McChrystal to FOX: “Debate Healthy”October 2, 2009 - 12:13 PM | by: Greg Palkot
“The process of going through a very detailed policy level debate is incredibly important and incredibly healthy.”
That was the diplomatic answer from General Stanley McChrystal to my question about what happened in the meeting with President Obama and his National Security Team this week regarding Afghanistan (McChrystal participated via videophone).
McChrystal was appearing at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London.
He repeated his tough talk about the war from his leaked assesment, that the situation is “serious,” “deteriorating,” that “violence is up,” and the “insurgency is stronger.”
He did say that the West could “win” but that we “must redefine the fight.” That is, beef-up the counter-insurgency attack plus more troops. He said the fight was “under-resourced.”
The hitch is, not all in Washngton feel this way. Vice President Biden is leading the charge for an approach labled counter-”terrorism,” less emphasis on more troops, more on drone attacks on Al Qaeda along the Afghan-Pakistan border.
The President appears to be in the middle on this one and has promised more meetings before a decision is made.
Tellingly when he talks about the Afghanistan war these days he does not speak of defeating the tough Taliban insurgency, just (!) al Qaeda.
It’s a debate that no doubt was extended Friday when the President met with the General on board Air Force One during Obama’s quick stop in Copenhagen to try and push Chciago’s Olympics bid.
The President probably hoping his luck in Afghanistan will be better than in Denmark!