‘The Whole World Is Going to Be Watching’
Here’s new video released from Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s command in Afghanistan of McChrystal issuing post-speech strategic guidance to some of his deputies. He praises “a new clarity in our mission. … We are here to provide the government of Afghanistan and our Afghan partners time, space and capability to defend their sovereignty.” For what I believe is the first time, the commander of NATO forces acknowledges paying attention to Mullah Omar’s statements and saying they give him “greater clarity, also, on the enemy. … We understand the opposition better than we have before.”
Significantly, McChrystal acknowledges that his command is a “tighter team” after his staff changes brought him greater control over the troops he leads — presumably a reference to his chief deputy, Lt. Gen. David Rodriguez, who is working to provide greater coherence to the once-diffuse regional commands across Afghanistan. And, characteristically at this point, McChrystal describes Afghan civilians as “the people that we are here to respect and the people that we are here to protect and the people that we are here to enable.”
Coupled with his early and vigorous words of praise for President Obama — subtle message: *let’s end all talk of being a loose-cannon general *(even if I personally think that was never warranted) — it’s enough to make you say that McChrystal is fired up and ready to go.