Who’s In Charge, General McChrystal?

A few weeks ago, I wrote about Gen Stanley McChrystal’s actual command of Special Forces from the beginning of his command in Afghanistan – and everyone has seen the reports of McChrystal’s chilling admission in March that:

“We have shot an amazing number of people, but to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat.”

– and remembers McChrystal’s COIN sales pitch for the Obama escalation about the measure of success being not insurgents killed but civilians protected. Or as he said at the time:

“We say, ‘We are here for you. We respect and want to protect you’, and then we destroy their home, kill their relatives, destroy their crops,” McChrystal said. “It’s difficult for them to connect those two.”

So isn’t it about time that McChrystal be forced to explain why – under his command – civilian casualties are increasing in Afghanistan, in fact reaching “173 civilian deaths from violence in Afghanistan from March 21 to April 21, marking a 33 percent increase over the same time period last year…”

Amongst those killed:

Two women and a child became the latest innocent victims of Nato forces on Friday after occupation troops sprayed their car with machine-gun fire, Afghan officials have reported.


Late Wednesday night, a relative of an Afghan member of Parliament was shot and killed during an operation involving NATO forces in Nangarhar Province, setting off angry demonstrations the following morning that blocked the main road to Kabul for an hour amid chants of “Death to America.”

The lawmaker, Safia Sidiqi, said troops came to her house just before midnight. She was in Kabul at the time, but she said her brother had called her to say there were thieves outside the house. She said she had called the provincial police and was told that American troops were conducting an operation.

“They came to my house intentionally and killed one of my family members,” she said. “The Americans knew this was my house.”

So General McChrystal, rather than issue another round of regrets, perhaps you could explain why the top commander of international forces in Afghanistan is completely unable to deliver on his promises to protect civilians? Are you unable to command your forces – or have you simply been lying?

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