July 28, 2009

Q&A with Stan McChrystal

Who wants to watch me run my cakehole on Charlie Rose when you can hear it from McChrystal instead?

You have said that in Afghanistan protecting the population is the top priority. What does that mean you stop doing?

It means we put as much of our effort as we can to establish security for the population and we stay there so those other critical parts, governance and development, can happen. Obviously everything comes at a cost. So it means we don't have as many forces to maneuver in the country. So we have to rigorously prioritize and then some things come later.

Is the lonely fire base in the mountains fighting Taliban a thing of the past? Are you pulling out to get . . .

In some cases it might be -- in some cases. Some it might not be. If the population is in the valley, sometimes putting the small fire base in the mountains accomplished the ability to accomplish security for the population. What I don't think you will see as much of is big unit sweeps or operations where you sweep them, then come out. Historically it doesn't work, but almost every counterinsurgency tries it and relearns the lesson.