McChrystal clear 1

Nobody imagined that victory over the Taliban was possible: not Obama, not McChrystal, not the soldiers in the field, not President Karzai, not the diplomats …

Search the Rolling Stone article (this is a link to the whole thing) on General Stanley McChrystal as carefully as you may, you’ll not find a trace or a hint of a belief in anyone that the war in Afghanistan could have been won by the US – aka the “coalition”  – forces. Or that victory could now be snatched from the jaws of defeat. It’s a disheartening and enfuriating story.

McChrystal is lucky to be out of it. He has egg on his face, but there’s a lot more egg to come.

Here’s how the article ends:

So far, counter-insurgency has succeeded only in creating a never-ending demand for the primary product supplied by the military: perpetual war. There is a reason President Obama studiously avoids using the word “victory” when he talks about Afghanistan. Winning, it would seem, is not really possible. Not even with Stanley McChrystal in charge.

Now we wait to see how General Petraeus will manage to make defeat look like “mission accomplished” – probably by retrospectively re-defining the mission – as full withdrawal is begun.

  • Ralph

    I thought we learned this lesson in Vietnam. I think it was Harry Truman who said” 'The only thing new under the sun is the history we have forgotten”.