is a political term coined by the Bush administration to englobe together various countries, pertaining to the Muslim world, specifically Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Various Central Asian countries and the lower Caucasus (Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia ) and Cyprus and Greece are sometimes also included. Some speakers may use the term to denote areas with significant Muslim majorities, but this usage is not universal.
This expanded term was introduced in the U.S. administration's preparatory work for the G8 summit of 2004 as part of a proposal for sweeping change in the way the West deals with the Middle East.
Maybe calling it 'adding more troops as should've been done years ago' would suffice.
I do know that many policy-makers and journalists think that McChrystal's work as the head of the super-secret Joint Special Operations Command was the untold success story of the Surge and the greater war on terror campaigns. I also know that McChrystal and David Petraeus forged a close working relationship in Iraq in 2007 and have much respect for one another. (Prior to 2007, the relations between the direct-action special operations task force and the overall command in Iraq were strained at best.)
This tells me that President Obama, Secretary Gates, and Gen. Petraeus are as serious as a heart attack about a shift in strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan. This was ruthless, and they were not about to do the George Casey thing whereby a commander is left in the theater long after he is considered to have grown ineffective.
The sad truth of the matter is that people have been calling for McKiernan's head for some time now. Many of the people with whom I have spoken do not think that McKiernan "gets" the war in Afghanistan -- or counterinsurgency warfare in general. There was very little confidence that -- with McKiernan in charge in Afghanistan -- we the United States had the varsity squad on the field.
That all changed today. I do not know if the war in Afghanistan is winnable. But I do know that Stan McChrystal is an automatic starter in anyone's line-up.
Let's be honest, after 9/11 we were going to bomb the people that attacked us.-- quin
The way the press is reporting this, you'd think there was all sorts of uncertainty surrounding whether McChrystal played some central role in the Tillman cover-up, when in fact, he was one of the first military officials to challenge the given account of events ... But never mind. Just keep up the cracker jack job of unbiased critical analysis. Just as long as it's suffocatingly critical and pessimistic. -- saulgoodman
But there are plenty of ways to kick the hell out of an insurgency without blowing up anyone. -- saulgoodman
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