This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 13 °C Sunday 12 July, 2020
Advertisement

Ten years on US still doesn't know how to end Afghan conflict, says top commander

The former commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan says that the Iraq invasion complicated the Afghan conflict by turning public opinion.

File photo dated 11 June 2011 of US Lance Corporal Blas Trevino from the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines.
File photo dated 11 June 2011 of US Lance Corporal Blas Trevino from the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines.
Image: AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus/PA Images

TEN YEARS AFTER the US began its war on Afghanistan, it still doesn’t know how to bring the conflict to a successful resolution, according to retired US Army General Stanley McChrystal.

Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations, McChrystal said that US went into the war with too little knowledge of Afghan culture and with “a very superficial understanding of the situation and history”.

The retired commander had led coalition forces in 2009 and 2010, but was forced to resign after a Rolling Stone interview in which he was quoted mocking President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. A Pentagon investigation subsequently cleared McChrystal of all wrongdoing, saying that “not all of the events at issue occurred as reported in the article”. The magazine said it was standing by the article.

McChrystal also said that President Bush’s decision to invade Iraq two years into the Afghan conflict complicated the situation because the invasion “changed the Muslim world’s view of America’s effort”.

“When we went after the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001, there was a certain understanding that we had the ability and the right to defend ourselves and the fact that al-Qaeda had been harboured by the Taliban was legitimate,” he said. However, the Iraq invasion was seen as “less legitimate” in the Muslim world.

McChrystal also said that the US and its NATO allies are only slightly over halfway into reaching their goals in Afghanistan.

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

- Additional reporting by the AP

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

Read next:

COMMENTS (9)