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2009-05-11 Afghanistan
Top Commander in Afghanistan to be Replaced
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Posted by Sherry 2009-05-11 13:06|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [336072 views ]  Top

#1 I suspect that we are seeing the beginning of "political leadership" as I read an article addressing the assignment of Rodriguez to Afghanistan a couple of days ago. i suspected we would see something like this at the time.

Since my knowledge of "Pentagon Politics" and the people involved approaches zero I'd appreciate the insight of the more knowledgeable.
Posted by tipover 2009-05-11 13:21||   2009-05-11 13:21|| Front Page Top

#2 "We have a new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan and with that it is appropriate to have a fresh set of eyes, new leadership to execute that strategy," = "He's fired"
Posted by Parabellum 2009-05-11 13:22||]">[]  2009-05-11 13:22|| Front Page Top

#3 This might have something to do with the change:

McKiernan has clearly stated, however, that it will take more than just boots on the ground to stabilize Afghanistan. During a late February meeting of NATO defense leaders in Krakow, Poland, McKiernan said Washington and its alliance partners must "make a long-term contribution in terms of civilians, governance, [Afghan] police training and combating drugs and corruption.”(1)

This sounds like long-term counterinsurgency to me, and we know The One will never do that.
Posted by Sherry">Sherry  2009-05-11 13:43||   2009-05-11 13:43|| Front Page Top

#4 Back in Sep.2008, McKiernan said he needed three more brigades plus support units - possibly some 15,000 troops - on top of 4,000 extra U.S. troops already scheduled to arrive in Afghanistan.

But more troops alone would not ensure victory, said McKiernan, stressing the need for good governance and economic development in addition to security.

"We certainly need more military forces here. But I will be the first to tell you that additional military forces by themselves will not guarantee victory for the Afghan people," he said.
It is likely that neither Gates nor Petraeus wants some one who is calling for more troops since tyhey believe that the Afghan situation cannot be improved through conventional means. In addition, Petreaus will be more comfortable with both McChrystal and Rodriguez, and less so with McKiernan.
Posted by Gravilet Lumplump5505 2009-05-11 15:46||   2009-05-11 15:46|| Front Page Top

#5 Karzai and the supposed bombing of civillians.
Posted by bman 2009-05-11 18:19||   2009-05-11 18:19|| Front Page Top

#6 Lieutenant General David Rodriguez, who is the defense secretary’s top military aide, has been picked to serve as McChrystal’s deputy, a new position, Gates said.

GATES: Keep an eye on that SF guy Dave, and let me know the first time he says anything stupid. Don't bother going through Petraeus, just call me direct.

RODRIGUEZ: You got it boss, no worries.

Posted by Besoeker 2009-05-11 18:56||   2009-05-11 18:56|| Front Page Top

#7 Petraus and McCrystal have a bond that will work no matter who, Rodriguez, is leaking info to. The SF guys will stay loyal and silent. The new Ambo to Afghan has a lean toward the SF answer to the problems there. I'm guessing here, but it looks like they are aligning the command structure with officers that have commanded Delta or have a strong working knowledge of their operational capabilities. Me thinks Zero wants to be the guy in history that gets credit for nailing OBL. Lining up Petraeus and McCrystal is the right answer. Gates probably put his guy there just to try to keep them out of political trouble.
Posted by 49 Pan 2009-05-11 20:12||   2009-05-11 20:12|| Front Page Top

#8 Could be Pan, but Petreaus thinks in terms of 'big army' or at least he used to. He is the brightest bulb out there but has no SF or JSOC assignments or background that I am aware of. This really doesn't pass the sniff test. I'm not at all convinced Petreaus was fully on board with McKiernan's removal. Time will tell. SOF is ideally suited for the Foreign Internal Defense (FID) mission. In fact it is their mission. I just hope they are not spread too thin.
Posted by Besoeker 2009-05-11 20:45||   2009-05-11 20:45|| Front Page Top

#9 I'll go along with Besoeker on this (gasp!).

IMNSHO, Gates and Obama consider Afghanistan a lost cause; they're not going to put much more into it than they already have. They'd rather come to an agreement with the Taliban regarding Al Qaeda and its franchises (partly as a way to save face, again IMNSHO).
Posted by Pappy 2009-05-11 21:09||   2009-05-11 21:09|| Front Page Top

#10 My guess is that Petraeus is just putting putting his team in place. McKiernan was assigned on June 3, 2008. Patreaus didn't get CENTCOM until September 16, 2008. This is Patreaus building his staff, I believe.
Posted by crosspatch 2009-05-11 23:38||   2009-05-11 23:38|| Front Page Top

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