Posted tagged ‘Stanley McChrystal’

Hillary Clinton Makes Surprise Visit to Afghanistan

November 18, 2009

Hillary Clinton made a surprise visit to Afghanistan today as she landed in Kabul at 4:46 p.m. local time.

She met with embassy staff before going into a meeting with U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry and General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

From Reuters:

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Afghanistan on Wednesday for her first visit as America’s top diplomat, on the eve of President Hamid Karzai’s inauguration after a fraud-tainted election.

Clinton’s visit comes at a time when President Barack Obama‘s administration is in the final stages of deciding whether to send tens of thousands of extra troops, and election fraud has battered the veteran leader Karzai’s reputation in the West.

From CNN:

Her first visit to Afghanistan as secretary of state comes as President Obama is deciding whether to send up to 40,000 more troops to the nation, as requested by McChrystal.

Clinton will attend Karzai’s Thursday inauguration to a second term, showing U.S. support for his government, after an election that was tainted by fraudulent balloting.

Karzai is under intense international pressure to clean up corruption within his government, and Clinton is expected to deliver a tough message on the need to show results.

A major factor in Obama’s decision on how many troops to send to Afghanistan centers on the Afghan government’s ability to partner with the United States to fight the Taliban.

13,000 More US Troops to Afghanistan

October 13, 2009

President Barack Obama is deploying an extra 13,000 troops to Afghanistan, a move that is separate from a request for even more reinforcements.

From The Guardian:

The extra 13,000 is part of a gradual shift in priority since Obama became president away from Iraq to Afghanistan.

The White House and the Pentagon both announced earlier this year that the number of US troops in Afghanistan was to be raised by 21,000, bringing the total at present to 62,000, with the aim of 68,000 by the end of the year.

But the Washington Post, based on conversations with Pentagon officials, said that on top of those an extra 13,000 “enablers” are also being deployed. They are mainly engineers, medical staff, intelligence officers and military police. About 3,000 of them are specialists in explosives, being sent to try to combat the growing fatality rate from roadside bombs.

The deployment of such non-combat troops is in line with the professed aim of the new US commander, General Stanley McChrystal, to try to win the hearts and minds of the Afghanistan population.

General Warns About Failure in Afghanistan

September 21, 2009

According to documents obtained by the Washington Post, the United States top commander in Afghanistan warns that more troops are needed there within the next year or the nearly 8-year-old war “will likely result in failure”.

From CNN:

“Failure to gain the initiative and reverse insurgent momentum in the near-term (next 12 months) — while Afghan security capacity matures — risks an outcome where defeating the insurgency is no longer possible,” U.S. and NATO commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal said in the document, according to the Post.

Bob Woodward of the Post — who wrote the article — called it “a striking thing for a general to say to the secretary of defense and the commander-in-chief.”

McChrystal “really takes his finger and puts it in their eye, ‘Deliver or this won’t work,'” Woodward told CNN’s “American Morning” on Monday. “He says if they don’t endorse this full counterinsurgency strategy, don’t even give me the troops because it won’t work.”

The document was “leaked” to the newspaper, but parts were omitted after consultations between the newspaper and the Department of Defense, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said.

“While we would have much preferred none of this be made public at this time, we appreciate the paper’s willingness to edit out those passages, which would likely have endangered personnel and operations in Afghanistan,” Morrell said in a statement.

David McKiernan Replaced as Top General in Afghanistan

May 11, 2009

The Pentagon has announced that it is replacing its top general in Afghanistan.

From the Associated Press:

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he asked for the resignation of Gen. David McKiernan. Gates said new leadership is needed as the Obama administration launches its strategy in the seven-year-old campaign.

The change is aimed at “getting fresh thinking, fresh eyes on the problem,” Gates told a Pentagon news conference.

The move comes as more than 21,000 additional U.S. forces begin to arrive in Afghanistan, dispatched by Obama to confront the Taliban more forcefully this spring and summer.

Replacing McKiernan will be Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who has had a top administrative job at the Joint Chiefs of Staff for less than a year. He is a former commander of the Joint Special Operations Command.