Afghanistan Strategy - No Deadline Set for Decision on Troops
Last week a report was leaked that General McChrystal, Commander ISAAF, had produced. The report indicated that, in McChrysal's judgment, the NATO effort in Afghanistan was headed for failure unless more troops were made available to protect the Afghan people.
General McChrystal's strategy is to have troops live with the local population in their towns or villages to provide them the protection they seek from retribution of the Taliban.
General McChrystal replaced General McKiernan as Commander of ISAF. The Obama Administration effected this replacement. In my view, before General McChrystal was send to Afghanistan, he was given a manadate by the Commander in Chief. Surely, a newly appointed commander does not go to a theatre of war blindly, without guidelines.
There seems to be some hesitation to release General McChrystal's request, which is not held by Secretary Gates in the Pentagon. It is to be kept secret until a strategy for Aghanistan is developed.
Admiral Mullen and General McChrystal met at Ramstein AFB on Friday, apparently so General McChrystal could brief the Chief of the Joint Chiefs on his request. According to Bob Woodward, a distinguished journalist with the Washinton Post, Retired General Jones has said that President Obama has not set a deadline for determining a new strategy.
This goes in the face of General McChrystal's urgent request for more troops. His request is estimated to be for 10-40,000 additional troops. Jones said that the President had several meetings planned over the next few weeks to determine a new strategy.
Personally I feel that General McChrystal was send to Afghanistan with a mandate. With a special operations background, I doubt that the "Win the Hearts and Minds" strategy came from the General. This would seem to run counter to anything the U.S. Army has trained for.
Could the secrecy of the request and the absence of a strategy be a strategic move to avoid a new discussion that would take away from the Health Care Debate?
President Obama has not set a deadline for determining a new strategy or for committing more troops to the war in Afghanistan, despite an urgent request from his top commander, his national security adviser said Saturday.
In a lengthy telephone interview, retired Gen. James L. Jones outlined Obama's plans for reassessing the war effort. Jones noted that although the administration has seen some progress in Afghanistan and Pakistan, it remains uncertain about the outcome of President Hamid Karzai's contentious bid for reelection.
Obama has scheduled at least five meetings with his national security team over the next weeks to reexamine the strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. "Tuesday marks the start of five scheduled intensive discussions with the National Security Council, as well as field commanders and regional ambassadors, on Afghanistan," Jones said.
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Negros Oriental, Philippines