Not McChrystal Clear

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By all accounts, the Obama administration’s new Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy, and the troop increase to implement it, is a counterinsurgency approach to counterterrorism. In other words, the primary objective is no longer to build a stable Afghan state, and the primary enemy is no longer the Taliban per se. Instead, the tactics of population-centered warfare learned in Iraq will be applied to Afghanistan and the Taliban insurgency, but only in order to target al-Qaida more effectively. The appointment of Gen. Stanley McChrystal — a dyed-in-the-wool COIN man — as commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan is seen as cementing this approach […]

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