Skip to content

Why Change US Commander in Afghanistan

Firing Gen. McKiernan and replacing him with Gen. McChrystal in Afghanistan has been described as the first such command change during wartime since Gen. MacArthur was fired during the Korean War. I don’t know if that’s media hype, or whether the Pentagon is pushing that interpretation to emphasize a change in policy. If it’s meant to be something big, as the press is saying, then as this blog asks, what does it mean?

To me the main difference is between sort of an old-fashioned, big Army fight, and a new style, guerrilla, counter-insurgency fight. I’m not a military expert, but I think the former strategy wins wars, while the latter one wins battles. That raises the question, what is our end-game in Afghanistan? If it’s something less than a tradition victory, which we probably haven’t won since World War II, then this change makes sense. The Russians tried for an old-style victory in Afghanistan, and it didn’t work out too well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *