
President Obama insisted in his announcement that the replacement of McChrystal had nothing to do with “any sense of personal insult,” but as he reiterated that he is in “full agreement” with McChrystal on his strategy and in fact intends to continue that strategy even now that McChrystal is gone, it leaves open the question of why such a change would be made, other than for change’s sake.
Gen. Petraeus’ ill-deserved reputation for having “won” Iraq, a war which is still going on, will likely be his biggest asset, as it will allow him to credibly present the McChrystal Plan as an Iraq-styled surge. The claim might not stand up to close scrutiny on a number of levels, but war policy in recent years has rarely been subjected to anything more than cursory glances and occasional weary sighs, usually when the administration is trying to shove more “emergency” funding down Congress’ throat. Funding which, in the end, they always produce.
5 thoughts on “More of the Same Promised in Petraeus’ Afghanistan”
What's amazing is that anyone could take this war as being a serious endeavor by serious people. The man who was supposedly the brains behind the current plans for obtaining "victory" in Afghanistan is fired because he's quoted saying bad things about the president. Does this sound like anyone has a clue as to what the end objective is for Afghanistan? You take the person considered the linchpin for the what is supposed to happen there and fire him for hurting your feelings. There is no end in sight because there is no idea of what an end would mean. Rather it's a bunch of politicians groping blindly for a final battle that will make them look heroic to their colleagues. So long as these assholes feel no personal consequences for their blatant misuse of lethal powers, we will continue to see these literally fatal grand follies that ruin the lives of millions.
This is buroeaucracy not politics. A politician should be brave enough to bear the comments and criticism but politics is war of interest. For me it good for Afghans and their future. May be Mcchritel was too sharp but we must think as a human being as they are fighting unjust war. A soldier have to carry 20-30 kg. weight and fight and in summer with scorching heat and he was the man incharge to whom his soldiers will be protesting or telling their grievances.
To start a war is easy but to finish you need moral courage which the american politics don,t have. A powerless president had no choice but to fire General.
Get rid of the clowns….. McChrystal and hiz band of merry slur-sters turn out to be a bunch of drunken clowns…. A little booze, alot of hubris and voila……Boys will be boys on steroids..and not very PC…… Serious people on serious projects need to be more measured and sensitive……. Especially when they they carry the baggage of bombing wedding parties, hapless villagers trying to get heating fuel, and practice general mayhem as policy. Hard as such antics are to digest here where drunken excess often gets a wink, in Islamic countries where alcohol is proscribed, such antics are seen as shame.. And the in your face presentation made serious people see how depraved these crazies are…. Drunken frat boy antics and "clever" jokes can only cause us harm in geopolitics, especially if we want to be seen as the good guys, now the murderous bullies we have become….
The British – yes, the British – LOST the American Rvolutionary War because they did not know the terrain; did not understand the people; were not accustomed to guerrilla warfare; did not win the hearts and minds of the people; were foeign invaders; and despite winning most of the battles they lost the war – sort of what happened to the U.S. in Vietnam – sort of what is happening to US in Afghanistan.
Why are we so arrogant and so stupid to NOT have learned a lesson from our own Revolutionary War?
History should tell US that NO invader has ever won a war in Afghanistan – that land which is 'the graveyard of soldiers and of empires".
A 'new' general in charge – the same freight train coming at US that was the light at the end of the tunnel in Vietnam!
To be seen as the good guys we'd have to leave immediately, and give them $$$$ in reparations in the amount of at least what we give Israel every year for the next 100 years.
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