Monday, September 21, 2009
The report leaked today from Gen. William McChrystal, the commander of all forces in Afghanistan said that unless forces are dramatically increased, the American effort there is likely to fail. He may be right, after all he has his McChrystal balls to rely on. But on the other hand, what are the chances that any general is going to recommend retreat, which will always look to some as a failure, as opposed to going all in which at least has a chance of "winning" whatever that may be in a place as poor, corrupt, remote, ungoverned, and unconquered as Afghanistan? Pulling out is no choice any military man would ever take. Leave that to the Commander-in-Chief, a civilian whose calculations on such matters have to take into account many more factors than anything a general has to worry about. This does not demean the general's advice in any way, but rather places it in context along with any other sources of advice the president must take into consideration.