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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

McChrystal Assessment Paints Dire Picture of Afghan War

McChrystal tells Obama that without additional resources, the U.S. could lose in Afghanistan.

After doubling down on Bush's bad bet in Afghanistan, will Obama double down a second time?

WASHINGTON (SEPTEMBER 21, 2009)-- Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, told the Obama administration last month that the situation in the country is "deteriorating" and that without additional resources, the U.S.-led coalition could lose the war.

The conclusions, contained in a 66-page assessment, were first reported on the web site of the Washington Post Sunday night and confirmed by a senior administration official.

After weeks of speculation, details of Gen. Stanley McChrystal's report on Afghanistan were released. What's striking about his assessment, WSJ's Peter Spiegel reports, is the urgency of his message.

The declassified version of the assessment paints a dire picture of the war up until this summer, saying that the allied effort is losing support among the Afghan people and that it must regain the initiative in the next 12 months or risk a situation where "defeating the insurgency is no longer possible."

"Additional resources are required, but focusing on force or resource requirements misses the point entirely," Gen. McChrystal wrote in a four-page "commander's summary" at the start of the assessment. "The key take away from this assessment is the urgent need for a significant change to our strategy and the way that we think and operate."
--from "McChrystal Assessment Paints Dire Picture of Afghan War" by PETER SPIEGEL (The Wall Street Journal)

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