If not that, what? 77

Truth is, they don’t know what the hell they’re fighting for.

The following extract is from a Washington Post report on the grinding process by which Obama eventually arrived at a decision on how to proceed in Afghanistan:

In June, McChrystal noted, he had arrived in Afghanistan and set about fulfilling his assignment. … “Defeat the Taliban. Secure the Population.”

“Is that really what you think your mission is?” one of those in the Situation Room asked.

On the face of it, it was impossiblethe Taliban were part of the fabric of the Pashtun belt of southern Afghanistan, culturally if not ideologically supported by a significant part of the population. “We don’t need to do that,” Gates said, according to a participant. “That’s an open-ended, forever commitment.”

But that was precisely his mission, McChrystal responded, and it was enshrined in the Strategic Implementation Plan — the execution orders for the March strategy, written by the NSC staff.

“I wouldn’t say there was quite a ‘whoa’ moment,” a senior defense official said of the reaction around the table. “It was just sort of a recognition that, ‘Duh, that’s what, in effect, the commander understands he’s been told to do’.”

Read it all if you have the stamina.

Posted under Afghanistan, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Friday, December 11, 2009

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