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28 July 2017 21:00 (South Africa)

General’s Afghan report crystallizes Obama’s dilemma on Afghanistan

  • Branko Brkic
    branko3048 a ray
    Branko Brkic

    Brkic is the founder and editor of The Daily Maverick.

    He has edited magazines on business and politics, technology, and wildlife. He has also published fiction and non-fiction books, most of them in Serbian. Though he has never pretended to be a reporter, his wide knowledge of politics (especially in America), combined with his experiences in a disintegrating Yugoslavia, gives him an unusual outlook on events in South Africa.

    Despite the vowel-poor surname, he tells anyone who asks that he hails from Hyde Park, Johannesburg, having spent most of his adult life in South Africa.

    Recent columns:

afganistan

Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal’s recent report, calling for a revamped counterinsurgency strategy with more combat troops and offering an indictment of American-led NATO military operations and a corrupt Afghan civilian government, is catalyzing Obama’s thinking on this war.
Obama is facing a deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, growing opposition to the war at home from Democrats and a desire to put off any major troop decision while he still needs much political capital to pass major health care legislation in Congress.  Nonetheless, he will find it hard to decline McChrystal’s pleas.  Obama has called Afghanistan a “war of necessity,” in much the same way George W. Bush did after the Sept. 11.  
The conclusion McChrystal lays out, "The status quo will lead to failure" - poses a stark and urgent choice for Obama: Intensify the foundering conflict with more troops or narrow the mission to targeting terrorists.  This report became public in ‘The Washington Post’ on Monday.

  • Branko Brkic
    branko3048 a ray
    Branko Brkic

    Brkic is the founder and editor of The Daily Maverick.

    He has edited magazines on business and politics, technology, and wildlife. He has also published fiction and non-fiction books, most of them in Serbian. Though he has never pretended to be a reporter, his wide knowledge of politics (especially in America), combined with his experiences in a disintegrating Yugoslavia, gives him an unusual outlook on events in South Africa.

    Despite the vowel-poor surname, he tells anyone who asks that he hails from Hyde Park, Johannesburg, having spent most of his adult life in South Africa.

    Recent columns:

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