Today’s Firing of General Stanley McChrystal
Today’s firing of General Stanley McChrystal was bittersweet for me. I was proud to see President Obama assert a basic tenet of our republic – civilian control of the military. I was saddened to see him recommit our country to the same failed strategy of counter-insurgency in Afghanistan. In the President’s words, “This is a change in personnel, but it is not a change in policy.”
As most of you know, I am a retired Navy Master Chief. In the final six years of my career I served on the personal staff of three Commanders, U.S. Central Command – General Tommy Franks, USA; General John Abizaid, USA; and Admiral William Fallon, USN. With these four-star officers, I deployed to Afghanistan 33 times.
Though I have travelled throughout the world, Afghanistan is without a doubt the most desolate, undeveloped country I have ever seen. As a member of our travelling team used to say as we flew from Islamabad, Pakistan to Bagram, Afghanistan, “This is the only time you can fly for two hours and go back nine centuries.”
The policy President Obama affirmed today is called counter-insurgency. Counter-insurgency is a very complicated strategy where we try to win “hearts and minds” via military action and overall nation-building. In other words, if we kill bad guys and build roads, the overall population will decide to support us.
Counter-insurgency won’t work in Afghanistan. Anyone who believes it will does not understand the lives, time, and money that must be committed. I also contend supporters of counter-insurgency do not actually support the vast investment America must make. Counter-insurgency will cost America trillions of dollars, thousands of lives, and an untold amount of international goodwill.
When elected to Congress, I will vote against any and all funding that continues the war in Afghanistan. Plain, simple, and period!
If you agree with me, please consider contributing to our grassroots campaign at “Your Choice, Not Washington’s.” Your Choice, Not Washington’s.
Your Brother, Doug