Long Wars and Peace Prizes


By Jeff Huber at-Largely

Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who has become the point man for the long war mafia, delivered his ultimatum to President Barack Obama on Friday, Oct. 9. As has been his practice over the past several weeks, McChrystal proxy-leaked details of his demands through the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and other sources. The Journal says one of McChrystal’s proposed options calls for 60,000 additional troops, and “several officials” say the “maximum variant” is even larger.


How odd it will seem to future historians that the world’s sole superpower seriously considered escalating a war in a country that is not a threat to anyone. The most insane tenet of McChrystal’s proposals is to train up 400,000 Afghan security forces. 400,000 armed and trained Afghans is the last thing we want. Five years from now we’ll have to deploy 60,000 troops to defend Iran from Afghanistan. Won’t that be a kick in the cupola?

A “senior military official” says that McChrystal is concerned that some of Obama’s advisers are arguing that the Taliban are not a threat to the United States. That would be tantamount to Obama’s advisers telling him the sun doesn’t rise in the west. The Taliban want us to leave their country, that’s all. They may or may not get back control of their country if we go, but why should we care? Afghans have been controlling their own affairs for thousands of years, and not once have they invaded Poland or France.

The Times quotes the senior military official (he insisted on anonymity because he’s a sanctioned leaker) as saying, “The real question is, do you want the Taliban to be in power in Afghanistan? If you don’t, then they have to be addressed through a counterinsurgency campaign.”

Poppycock. There are ways to address the Taliban other than through the kind of nation-birthing counterinsurgency campaign McChrystal and his allies—who include Gen. David Petraeus and Adm. Mike Mullen—are trying to cram up our nose pores. Our counterinsurgency doctrine is a crock of beans to begin with. In the case of Afghanistan, it purports that we can transport a culture from the Middle Age to the 21st century by flooding it with teenagers armed with M-16s, Oakley sunglasses, and inferior body armor.

Read more at at-Largely

Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes at Pen and Sword. Jeff’s novel Bathtub Admirals (Kunati Books), a lampoon on America’s rise to global dominance, is on sale now.


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