Summary: the McChrystal’s Assesment consists of layers of absurdity, piled high. Future generations will study it as a prime example of early 21st century madness, when such a thing was taken seriously.
Essentials of the McChrystal’s Initial Commander’s Assessment of the Af-Pak War, released 30 August 2009.
- Amnesia is the essential requirement
- The key strategic element is that we have no strategy.
- Hope is the plan, cost is no object.
- Nation-building in Afghanistan today. Mexico next?
- For more information from the FM site, and the Afterword
(1) Amnesia is the essential requirement
Amnesia is the essential requirement to be an American geopolitical guru — or Amerian journalist covering geopolitics. As described in How many troops would it take to win in Afghanistan? (15 September 2009), we are closely following the military’s playbook for escalating a small war — perfected in Vietnam. This remains invisible to many experts, as in this excerpt from Stratfor’s “McChrystal and the Search for a Strategy in Afghanistan“, 22 September 2009:
This is a statement by an officer of the modern U.S. Army, an institution with a broad disdain for the legacy of Gen. William Westmoreland. As first commander of U.S. forces in Vietnam (1964-1968) and then Army chief of staff (1968-72), Westmoreland’s legacy has come to be seen as that of having asked for more and more American troops without a winning strategy. In other words, he continued to commit more American soldiers to a conflict without a strategy that had any real chance for success. While one can debate the history, many in the U.S. Army’s officer corps today consider Westmoreland an officer who did the ultimate disservice to his country — and perhaps more importantly, to his men — by allowing a failed political and military strategy to continue to consume American lives. … With this report, McChrystal has clearly differentiated himself from this path.
Absurd. For example, the report’s language on page 2-20 could come from DoD report about Vietnam written up to the very end: