McChrystal, 2011 and Occupation
In response to Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), Gen. Stanley McChrystal reframed the beginning of the U.S. transition to Afghan security control in July 2011 as a way to maximize the balance between aiding Afghanistan without making Afghans feel under occupation.
Afghans “want a partnership, they want assurance from us,” McChrystal said, “but they don’t want us to stay forever. They don’t want foreigners in their country. So, in many ways, the guarantee that we the coalition, will support them but not stay too long is actually a positive as well.” Of course, he adds, his command will have to “prove” its value to the Afghan people “prove that with our actions not just with our words.”
That argument might explain why the once-skeptical Defense Secretary Robert Gates came around to support the U.S. extended surge.