Clock Is Ticking

Clock Is Ticking
October 7th, 2009  
Team Infidel

Topic: Clock Is Ticking

Clock Is Ticking
October 7, 2009

CBS Evening News, 6:30 PM
KATIE COURIC: Gen. Stanley McChrystal says success will require tens of thousands of additional troops and a new way of operating. Defense Secretary Robert Gates made it clear this week he doesn’t want the general saying that or giving any other opinions in public anymore.
But just a few weeks ago, McChrystal talked freely with our David Martin in Kabul, Afghanistan, about what he believes it will take to win. And tonight, David has portions of that 60 Minutes interview that haven’t been seen before.
DAVID MARTIN: After eight years of fighting, the clock is running out for the U.S. in Afghanistan.
Is this our last chance?
GEN. STANLEY MCCHRYSTAL [Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan & ISAF]: I believe it’s our most important chance now. You can never say there wouldn’t be another, but I wouldn’t count on one.
MARTIN: Everybody knows Gen. Stanley McChrystal wants more troops, but when he spoke with 60 Minutes in August he made clear more troops alone will not defeat the Taliban.
MCCHRYSTAL: We’re going to change the way we operate.
MARTIN: Change the way you operate – what do you mean?
MCCHRYSTAL: Connecting with the people in a way that the people don’t believe that you’re an outsider or an occupier.
MARTIN: McChrystal wants to see less of this and more of this.
U.S. MARINE: Tell them that right now, it is not safe for them to walk over there. They have to come with us. Tell them the Taliban has guns all over there.
MARTIN: But he knows American troops, whether they’re protectors or occupiers, can’t win this war by themselves. He needs to vastly increase the size of Afghan forces.
MCCHRYSTAL: I’m recommending about a total of 400,000 people between the army and the police
MARTIN: That’s doubling.
MARTIN: How long is it going to take to do that?
MCCHRYSTAL: Well, it will take us longer than I’d like.
MARTIN: But McChrystal believes he only has 12 months to turn this war around, and that’s not time enough for the Afghan government of Hamid Karzai to put its house in order.
MCCHRYSTAL: There’s corruption in the Afghan government at senior levels.
MARTIN: When U.S. Marines launched an offensive into Helmand Province in Southern Afghanistan, the stated goal was to cut off the Taliban from their primary source of money – the annual poppy crop. But McChrystal’s deputy, Lt. Gen. David Rodriguez told us there was a second objective.
LT. GEN. DAVID RODRIGUEZ [Deputy Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan and ISAF]: It’s not only the drug money for the Taliban. It’s also some corruption that’s in the Afghan leadership, in part of their government, their security forces, too, for that matter.
MARTIN: So the operation in Helmand is denying both the Taliban drug money and government officials drug money.
RODRIGUEZ: It’s a balance of both.
MARTIN: Rodriguez himself is a change in the way the U.S. is fighting this war. Incredibly enough, this is the first time a single commander has been in charge of day-to-day operations throughout the entire country.
MARTIN: So you’re the guy who’s going to be running the war on a day-to-day basis?
RODRIGUEZ: Yeah, pretty much. Yes.
MARTIN: What American forces need most in Afghanistan, says Maj. Gen. Mike Flynn, McChrystal’s top intelligence officer, is a few quick wins – by which he means not military victories, but convincing Afghans they will be better off siding with the U.S. than with the Taliban.
MAJ. GEN. MICHAEL FLYNN [Director of Intelligence, ISAF]: What we’ve got to do in 12 to 18 months is just show that we basically know what we’re doing out here. There’s some glimmers of success that we need to show. There’s some perceptions that we need to change.
MARTIN: Eight years of fighting and the U.S. is still looking for glimmers of success.
David Martin, CBS News, the Pentagon.

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