McChrystal: US Is Failing in Afghanistan

General wants more Taliban engagement, warns of losing citizens' support
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2009 6:57 AM CDT
Stanley McChrystal, the US general in charge of turning around the war in Afghanistan, recommends significant changes to US and NATO operations in a report today.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta/file)
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(Newser) – The US military's strategy in Afghanistan is failing, Gen. Stanley McChrystal will tell commanders in Washington today. A copy of the US commander's remarks leaked to the BBC compares the military to a bull charging at a matador—losing strength with each individual cut. McChrystal's report says Afghans are suffering a crisis of confidence, since their lives have not improved since 2001.

The long-awaited report says that Afghan military forces will not be ready to take the lead in peacekeeping for at least three years, and training police will take even longer. McChrystal also says the US should engage more with Taliban insurgents, estimating a 60% reduction in violence if they were found jobs. The report stops short of asking for more troops, but increased troop levels are implied—and may be made explicit in a second report to come.