Skip to comments.US to Replace Top General in Afghanistan (McKiernan Out & McChrystal)
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. Obamas 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 ...
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.
Non-military solution to the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Another disaster in the making.
Anybody know anything about him?
Ooops, I posted too fast!
He is a good friend of mine. Much better than McKiernan.
“dispatched by Obama”
Not good. That’s more like “Cher” than “Bush”.
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.
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.
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.
McCrystal is Special Ops Chief....this is VERY bad news for Al Qaeda..
“Anybody know anything about him?”
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.
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.
No....you are miss reading it. He is a hunter killer....this is no paper pusher.
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
I’m glad to read these reports about McCrystal, thanks.
He lead the hunt for Zarqawi....and got him.
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.
OMG - I agree with Bam Bam on something - hell has frozen over!
Timing is not important here....its the pick that is important.....excellent choice.
The disaster has already happened. We are now just seeing the results.
What the hell are you talking about?
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.
I hope this characterization doesn't inform the new commander's strategy.
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.
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!
It’s the religion. Africa is full of tribes, but they don’t want to kill us in our own country.
...McKiernan will be replaced by Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal BALL!
That is great news. Of all the recommendations, I’d trust a Freeper more than anybody else! Thank you!
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. ;')
Forgive my comment on McChrystal! It just seemed like the thing to say. Mea maxi culpa!
Good details - very positive indeed. I’d say there’s a unanimous favorable vote here, which is sure nice.
This news has actually made me smile....a night stalker is now in charge.........some serious heartburn at AQ central tonight.
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.
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.
I think eventually we will be forced out of Afghanistan.
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.
This map includes Balochistan in Pashtunistan which I think is a mistake.
I hope you're right...since what you describe is in fact a military strategy.
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.
Only to the extent the idiots in Washington let him do his job.
Fight to win? We'll see.
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.
I hope all you guys are right, but I have a real problem picturing zero doing anything pro-military.
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).
Very. This change does sound like an improvement.
Militarily we can win. The trouble is the politics foreign and domestic.
Looks like he eats more than just snakes.