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Monday, September 28, 2009

Gen. Stanley McChrystal Says he has Talked to Obama "Once" Since Being in Afghanistan - Video 9/27/09

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Here is video of a 60 Minutes interview with U.S. Afghanistan commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal. CBS correspondent David Martin went to Afghanistan to visit with McChrystal.

McChrystal believes the U.S. strategy must put a premium on winning over the Afghan people by drastically reducing the possibility of civilian casualties. "We cannot only walk with a hammer in our hands."

McChrystal will not wear body armour or a weapon when he walks the streets of Kabul or goes to a village. He says he is trying to "deprogram eight years of bad habits" in the way U.S. Forces operate in Afghanistan, including the way they "drive through the streets." Afghans perceived Americans as "arrogant" by they way they drive the roads. McChrystal is trying to change that.

The video is a fascinating in-depth look at McChrystal, and gives insight into how he is seeking to redirect the war there.

He is very frustrated with the Pentagon and the time it takes for him to get officers and other things or people he needs. No doubt he is very frustrated at how long it is taking for him to get an answer from the President on whether he will get the troops he needs to do the job.

McChrystal would not say he is confident he will get the troops he needs. He would only say he is confident he can make his assessment to Obama.

Shockingly, McChrystal said he has only talked to President Obama "once" since he has been in Afghanistan. If Obama is serious about getting this decision right, would you not want to talk to the commander on the ground frequently?


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