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McChrystal's Fuzzy Math

Author: Leslie H. Gelb, President Emeritus and Board Senior Fellow
November 9, 2009
The Daily Beast


The U.S. military brass has a lot of public explaining to do on its Afghan recommendations before President Barack Obama makes his new decisions. Our military leaders went public with their case to increase U.S. troops by 44,000 or face defeat. They put Obama on the political hot seat (though I have to say he deserved it). He had to answer all the questions. The military got a free ride from America's pretend leaders and fake journalists. True to form, the pretenders and fakers fixated simply and almost solely on troop numbers. Typically, they failed to grill the military on whether their numbers (or any numbers, for that matter) squared with realities on the ground or with the military's own proposed strategy. Now, our public guardians in Congress and the media have to step up and examine whether the numbers and strategy from NATO and the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, make sense. If the military's responses are weak, it's time for Washington to turn the war over to friendly Afghans and adopt a supporting role. If the military makes its case well, Obama should accommodate their recommendations and go forward with a more united America.


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