Is McChrystal ideologically insane, or logically insane?
From yesterday, I recommend a post that readers might easily miss, “Further thoughts on Diana West’s criticisms of Gen. McChrystal.” The title is not dramatic, and the piece takes a while to get started, because I am groping my way though an issue the contours of which are not clear at first. But by the end I arrive at what to me is a satisfactory answer to the question raised in Diana West’s recent writings: why is our commander in Afghanistan insisting that U.S. soldiers get “physically and psychologically close” to the Afghans and cease being “pre-occupied” with their own physical safety?
Update: Several comments have been added today, including Diana West’s quotations of Petraeus’s counterinsurgency manual for the surge with its discussion of hearts and minds, and James P.’s quotations of Indian articles showing how the Sri Lankan government successfully suppressed the Tamil insurgency by deliberately rejecting current international notions of avoiding harm to civilians. James writes: “You will notice that the Sri Lankans did pretty much the exact opposite of what the new U.S. Army Counterinsurgency Manual recommends and of what we’ve been doing in Iraq and Afghanistan for umpteen years.”
There were also two earlier posts yesterday concerning Afghanistan:
The Obama-neocon Afghan action plan: saving face by humiliating ourselves.