Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Gen. McChrystal's Resignation & Speech on Afghanistan
**See Gen. McChrystal's resignation letter
Gen. McChrystal's Speech on Afghanistan
By Gen. Stanley McChrystal
International Institute for Strategic Studies
London, United Kingdom
It is an honour for me to be here and I would like to thank you for giving me the time. I would also like to thank not only my hosts but also all of you who took time to be here today. This is an extraordinarily important subject: we have young people – not only from the coalition but also young Afghans – in the field today, who depend on the decisions we make and the analysis we do. Taking the time to talk and think about it is always time well-spent, so I thank you for that.
I am privileged to speak here today as the Commander of NATO’s ISAF forces, representing people from 42 troop-contributing nations. I represent them today and I hope to do that well. As you know, I have a British deputy, Lieutenant General Jim Dutton, who is coming to the end of his term and will soon be replaced by another great British officer, Lieutenant General Nick Parker.
Before I continue, I would like to recognise the enormous sacrifice that families here in the UK have made. As you know, the losses that we have suffered are significant in terms of those who have fallen, suffered life-changing injuries, or given up parts of their life just by being away from family. I am in awe of the performance of the British brothers whom I have been honoured to work with for a number of years now.
I am humbled to be here because I do not claim to be in the same category as people who have been talking here, such as Prime Minister Brown and President Zardari, who expressed their views on this complex subject. I do, however, believe that I can offer some perspectives and will try to do that today. I will start by posing seven questions before attempting to answer them. If this works according to my plan, it will totally exhaust your appetite for this issue and I will leave the room to wild cheers and lucrative job offers. If my plan fails, as most of mine do, I will be happy to field any questions that we have time for.
II. What is the Right Approach to Use in Afghanistan?
1. People’s Own Suggestions
People ask me this question all the time; many people offer their own suggestions. There is a multitude of approaches to what to do. Some people say that we should focus primarily on development; others say that we should conduct a counterterrorist-focused battle, given that this really started after 9/11 and Al-Qaeda’s strikes. Other people say that we should conduct counterinsurgency (COIN). A paper has been written that recommends that we use a plan called ‘Chaosistan’, and that we let Afghanistan become a Somalia-like haven of chaos that we simply manage from outside.
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