McChrystalizing failure: Fault lies not with the Pentagon, but with the White House

via: Patriot Post

“The Obama administration made clear that America’s expanded commitment in Afghanistan had a short shelf life — just 1 1/2 years. Under the current plan, the United States will remove its ‘surge’ of troops by July 2011, essentially restoring the status-quo ante and providing the Taliban with a date certain for when it can redouble its resistance. It’s no wonder Washington has had problems in recent weeks in its relations with Afghan president Hamid Karzai, who has become increasingly skeptical of long-term collaboration with an America that’s clearly eyeing the exits.

Nor should it come as a surprise that U.S. allies in NATO are beginning to retract their support for the Afghanistan mission as well because they have no stomach for inheriting the conflict from Washington after next summer. The White House has, in effect, stacked the deck against lasting success in Afghanistan. In the process, it has placed its military leaders — Gen. McChrystal among them — in the untenable position of losing American lives to implement a strategy that, whatever the tactical successes in the short term, is increasingly likely to be a strategic failure in the long run. Gen. McChrystal’s conduct was unbecoming, and he paid the price, but it reflects a real and profound frustration on the part of the military about the current state of drift in America’s approach to Afghanistan.” —Ilan Berman, vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council

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