McChrystal: Success Doesn’t Require Beating Every Last Insurgent
The most humorous moment of the hearing so far is also, bizarrely, the most profound. Asked by Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) how the mission got refined in the Obama administration’s strategy review, Gen. Stanley McChrystal said that they grappled with the concept of what it means to “defeat” the insurgency. McChrystal said that the *military *definition of defeat is rendering the enemy unable to meet its objectives — not, in other words, the grandiose sense of the term ubiquitous in the U.S. media discourse. “It does not mean you eradicate that enemy down to the last individual,” McChrystal said.
Lightening the mood in an analogy that went a little haywire, he continued, “It could be similar in politics, where you defeat the other party in an election but you don’t wipe them out.” Smiles all around the hearing room.
But seriously. If McChrystal didn’t have stars on his shoulders, Fox News would likely call him an appeaser.