Monday, May 11, 2009

From McKiernan to McChrystal in Afghanistan

Here's the New York Times report on the sacking of Gen. David D. McKiernan, "Commander’s Ouster Tied to ‘New Approach’ in Afghan War" (via Memeorandum).

Here's the Wall Street Journal's report on McKiernan's replacement, Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, "
Success and Scrutiny Mark General's Career":

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he wants a new commander in Afghanistan to fight the kind of complex counterinsurgency warfare that has come to dominate the campaign there.

His recommendation, Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, certainly fits that bill. Gen. McChrystal, a Green Beret who has spent most of the last year as the top staff officer to Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spent the previous five years commanding special operations forces in Iraq -- units that specialize in guerilla warfare, including the training of indigenous armies.

It was also those skills that officials said Adm. Mullen was counting on when last month he appointed Gen. McChrystal to head a task force to improve Afghan war strategy with a broad mandate to review the entirety of the campaign -- including, according to an agenda for the task force viewed by The Wall Street Journal, "appointment of key leaders."

Like Gen. David H. Petraeus, who will become Gen. McChrystal's new boss and is credited with turning around the Iraq campaign, Gen. McChrystal has won over converts in the Pentagon because of his intellectual rigor and a flexible decision-making process that lends itself to irregular warfare, senior military officers said. Gen. David McKiernan, the man Gen. McChrystal is succeeding, comes from the more traditional ranks of the Army, having commanded heavy armor brigades and divisions during his 37-year career.
McChrystal's been around a good bit of controversy (he was responsible for the misleading reports of Pat Tillman's death by friendly fire in Afghanistan), although he looks like the perfect man for Gen. Petraeus.

More analysis at
Memeorandum, and see especially, Fred Kaplan, "It's Obama's War Now: The ouster of Afghanistan commander David McKiernan could make—or break—the Obama presidency."


Dave said...

Time itself will be the judge of this move.

I trust Obama as CIC not at all, and as for Robert Gates, he failed miserably at getting the "dead wood" out of the CIA.

In fact, the dead wood managed to run him off, perhaps to the near-term detriment of our republic.

I trust him not at all.

My guess is that events in Ashcanistan are about to spin well out of control, as Bush should have slammed the door on that place three years ago, and the former street-organizer surrender-monkey in the White House is either clueless as he can possibly be, or is in cahoots with our enemy.

Of course, Ashcanistan won't matter for very much longer, as the Talibastards are going to be vying for ultimate power in a very nuclear-armed Pakistan.

If you do not understand the problem here, just Google India, Pakistan and Kashmir.

Those of you who attended government school needn't bother, as it will probably be better for you not to know.


courtneyme109 said...

General McKiernan's battlefield bona fides contributed much to the success of Surge. Before that, General Mac oversaw the 2003 ground war against Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi regime as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

He assumed command of NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan on June 3, last year.

Most Army sources reveal that they were kinda stunned ala Star Trek when General McKiernan and his staff were not given command for post-war operations in Iraq, which instead went to V Corps and the newly-promoted Lt. General Ricardo Sanchez.

He totally disagreed with General Franks about the Feyadeen. Franks dissed any threats from those guys. McKiernan wanted to hunt them down and kill them.

As far as his getting sacked goes - the only reasons that come to light so far - and there will prob be way more come out about Def Sec Gates' decision to relieve him - is that supply and logistical endeavors had NOT gotten better to remote outposts as per Gates directive from his last visit (before this one)to Af Pak.