General Stanley McChrystal has given his response to Obama’s strategy.
“The Afghanistan-Pakistan review led by the President has provided me with a clear military mission and the resources to accomplish our task. The clarity, commitment and resolve outlined in the President’s addressare critical steps toward bringing security to Afghanistan and eliminating terrorist safe havens that threaten regional and global security.
“The NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) objective is equally clear: We will work toward improved security for Afghanistan and the transfer of responsibility to Afghan security forces as rapidly as conditions allow. In the meantime, our Afghan partners need the support of Coalition forces while we grow and develop the capacity of the Afghan army and police. That will be the main focus of our campaign in the months ahead.
“The 42 other nations of the Coalition will benefit from a strengthened U.S. commitment, as success in Afghanistan must be an international, integrated civil-military effort – from our security and training capacity to the governance and economic development assistance that sustains long-term stability. The concerted commitment of theinternational community will prevail in bringing real change to Afghanistan — a secure and stable environment that allows for effective governance, improved economic opportunity and the freedom of every Afghan to choose how they live.
“We face many challenges in Afghanistan, but our efforts are sustained by one unassailable reality: neither the Afghan people nor the international community want Afghanistan to remain a sanctuary for terror and violence. The coalition is encouraged by President Obama’s commitment and we remain resolute to empowering the Afghan people to reject the insurgency and build their own future.”
Spencer Ackerman, from the Washington Independent, has read way more into this statement than is actually there, here’s Ackerman:
So much for the “dithering” critique. Here is a statement just released by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, expressing full support and confidence in President Obama and the weeks-long strategy review.
If the GOP really thought it could drive a wedge between McChrystal and Obama or use the general as a cudgel against his commander in chief, this ought to provide an end to such illusions.
I read McChrystal’s statement twice and both times I saw nothing there at would answer the “dithering critique”. I also noticed that McChrystal had no words for the imposed timeline. As far as illusions go, Ackerman is doing a pretty good job creating his own with his line about GOP trying to drive a wedge between Obama and McChrystal.
McChrystal asked for more troops and the GOP supported that. When Obama dragged his feet on the request, the GOP called out the dithering. If anything they were trying to get Obama and McChrystal on the same page.