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McChrystal Pressured by Administration to Revise Assessment

General Stanley A. McChrystal and Acting Army Chief of Staff Gen. John M. KeaneAccording to CBS News, General Stanley McChrystal originally wanted to request 50,000 more troops, but was “persuaded” to lower the request to 40,000. (McChrystal’s revised assessment here.)

Gen. Stanley McChrystal wanted to ask President Obama for 50,000 more troops for Afghanistan on top of the 68,000 already stationed there, but he was convinced to lower the request to 40,000, reports CBS News White House correspondent Chip Reid.

Sources tell Reid that McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, considers the lower number to be a firm bottom line McChrystal believes anything short of 40,000 increases the risk of failure, Reid reports.  CBS News

Can you imagine George S. Patton being told by Roosevelt’s administration on how to run the desert campaign in North Africa during WWII? Maybe the planning of the invasion of North Africa would have gone something like this:

Three pronged attack? We’re sorry General Patton, we can only afford 2 amphibious landings, not 3. Why don’t you just decide which of your 2 targets are the most important? Plus can’t you just pull into a port? It would save money on landing craft. We have some very bright Senators that have given this a lot of thought.

Our Senators promise that you will have more success if you concentrate your troops properly. We think you are over-estimating this overseas contingency operation. The big war is in Europe, the Germans aren’t really all that interested in North Africa. After all it is just a bunch of sand for the most part. Senate intelligence has concluded that this fellow Rommel is a bit of a dandy, calling himself the “Desert Fox” of all things. It should be an easy victory.

Your estimate of 125,000 troops is way over what our Senate oversight committee recommends. The cost of this is enormous. Don’t forget we still have the New Deal we are financing. The committee recommends 60,000, tops.

If you have any problems over there  don’t worry, you can count on the French to back you up.

If forcing General McChrystal to lower his initial request wasn’t enough, now John Kerry, acting as administrative spokesman, is giving the general lessons on warfare. His smarmy, pontifical address yesterday to the Council on Foreign Relations sets the stage for further pressure to cut back:

Kerry said McChrystal’s central option, for 40,000 more troops, “reaches too far, too fast.” His argument is that there are not yet enough Afghan troops or government structures to accompany American soldiers into areas they clear, which means that the key second and third phases of counterinsurgency — “hold” and “build” — could not be carried out.  Jackson Diehl, Washington Post

The White House announced this week that Obama may be making his decision well before the upcoming Afghan Presidential recount (brokered by Kerry), but not to expect his announcement until some time after. Today White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said “the president will announce his decision in the coming weeks.” (AP) Apparently we’ll get some more mileage out of our McChrystal Clock.

We wonder who is telling the truth here, John Kerry, or General McChrystal? Someone is prevaricating here somewhere, our bet it is John Kerry. (Where are the Swift Boat Vets when you need them?) Maybe we could get Kerry and McChrystal to switch places. We’ll let Kerry go to Afghanistan and muddle along with less troops than he needs, and we’ll send McChrystal to conquer the real enemy, the US Senate.

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  1. Marine Dog Man
    October 28th, 2009 at 15:11 | #1

    As a United States Marine Corps Sergeant, a warrior in the Vietnam War, having lead men into combat and having been involved in some of the worst, close combat engagements with enemy forces in the Vietnam War, I hold an opinion of senior military leaders that is born from the perspective of a warrior, not of a civilian nor politician.

    When a man has dedicated his life’s work to the defense of the United States of America, when he understands that the commitment he accepts may indeed call for the sacrifice of his life, he turns not away when the foundation upon which he builds his life is honor, duty, country and God.

    When a man such as this, holding personal responsibility for the lives of 68,000 men and women stationed in an hostile environment, when this man, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, requests assets needed to accomplish his mission, our nation’s mission, our government leaders should ask only one question: “When and where do you want them?”

    It is my opinion that John Kerry is a coward, liar, and a disgrace to the uniform worn by honorable men and women of our military services.

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