McChrystal report unwittingly slays counterinsurgency doctrine
September 25, 2009
This summer the U.S. government has faced a deteriorating crisis in Afghanistan. Such crises tend to force policymakers to face up to the facile assumptions they have previously made. Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s report to his civilian masters on the faltering counterinsurgency campaign in Afghanistan has caused President Barack Obama and his advisers to face up to their basic assumptions about U.S. objectives and strategies for perhaps the first time. Obama and his team seem very likely to conclude from this long overdue examination of first principles that it will be impractical for the U.S. to successfully implement a counterinsurgency campaign plan in Afghanistan. McChrystal’s assessment has unwittingly tossed the U.S. military’s counterinsurgency field manual into the shredder. McChrystal’s report is brutally honest about the troubles in Afghanistan.
Click on title above for complete article, below for Phi Beta Iota comment and links to three “fix” pieces.
Phi Beta Iota: It warms our heart and renews our faith in the integrity of our uniformed leaders. Robert Gates had to be reminded that withholding the troop request was an impeachable offense, but he has at least been honest about his doubts. Now everything is on the table, and the idiocy of “pretend” Whole of Government operations is over. As with Viet-Nam (CIA knew Ho was a nationalist, Diem was a corrupt French-trained Catholic with a genocidal sister, Madame Nhu, and that Viet-Nam was not a “domino” by any strethc of the imagination), the USA marched to war on a full plate of ideological fantasy, amoral corruption, and misplaced silence among our flag officers and our abjectly willfully stupid media which turned down $100,000 full page information ads against the war from smart people with money. every single day that the Obama Administration focuses on Afghanistan and Iraq is a day in which it willfully neglects the home fromt and dire needs of the public for an honest coherent Administration with a strategy for creating a propserous world at peace. This past week has been lousy theater, nothing more. There is ZERO gravitas in the National Capital Area. Praise God for General McChrystal’s integrity, and for the calculated actions of those who ensured that his report–and his troop request–were not kept secret. Thinking back, “Perhaps We Should Have Shouted.”
To the left, a review of everything General Al Gray, USMC, then Commandant, and many others across the strategic and small wars and intelligence communities tried to teach policymakers from 1988 onwards.
To the right, the latest piece on trying to help the President help himself–no amount of “smart” can overcome the intelligence gap that exists right now at a cost of $75 billion a year.
Below, the article coming out in the International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence Fall issue, on Fixing the White House and National Intelligence.
We’ve established that Blair, Jones, Clinton, and Panetta do not want to hear from iconoclosts. That leaves Obama and Biden who are trapped inside the White House Bubble and must be freed if they are to be informed leaders.