Obama Meets McChrystal on Air Force One

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Friday, October 02, 2009 at 8:45 am

They talked for 25 minutes, CBS reports, while President Obama was in Copenhagen to lobby for the Olympics. So let’s see: since “60 Minutes” aired Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s reference to only meeting with Obama once in 100 days, the general has gotten teleconference and personal time with the president twice in five days. Not bad.

Oh, right, and today in tea-leaf reading on the Afghanistan strategy review, this paragraph in The Washington Post jumps out at me:

Among them, according to three senior administration officials who attended the meeting, is McChrystal’s contention that the Taliban and al-Qaeda share the same strategic interests and that the return to power of the Taliban would automatically mean a new sanctuary for al-Qaeda.

I’d be stunned if McChrystal actually argued that the Taliban and al-Qaeda share the same strategic interests, since he said in his London talk yesterday that the vast majority of Taliban insurgents could be taken off the battlefield by providing them with jobs. The restored-sanctuary point, however, I could see him making. But the rest of it — and much of the piece — reads like it was provided to the paper by a McChrystal skeptic. Andrew Exum has a very measured response that somehow he thinks is immoderate.

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