Afghanistan War: Ex-Commander Stanley McChrystal Says U.S. Started War With 'Frighten

Discussion in 'Americas' started by JayATL, Oct 8, 2011.

  1. JayATL

    JayATL Senior Member Senior Member

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    Afghanistan War: Ex-Commander Stanley McChrystal Says U.S. Started War With 'Frighteningly Simplistic' View Of Country

    WASHINGTON -- The U.S. began the war in Afghanistan with a "frighteningly simplistic" view of the country, and even 10 years later lacks knowledge that could help bring the conflict to a successful end, a former top commander said Thursday.

    Retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal said in remarks at the Council on Foreign Relations that the U.S. and its NATO allies are only "a little better than" 50 percent of the way to reaching their war goals.

    Of the remaining tasks to be accomplished, he said the most difficult may be creating a legitimate government that ordinary Afghans can believe in and that can serve as a counterweight to the Taliban.

    McChrystal, who commanded coalition forces in 2009-10 and was forced to resign in a flap over a magazine article, said the U.S. entered Afghanistan in October 2001 with too little knowledge of Afghan culture.

    "We didn't know enough and we still don't know enough," he said. "Most of us – me included – had a very superficial understanding of the situation and history, and we had a frighteningly simplistic view of recent history, the last 50 years."

    U.S. forces did not know the country's languages and did not make "an effective effort" to learn them, he said.

    McChrystal also said that the Bush administration's decision to invade Iraq less than two years after entering Afghanistan made the Afghan effort more difficult.

    "I think they were made more difficult, clearly," he said because the Iraq invasion "changed the Muslim world's view of America's effort. When we went after the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001, there was a certain understanding that we had the ability and the right to defend ourselves and the fact that al-Qaida had been harbored by the Taliban was legitimate. I think when we made the decision to go into Iraq that was less legitimate" in the eyes of much of the Muslim world.

    Iraq also diverted some military resources that could have been put to good use in Afghanistan, he said.

    Afghanistan War: Ex-Commander Stanley McChrystal Says U.S. Started War With 'Frighteningly Simplistic' View Of Country
     
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  3. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Very surprising he said they had mo clue about Astan when in fact they were so active in throwing the Soviets out.

    For me, it was in not identifying the right country to fight the war on terror which is the reason for the mess now.
     
  4. JayATL

    JayATL Senior Member Senior Member

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    I'm not sure what you mean by not identyfying the right country.... 911 was clear cut case of operational and heads being based out of afghainstan.
     
  5. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    One is that the US was actively involved in Astan through the 80s and should have known about them. They cannot say we didnt know the Afghans well.

    Second, once the "heads" found sanctuary in Pak, they should have shifted attention once it was clear Pakistan was two timing them.
     

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