McChrystal: Trump Needs To Take Responsibility For The War In Afghanistan

news
Retired U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal speaks during a forum at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, March 11, 2013.
Associated Press photo by Steven Senne

The Pentagon will send an additional 4,000 troops to Afghanistan as early as next week, U.S. officials confirmed June 15 — just one day after President Donald Trump delegated his authority to determine downrange troop levels to Secretary of Defense James Mattis.


Hours before the troop increase was announced, retired Army general Stanley McChrystal told CNN that Mattis’ management of troop levels wouldn’t relieve the commander-in-chief of his accountability for the war’s conduct.

"I believe Jim Mattis will make a great decision on Afghanistan," McChrystal told anchor Jake Tapper. "But I don't think that takes away President Trump's responsibility for that decision."

On June 14, Mattis gave a dire assessment of the war when he spoke at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. “We are not winning in Afghanistan right now,” he told the senators, “and we will correct this as soon as possible.”

Related: Mattis To Send Nearly 4,000 US Troops To Afghanistan ‘As Early As Next Week’ »

The decision to increase America’s military commitment in Afghanistan comes at a tenuous point in the 16-year long war, with the Islamic State and a resurgent Taliban surging across the country, three years after NATO combat missions officially ended.

McChrystal, who served under President Barack Obama as the top commander in Afghanistan from 2009 to 2010, before he was forced to step down following a Rolling Stones exposé in 2010, was enthusiastic but cautious about the U.S.’s prospects for future mission success.

“President Trump will ultimately own the outcome, and I think it’s important that we take the long view,” McChrystal said. "Well, we’ve been there for 15 years, and I'm a believer in the Afghan people, so I support an increase in forces there."

The additional 4,000 troops will bring the total force count to roughly 14,000 — 8,200 under the Obama-era troop cap, plus an additional 2,000 that have deployed there in recent years.

"But the question we have to ask is if that increase doesn’t produce the outcome we want, what’s our commitment after that, and are we prepared to make a long-term commitment to the people of Afghanistan?” McChrystal said. “I personally think we should, but I don’t that that’s a decision for me to make. I think that’s a conversation that we as the American people have got to have in a very realistic way.”

The newly proposed deployment levels are on par with U.S. troop strength in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2004, but faced with a resurgent Taliban and a growing ISIS presence, that may not be enough to shift the tide — and securing the country, again, shouldn’t be the sole responsibility of American troops on the ground, again, McChrystal argued.

"I think there's going to have to be an adequate ground force, but I don't think it should be primarily American," McChrystal said. "That is a regional issue to which regional forces are most appropriate."

WATCH NEXT:

The wreckage of an airplane is seen after a crash in Deh Yak district of Ghazni province, Afghanistan January 27, 2020. (Reuters photo)

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan forces and Taliban fighters clashed in a central region where a U.S. military aircraft crashed, officials said on Tuesday, as the government tried to reach the wreckage site in a Taliban stronghold.

On Monday, the U.S. military said an E-11A aircraft crashed in the province of Ghazni, but disputed Taliban claims to have brought it down, without saying how many were aboard or if any had been killed.

Read More
U.S. Army Spc. Preston Seach, assigned to the East Africa Response Force (EARF), Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, participates in an emergency deployment response exercise, East Africa, May 17, 2019. (U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Chris Hibben)

Editor's Note: This article by Richard Sisk originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Monday that U.S. strategic goals could include drawing down troops in Africa despite French pleas that American support is "critical" to countering the growing strength of terror groups in the region with links to the Islamic State and al Qaeda.

"My aim is to adjust our footprint in many places," including Africa, to free up forces for a "great power competition" against China and Russia, he said at a joint Pentagon news conference with French Defense Minister Florence Parly.

Read More
Nothing says joint force battle management like a ride-sharing app. (Task & Purpose photo illustration)

The Air Force's top general says one of the designers of the ride-sharing app Uber is helping the branch build a new data-sharing network that the Air Force hopes will help service branches work together to detect and destroy targets.

The network, which the Air Force is calling the advanced battle management system (ABMS), would function a bit like the artificial intelligence construct Cortana from Halo, who identifies enemy ships and the nearest assets to destroy them at machine speed, so all the fleshy humans need to do is give a nod of approval before resuming their pipe-smoking.

Read More
In this June 7, 2009 file photo Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) points to a player behind him after making a basket in the closing seconds against the Orlando Magic in Game 2 of the NBA basketball finals in Los Angeles. Bryant, the 18-time NBA All-Star who won five championships and became one of the greatest basketball players of his generation during a 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, died in a helicopter crash Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020. He was 41. (Associated Press/Mark J. Terrill)

Beloved basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and seven other people were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on Sunday. Two days earlier, Army Spc. Antonio I. Moore was killed during a vehicle rollover accident while conducting route clearing operations in Syria.

Which one more deserves your grief and mourning? According to Maj. Gen. John R. Evans, commander of the U.S. Army Cadet Command, you only have enough energy for one.

Read More

The mother of Marine veteran Austin Tice told reporters on Monday that a top U.S. official is refusing to give permission for a meeting with the Syrian government to negotiate the release of her son, who went missing near Damascus in 2012.

"Apparently, somewhere in the chain, there is a senior U.S. government official who is hesitating or stalling," Debra Tice reportedly said at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Debra Tice said she is not certain who this senior official is. She also praised those in government who are working to get her son back.

Read More