When the Bush Administration invaded Iraq, it blew the chances of a win in Afghanistan. Until then, the Islamic world had a totally different picture of American motives.
The American superpower had been attacked on her own soil, in the financial capital of the world. Lives had been lost, the nation was shocked and outraged. Uncle Sam was on the move to make those responsible pay and pay big for their audacity. All that changed when American armed forces invaded Iraq, bombed its capital and regional hubs, and eventually executed the dictator it had once freely done business with in its campaigns against the Iranian regime.
Even after 10 years of war, American forces have not the local knowledge it will take to win against insurgent jihadists in this enigmatic country of mountains and deserts, opium and hash, and fierce tribal loyalties.
So says the only official to give any notice to the 10th anniversary of the United States' war in Afghanistan against al Q'aida.
General Stanley McChrystal resigned at the strong suggestion of President Barack Obamhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifa after he told a “Rolling Stone” reporter that he and his men fight for each other and not for politicians, Congressmen, bureaucrats or appointed officials.
It's basic military doctrine, something taught in the boot camps of every uniformed service.
The General and his McChrystal Group now sell this doctrine from an Arlington, Va., headquarters as "Crosslead" principles that emphasize effective communication and group decision making.
The unit, its integrity, your comrades in arms, the mission – all come first before self or anything else while under arms. There is no other loyalty available because, really, there is no one else present for whom one may fight other than one's brothers in arms.
For this, a decorated paratrooper, a combat veteran and an accomplished troop commander lost his career. He spoke in terms of hard military reality and made it a point to let his troopers speak freely while a journalist listened and asked questions on a publicity jaunt to Paris.
His assessment of the post-9/11 handling of the war against terror may be found in this UK Guardian story. It's as embarrassing to political officials who drive the deal in Afghanistan today as it was earlier.
Here General McChrystal shares a part of his Crosslead method. The operative words to listen for are "What I learned."