S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

BBC NEWS | South Asia | 'Different' Afghan strategy urged

Paul Reynolds, BBC world affairs correspondent

Gen McChrystal's strategy for success in Afghanistan can be summed up by his phrase: "We don't win by body count - we win when the people decide we win."
Everything he said in his speech was determined by this approach, which is a counter-insurgency strategy, not a counter-terrorism one. The difference is that in the first, the protection of the people is central.
In the second it is the killing of the enemy. The second has been tried and failed, he is suggesting, and it is time to concentrate on the first. The international forces had to do things in a "dramatically" and perhaps "uncomfortably" different way.
The situation was serious and neither success nor failure could be taken for granted. Another key part of his thinking is to reject "bumper-sticker truths" and to remember "humility".
All this will require more troops - perhaps 40,000 more - and the White House is examining the general's proposals.
10/1/09 -- General McChrystal was speaking before a think tank in London. The story emphasized that President Obama may take some weeks to decide upon the best strategy.

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