The Danger of Deja Vu: Why the Iraq Surge is Not a Lesson for Afghanistan
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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During the past year, we have seen our U.S. national security establishment ponder the question of what to do next in Afghanistan. With the January inauguration, a new president became commander in chief and sought to fulfill his promise to refocus on the necessary war. President Barack Obama initially adopted the bulk of the theater strategy that was put in place by the Bush administration and, in March, he provided guidance to the Defense Department and commander on the ground with the formal announcement of the strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. In May, after a series of incidents with Afghan civilian casualties and the perceived lack of progress and results, the commander of all U.S. forces in Afghanistan, who was dualhatted as NATO commander, International Security Assistance Forces COMISAF, was asked to resign. Gen. David McKiernan was abruptly replaced by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, an officer who was well-steeped in the new counterinsurgency doctrine and the strategy for its implementation. The new commander was given 60, then 90 days to provide his assessment of the situation in Afghanistan and his recommendation for adjustments to the strategy.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics