Must’ve slipped his mind.
Hat Tip to Hot Air.
From an 8 October teleconference between Washington and General Stanley McCrystal in Afghanistan:
In June, McChrystal noted, he had arrived in Afghanistan and set about fulfilling his assignment. His lean face, hovering on the screen at the end of the table, was replaced by a mission statement on a PowerPoint slide: “Defeat the Taliban. Secure the Population.”
“Is that really what you think your mission is?” one of the participants asked.
In the first place, it was impossible — the Taliban were part of the fabric of the Pashtun belt of southern Afghanistan, culturally if not ideologically supported by a major part of the population. “We don’t need to do that,” Gates said, according to one participant. “That’s an open-ended, forever commitment.”
But that was precisely his mission, McChrystal responded, enshrined in the Strategic Implementation Plan — the execution orders for the March strategy, written by the NSC staff.
“I wouldn’t say there was quite a ‘whoa’ moment,” a senior defense official said of the reaction around the table. “It was just sort of a recognition that, ‘Duh, that’s what in effect the commander understands he’s been told to do.’ Everybody said, ‘He’s right.’”
“It was clear that Stan took a very literal interpretation of the intent” of the NSC document, said Jones, who had signed the orders himself. “I’m not sure that in his position I wouldn’t have done the same thing, as a military commander.” But what he created in his assessment “was obviously something much bigger, and more longer-lasting . . . than we had intended.”
Defeat the Taliban; that was the plan, wasn’t it?
On Oct. 9, after awaking to the news that he had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Obama listened to McChrystal’s presentation. The “mission” slide included the same words: “Defeat the Taliban.” But a red box had been added beside it, saying that the mission was being redefined, Jones said. Another participant recalled that the word “degrade” had been proposed to replace “defeat.”
Already briefed on the previous day’s discussion, the president “looked at it and said, ‘To be fair, this is what we told the commander to do. Now, the question is, have we directed him to do more than what is realistic? Should there be a sharpening . . . a refinement?’ ” one participant recalled.
I can just imagine what’s going through General McCrystal’s military mind: “I’ve got to take orders from an incompetent, plebian cockholster who couldn’t make it down one-way street without getting lost.”
THE ONE and his team of scatterbrained effetes have no understanding of how to run a country let alone a war.