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June 23 2010 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: A Holdover From The Bush Administration Meets His New Boss In The Woodshed - A Backgrounder On General Stanley McChrystal
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This morning the President accepted my resignation as Commander of U.S. and NATO Coalition Forces in Afghanistan. I strongly support the President’s strategy in Afghanistan and am deeply committed to our coalition forces, our partner nations, and the Afghan people. It was out of respect for this commitment — and a desire to see the mission succeed — that I tendered my resignation.He has been replaced by General David Petraeus
It has been my privilege and honor to lead our nation’s finest. [Source]
WARNING. McChrystal, his cohort, and the author are macho shit-heads. This article - read too often - could cause brain damage.Meanwhile, Juan Cole at Informed Comment says: "McChrystal Drama is Sideshow; Can Obama define a realistic Goal?", and describes just how bad the situation is on the ground:‘How’d I get screwed into going to this dinner?” demands Gen. Stanley McChrystal. It’s a Thursday night in mid-April, and the commander of all U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan is sitting in a four-star suite at the Hôtel Westminster in Paris. He’s in France to sell his new war strategy to our NATO allies – to keep up the fiction, in essence, that we actually have allies. Since McChrystal took over a year ago, the Afghan war has become the exclusive property of the United States. Opposition to the war has already toppled the Dutch government, forced the resignation of Germany’s president and sparked both Canada and the Netherlands to announce the withdrawal of their 4,500 troops. McChrystal is in Paris to keep the French, who have lost more than 40 soldiers in Afghanistan, from going all wobbly on him.[source]
Adding to the sense of McChrystal’s career possibly crashing and burning is the report from Matthew Green of the Financial Times in Marjah [scroll down] that US special envoy Richard Holbrooke and Ambassador in Kabul Karl Eikenberry visited Marjah on Monday and met with local elders to the sound of small arms fire in the background. (H/t to Michael Pollack for the link and his comments). Then as Holbrooke and Eikenberry were leaving the meeting site, a bomb went off, which apparently had been intended for them on the part of three suicide bombers but detonated prematurely at a local shop. The purpose of the visit was for Holbrooke to assess how well McChrystal’s counter-insurgency doctrine was going in Marjah. The local elders said that the Marines had improved security in some areas but not others. One said he had to travel to the meeting secretly for fear of Taliban reprisals.
When the US special envoy and ambassador can’t visit a place in a country without hearing small arms fire or risking being a bombing target, I’d say security is not good there.
On Monday and Tuesday, 14 NATO troops were killed, ten of them on Monday alone. Two of those killed Tuesday were American troops. So far in June, 69 NATO troops have been killed, 43 of them American.
[In full, with linkage to pertinent articles]
Forty miles off the Louisiana coast, on the north end of the Chandeleur Islands, a sand dredge sat idled late on Tuesday after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ordered operators to stop building new sand barrier islands. [More from Reuters]
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