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US to Replace Top General in Afghanistan (McKiernan Out & McChrystal)
Herald Net ^ | 10 May 09 | Pauline Jelinek and Anne Gearan

Posted on 05/11/2009 10:32:10 AM PDT by xzins

The Pentagon will replace its top general in Afghanistan as President Barack Obama tries to turn around a stalemated war, defense officials said.

The exit of Gen. David McKiernan comes as more than 21,000 additional U.S. forces begin to arrive in Afghanistan, dispatched by Obama to confront the Taliban more forcefully this spring and summer.

McKiernan, on the job about a year, has asked repeatedly for additional forces. Obama’s revamped strategy for Afghanistan does markedly increase the number of U.S. forces in the country but focuses on nonmilitary solutions as a better long-term solution.

Military officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said McKiernan will be replaced by Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of the announcement. Defense Secretary Robert Gates was likely to announce the new leadership in Afghanistan later today, an official said.

(Excerpt) Read more at heraldnet.com ...


TOPICS: Breaking News; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; generals; mcchrystal; mckiernan; waronterror
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1 posted on 05/11/2009 10:32:11 AM PDT by xzins
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To: P-Marlowe; brityank; pissant; Lancey Howard

McChrystal is a tough Ranger. This should be interesting.

McChrystal did a lot of the 5-gon briefings for Rumsfeld during the early parts of the Iraqi war. I’m surprised, given the Rummie connections.

Any new strategy BETTER take into account the limited resupply routes that large quantities of large munitions could take in entering Afghanistan.


2 posted on 05/11/2009 10:35:40 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain, Pro Deo et Patria)
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To: xzins

Non-military solution to the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Another disaster in the making.


3 posted on 05/11/2009 10:35:49 AM PDT by EagleUSA
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To: xzins
McChrystal has had a top administrative job at the Joint Chiefs of Staff for less than a year.

Anybody know anything about him?

4 posted on 05/11/2009 10:36:20 AM PDT by livius
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To: xzins

Ooops, I posted too fast!


5 posted on 05/11/2009 10:36:59 AM PDT by livius
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To: xzins

Interesting:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1652029/posts


6 posted on 05/11/2009 10:39:51 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: livius

He is a good friend of mine. Much better than McKiernan.


7 posted on 05/11/2009 10:39:54 AM PDT by Paratrooper
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To: xzins

“dispatched by Obama”

Not good. That’s more like “Cher” than “Bush”.


8 posted on 05/11/2009 10:41:59 AM PDT by chuck_the_tv_out (click my name)
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To: Paratrooper

That’s good to hear. But the question is whether he’ll get what he needs. It looks as if other countries are starting to back out, and I’m far from sure what Obama’s intentions are. Also there’s the Pakistani mess to worry about.

Well, good luck to him and our forces there. I hope they either use them properly or pull them out.


9 posted on 05/11/2009 10:43:45 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: xzins

With Khazid complaining about the air strikes and civilian deaths last week this is probably Obama’s way of appeasement to keep him happy back home.


10 posted on 05/11/2009 10:44:14 AM PDT by Abathar (Proudly posting without reading the article carefully since 2004)
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To: Paratrooper

His brother is/was a top chaplain in the US Army. It’s an interesting family. The brother was an excellent, sincere human being with a solid wife and a boy who was an exceptional athlete/quarterback on his high school team.

I was always told his Ranger brother was really a tough character...a snaker eater who downed nails as a chaser.


11 posted on 05/11/2009 10:44:27 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain, Pro Deo et Patria)
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To: xzins

McCrystal is Special Ops Chief....this is VERY bad news for Al Qaeda..


12 posted on 05/11/2009 10:45:36 AM PDT by Dog
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To: livius

“Anybody know anything about him?”

Yes,

McChrystal is not only a Ranger, But SF to boot.
Also, McChrystal gets the whole Net-centic warfare and IO Campaign way of doing biz.

I met LTG McCrystal aboput a month ago - VERY savvy individual. An Excellent Choice to replace McKiernan. HE’s also got a good bit of on-ground experience in Afghanistan.


13 posted on 05/11/2009 10:46:28 AM PDT by roaddog727 (Built Ford tough not Obama weak.)
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To: xzins

But the soldiers are arriving without equipment. Where is the outrage about this! They screamed holy hell about troops not having proper body armor when Bush was running things. Now they are going in country without equipment! I must say that I am outraged. Obama sending our boys into battle ill equipped! He needs to be taken to task for this.


14 posted on 05/11/2009 10:47:05 AM PDT by Always Independent
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To: Abathar

No....you are miss reading it. He is a hunter killer....this is no paper pusher.


15 posted on 05/11/2009 10:48:24 AM PDT by Dog
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To: EagleUSA

Afghanistan is everything 0bama and his Democrats tried to portray Iraq as. There is no long-term military solution there. The war in Afghanistan is ‘unwinnable.’ This isn’t to say we are losing the war or are in any danger of it, but simply that there is no possible exit strategy based on permanent victory there.

Afghanistan is the Wild Wild West. It is ungovernable. No one wants to live there except for outlaws. There are no natural resources except for poppies. It is landlocked with no major sources of water. It is inhospitable. This is the reason why outlaws and terrorists make it their home when no other country will take them.

That is why outlaws will always rule Afghanistan. A country where legitimate people will not live cannot have a legitimate government made up of legitimate individuals. The US will never be able to extract itself by setting up a legitimate, functional, non-corrupt government there. The only solution involving a military presence is one where we are there indefinitely, with US soldiers playing the role of cops. That’s not an exit strategy.

Instead, we need to leave Afghanistan, and destroy what little infrastructure it has, torch all the poppy fields, and level the camps there.
We can do this from 10,000 feet. And we will need to do it once every decade or so, to prevent the likes of Al Qaeda and the Taliban from reconstituting and rebuilding too much


16 posted on 05/11/2009 10:48:39 AM PDT by counterpunch (In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem.)
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To: roaddog727; Dog; xzins

I’m glad to read these reports about McCrystal, thanks.


17 posted on 05/11/2009 10:48:46 AM PDT by prairiebreeze ( Pretender-in-Chief Barack Hussein Obama....an arrogant embarrassment.)
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To: counterpunch
Instead, we need to leave Afghanistan, and destroy what little infrastructure it has, torch all the poppy fields, and level the camps there. We can do this from 10,000 feet. And we will need to do it once every decade or so, to prevent the likes of Al Qaeda and the Taliban from reconstituting and rebuilding too much

Never happen..

18 posted on 05/11/2009 10:50:45 AM PDT by prairiebreeze ( Pretender-in-Chief Barack Hussein Obama....an arrogant embarrassment.)
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To: prairiebreeze

He lead the hunt for Zarqawi....and got him.


19 posted on 05/11/2009 10:51:17 AM PDT by Dog
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To: Dog

I get that, it’s just the timing of the change that’s suspect. Khazid complains to show face at home over civilian deaths and there’s a mix-up of the top brass, good or bad, the following Monday.

I don’t believe in coincidences.


20 posted on 05/11/2009 10:52:30 AM PDT by Abathar (Proudly posting without reading the article carefully since 2004)
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To: Dog

OMG - I agree with Bam Bam on something - hell has frozen over!


21 posted on 05/11/2009 10:58:11 AM PDT by AUH2O Repub (Palin/Sanford 2012)
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To: Abathar

Timing is not important here....its the pick that is important.....excellent choice.


22 posted on 05/11/2009 11:00:28 AM PDT by Dog
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To: EagleUSA

The disaster has already happened. We are now just seeing the results.


23 posted on 05/11/2009 11:03:31 AM PDT by ImJustAnotherOkie
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To: EagleUSA

What the hell are you talking about?


24 posted on 05/11/2009 11:04:25 AM PDT by Dog
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To: AUH2O Repub

Afghanistan is tribal, there are no “Afghans”, there are only tribal members. There and in northwest Pakistan the tribal loyalties have to be destroyed and a single national identity created.

This has to be done in the way the British ransacked Scotland after 1745 (Bonnie Prince Charlie). The British banned the kilt and the bagpipes and arrested, exiled, bribed, or murdered clan leaders. Within a generation a Scottish nationality emerged with greater loyalties to the nation than to the clan. (And Scotland subsequently became a modern state which contributed greatly to the British Empire and the world.)

Something like that has to be done to the Pashtuns and all the other tribes in the region. If it’s not done, then there will be no peace because the tribes will always be fighting one another, which leaves an opening for terrorists and foreign nations to get and keep a foothold.


25 posted on 05/11/2009 11:06:48 AM PDT by CondorFlight (I)
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To: xzins
"McKiernan, on the job about a year, has asked repeatedly for additional forces. Obama’s revamped strategy for Afghanistan does markedly increase the number of U.S. forces in the country but focuses on nonmilitary solutions as a better long-term solution."

I hope this characterization doesn't inform the new commander's strategy.

26 posted on 05/11/2009 11:10:39 AM PDT by americanophile
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To: Dog

I’m glad from what you have written that they made the change, lets hope they let his leash slip and have his way without a lot of interference.

I do enjoy watching a professional, any professional, attacking a problem in his area of expertise.


27 posted on 05/11/2009 11:13:25 AM PDT by Abathar (Proudly posting without reading the article carefully since 2004)
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To: Dog

HA! LOVE IT.

Chief Snake Eater in charge of “Afghani” OPS, (wink, wink)
of course they will certainly NOT be violating Pakistani sovereignity, whatever that may be since over half the country is out of the control of the nominal government, hence the concept of sovereignity is somewhat dubious.

Petraeus did reassure the talking empty craniums that “no boots on the ground” - so SF guys now wear sandals?

Great news, pupster. The Game is Afoot!


28 posted on 05/11/2009 11:20:27 AM PDT by swarthyguy ("We may be crazy in Pakistan, but not completely out of our minds," ISI Gen. Ahmed Shujaa Pasha)
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To: CondorFlight

It’s the religion. Africa is full of tribes, but they don’t want to kill us in our own country.


29 posted on 05/11/2009 11:22:17 AM PDT by plenipotentiary (Free the Oil, Topple the Saudis. Confiscate Putins money. Disconnect Siberia.)
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To: xzins

...McKiernan will be replaced by Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal BALL!


30 posted on 05/11/2009 11:26:17 AM PDT by Bushbacker1 (I'll miss President Bush greatly! Palin in 2012!)
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To: Paratrooper

That is great news. Of all the recommendations, I’d trust a Freeper more than anybody else! Thank you!


31 posted on 05/11/2009 11:27:56 AM PDT by livius
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To: AdmSmith; Berosus; Convert from ECUSA; dervish; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Fred Nerks; george76; ...
The exit of Gen. David McKiernan comes as more than 21,000 additional U.S. forces begin to arrive in Afghanistan, dispatched by Obama to confront the Taliban more forcefully this spring and summer.
But whatever ya do, don't refer to this as a surge. ;')
32 posted on 05/11/2009 11:28:05 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/____________________ Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: Paratrooper

Forgive my comment on McChrystal! It just seemed like the thing to say. Mea maxi culpa!


33 posted on 05/11/2009 11:29:42 AM PDT by Bushbacker1 (I'll miss President Bush greatly! Palin in 2012!)
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To: roaddog727

Good details - very positive indeed. I’d say there’s a unanimous favorable vote here, which is sure nice.


34 posted on 05/11/2009 11:30:01 AM PDT by livius
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To: swarthyguy

This news has actually made me smile....a night stalker is now in charge.........some serious heartburn at AQ central tonight.


35 posted on 05/11/2009 11:30:41 AM PDT by Dog
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To: Dog

Imagine the costernation in Pakistani circles.

Hope we aren’t putting too much hope here, (where have I heard that word), but like you, it certainly made me break out in a soup eating grin!

And one option I know the US won’t use, but I bet there’s tons of Gurkhas who’d like some payback for the desecration of the remaining Buddhist monuments in Swat and Chitral, hell, the Talibs have even closed shrines honoring Sufis, ancient places of gathering, worship and singing and music and celebration that do not jive with the SaudiDeobandi inspired Talibs practice of Islam.


36 posted on 05/11/2009 11:36:53 AM PDT by swarthyguy ("We may be crazy in Pakistan, but not completely out of our minds," ISI Gen. Ahmed Shujaa Pasha)
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To: xzins

BBC: The US defence secretary has asked the country’s commander in Afghanistan to step down, saying the battle against the Taleban needs “new thinking”.

Robert Gates confirmed Gen David McKiernan would effectively be sacked less than a year after taking command.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8044735.stm


37 posted on 05/11/2009 11:57:52 AM PDT by Oldeconomybuyer (The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.)
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To: Cicero

I think eventually we will be forced out of Afghanistan.


38 posted on 05/11/2009 11:59:11 AM PDT by MinorityRepublican
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To: americanophile

The “nonmilitary solutions” is hopefully their way of phrasing Petraeus’ strategy of going town by town isolating the enemy, destroying them, and then controlling the cleansed area.

Part of that is his “hearts and minds” campaign of local presence by our troops. Obviously, if they go straight to the 2nd part without implementing the 1st part, it simply won’t work. The taliban don’t make nice.

Find the roaches, kill them, and then apply insecticide.

In this case, they need to block all supply routes. We know that they aren’t making their own weapons and ammo. How to stop it getting in. As mountainous as the east and south is, there have to be chokepoints to control resupply from that direction. The problem will be resupply from Iran.


39 posted on 05/11/2009 11:59:49 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain, Pro Deo et Patria)
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To: Paratrooper
Good news then.
Thank you
40 posted on 05/11/2009 12:02:14 PM PDT by Steve Van Doorn (*in my best Eric cartman voice* 'I love you guys')
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To: CondorFlight
I wonder if giving the Pashtuns their own country would not be more successful. The remainder of Pakistan and Afghanistan seem to be more or less stable with just the backward "Pashtunistan" causing trouble.

This map includes Balochistan in Pashtunistan which I think is a mistake.

41 posted on 05/11/2009 12:03:53 PM PDT by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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To: xzins
"The “nonmilitary solutions” is hopefully their way of phrasing Petraeus’ strategy of going town by town isolating the enemy, destroying them, and then controlling the cleansed area."

I hope you're right...since what you describe is in fact a military strategy.

42 posted on 05/11/2009 12:06:15 PM PDT by americanophile
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To: Straight Vermonter

Before the Partition of India, the Pathans were proIndia, they did not want amalgamation into Pakistan, as Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan stated.

However, Imperial politics dictated that the Pathani populations were bifurcated by the existing Durand Line and the geography necessitated Pathans going into Pakistan.

Even last year, the ANP won the elections, a secularish party, moderate and progressive, but had to concede Sharia in their areas when the Pakistani Army didn’t come to their aid.


43 posted on 05/11/2009 12:07:26 PM PDT by swarthyguy ("We may be crazy in Pakistan, but not completely out of our minds," ISI Gen. Ahmed Shujaa Pasha)
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To: Dog
McCrystal is Special Ops Chief....this is VERY bad news for Al Qaeda..

Only to the extent the idiots in Washington let him do his job.

Fight to win? We'll see.

44 posted on 05/11/2009 12:08:04 PM PDT by DTogo (High time to bring back the Sons of Liberty !!)
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To: swarthyguy

The Durand Line is just one more colonial era remnant that causes trouble 100+ years after the fact. Giving the Pashtuns their own country helps to isolating them. Trying to incorporate them into Pakistan and Afghanistan has been, and is, a disaster.


45 posted on 05/11/2009 12:12:24 PM PDT by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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To: xzins

I hope all you guys are right, but I have a real problem picturing zero doing anything pro-military.


46 posted on 05/11/2009 12:24:20 PM PDT by taillightchaser (!)
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To: EagleUSA

Shooters are extremely happy about this choice - Understand that. McChrystal is a damn fine choice (though he will likely butt heads with the WH about wanting to be more aggressive).


47 posted on 05/11/2009 12:28:39 PM PDT by SevenMinusOne
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To: 9YearLurker

Very. This change does sound like an improvement.

Militarily we can win. The trouble is the politics foreign and domestic.


48 posted on 05/11/2009 12:54:56 PM PDT by 1010RD (First Do No Harm)
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To: Dog
this is VERY bad news for Al Qaeda the Taliban in Pakistan.
49 posted on 05/11/2009 12:58:21 PM PDT by 1010RD (First Do No Harm)
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To: xzins

Looks like he eats more than just snakes.

50 posted on 05/11/2009 1:03:45 PM PDT by 1010RD (First Do No Harm)
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