Good job Gen McChrystal, NOT!

Good job in instituting new rules and regulations to force the most feared Army in the world fight a war like spineless wussies. Oh I am so glad that a few lives may have been saved, but not at the cost of allowing our enemy to walk right past our Marines.


I am still not 100% sure if Gen McChystal’s policy is the right choice or not, but with events like this happening I can tell you that it isn’t.


U.S. Marines trapped Taliban fighters in a residential compound and persuaded the insurgents to allow women and children to leave.

The troops then moved in — only to discover that the militants had slipped out, dressed in women’s burqa robes.


Two groups — children and what appeared to be women in burqas — left the compound. When the Marines entered, they found no one. The fighters had clearly donned burqas and slipped away among the civilians, according to Marines who took part in the mission.

The Americans didn’t have female Marines with them to search the robed figures and make sure no men were among them in disguise. And the new U.S. and NATO commander, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, has said he would rather see militants escape than for civilians to be harmed in battle; a declassified version of his new guidelines for troops were released Monday.


Anyone that knows anything about the Muslim culture knows they only respect force and strong arm tactics, not kindness or compassion. They will truly see this new policy as a sign of weakness.


Emphasis is Bouhammer’s

10 thoughts on “Good job Gen McChrystal, NOT!”

  1. It is an unimaginable burden to place on the Marines, and all the Troops, in Afghanistan. If combat Troops are ordered into a combat zone yet are not allowed to operate as combat Troops isn’t that merely playing into the enemies’ hands? I just pray, as we all do, that that question isn’t answered with the lives of our Troops.
    .-= The Loon´s last blog ..NEVER FORGET =-.

  2. Am I right in thinking that the US military does not put women on the front line, so there will almost never be a woman there to search any female civilians? Meaning that under the current policy, the Taliban will always be able to escape just by dressing as women?
    .-= Adam´s last blog ..The Airborne Toxic Event =-.

  3. I support what you’re doing and I almost always agree with you, but this time I must vehemently disagree. (and not just because I’m at HQ ISAF these days) Surely you’re not arguing that they should have just dropped a bomb on the whole mess, (a) to prevent the insurgents from escaping, or – much worse – to maintain the respect of the insurgents?
    What GEN McChrystal has brought to Afghanistan is the recognition that we will never make headway in this conflict by focusing on killing insurgents. If we claim, as we have for years, that we are there to provide security, it must be from the Afghan point of view. Flattening compounds does not increase security from an Afghan point of view; safeguarding civilian lives does.
    We will probably lose more soldiers in the short term; but I am convinced we will lose far fewer in the long term. If we’re not willing to send 250K troops (and we’re not), the emphasis has to be on making the insurgents irrelevant, not on continuing to confront them head-on. The latter approach has gotten us nowhere.
    .-= Tom Brouns´s last blog ..Support from Uruzgan FM =-.

    1. Tom,
      I have been a fan of McChystal’s and I think he is a hell of a warrior. I also am very familiar and know what it takes to be a success at COIN. It is not easy and is truly a high-wire to walk in order to get it right. COIN in general is hard, much less trying to employ it in a country with a culture so radically different than that of which we are all used to. Yes, I agree not killing citizens is the right way forward, I am not advocating the Russian mentality of laying waste to all. I also realize that these Marines had no females with them and how offended the Afghans are with Americans feeling up their women. What stopped them from having an ANA soldier search the burqua-clad people? I know that is not preferred either, but on the battlefield we must do what we must do. It is not an all or nothing situation. The zero-tolerance mentality in the Military today is what is killing the military today and is what is cuasing us to lose so many good leaders and soldiers. The fear of reprisal and ruined careers causes the battlefield commander to walk on egg shells when he should not have to. Tell the ANA “to seach those F@#$@@ burquas or my Marines will do it” and the Commander should not have to be afraid of hurting someone’s F@#$@# feelings and getting relieved. There has never been a commander in the military that has condoned the slaughter of innocent civilians without being a criminal themselves. I don’t think McChrystal needed to flaunt this new policy all over as it was not that new, it is just a reinforcement of our existing values as a nation and a people, which by the way is miles above the values of the Afghan people.
      There are people as smart of smarter than McChrystal down to the ETT levels (jr. officers and mid-sr. NCOs). They know what needs to be done, they know how to effectively execute COIN and win people. I know this becuase I was one of them 3 years ago and I don’t think I am an exception to the rule. There are also those that don’t and want to go in with guns blazing at every corner. They are idiots and should be removed. There is an effective way to execute COIN in Afghanistan, however it is not by giving the ACM a free pass every time they get near houses. It cannot be that black and white, there has to be leeway down the lowest level commander, becuase remember that is what FM 3-24 preaches, delegation of authority and decision making down to the lowest level commander.

      Give them guidelines with ramifications if they go to far outside the guidelines but don’t expect the real warriors and operators to live and operate under ultimatums.

  4. Like KitchenDispatch, I think it’s good that you clarified your view, and I can certainly understand why you wrote why you did, and sympathize with your views. I still don’t agree. But that’s what makes this country great, right? I suspect you and I work opposite ends of the military spectrum.
    I have also been working Afghanistan for more than 3 years, pretty much non-stop. I happen to be very happy with GEN McChrystal’s approach, as much of what he is saying now I have been advocating from the lower end of the military food chain for over 2 of those years. Having an ANA soldier search a strange woman is not as bad as one of us foreigners doing it, but it’s still pretty demeaning. It’s not like in our culture – it’s perceived more like rape, a grave affront to a woman’s – and an entire family’s honor. The way Pashtunwali works in the most rural communities, depending on the affront, such a woman’s chances for marriage may be affected for life, if not worse, and honor – a rural Afghan’s most important currency, may be affected for generations. Revenge (badal) may be an obligation, expected by his neighbors before he can regain that honor. Is all of that worth a couple of low-level insurgents who may have been motivated by nothing more than a day’s wages?
    Sitting in Kabul right now, I have to keep things hypothetical. As a front-line infantryman or a leader of infantry, a key obligation – if not THE key obligation is naturally to bring the troops home alive. But we have to be able to see beyond that and recognize that this approach simply has not worked. The number of insurgents has not decreased. The number of troops has increased from 9,200 to 68,000. If the new approach is to work, it must get down to the lowest level, and it’s not easy to re-program that natural instinct, the years of training we have, among 42 troop contributing nations.
    Another hypothetical example, to take things to extremes. We say we are here to provide security. So somewhere in Afghanistan is a village where they grow a few acres of poppies, there’s no electricity, and maybe some wacky mullah is preaching a version of Islam that would not find the support of many religious scholars in the Muslim world. Folks try to get by from day to day, and there’s a few in town who disappear from time to time with a few out-of-towners, and they come back with 20 bucks that gets them by for a few months. But relatively speaking, from an Afghan point of view, security is good.
    In come the military, because we know there’s some bad guys hiding out there who have been shelling an FOB miles away. But the Afghans living there have no idea. Some kid gets panicked and thinks they’re there to get him, or else he wants to prove himself and be a hero – to gain status with his out-of town friends – and takes a few shots at the foreign forces. Finally we’ve found our Taliban, and determined to bring security to that village/valley, we start shooting back. Next thing you know his friends join in and you have a firefight. At a certain point the Air Force gets a call, because we can’t disengage, we have positive ID of insurgents and the compound gets a 500-pounder dropped on it, killing everyone inside. From an Afghan point of view, have we increased security? No press release or leaflet or stratcomm is going to polish that turd. Repeat for 8 years as necessary, and you end up where we are now.
    Granted, there are a lot of bad dudes organizing complex attacks. How many of them were our bona fide enemies 8 years ago, and how many joined in because we flattened their cousin’s compound (or simply damaged his honor irreparably) last year? The math speaks volumes.
    Meanwhile we have been trying to publicize every IED that goes off, in an effort to prove to the Afghans that the Taliban are bad (80%+ already agree, but can’t do anything about it – check my article in the latest Military Review for more detail on that), but inadvertently publicizing the lack of security that neither we nor the government of Afghanistan can seem to do anything about. We are here to provide security, but we somehow manage to bring a lot of insecurity, we magnify the effects of insurgent violence (thus helping them), violate women (in their eyes), and the casualties, number of insurgents, and lack of support by our partners continues to climb. There are a lot of great Americans and NATO partners doing a great job and making enormous sacrifices; but quite simply, if we continue to do what we’ve always done, we’ll continue to get what we’ve always gotten. And we can’t afford that.
    .-= Tom Brouns´s last blog ..Support from Uruzgan FM =-.

    1. Tom,

      Got your DM and here is my quick reply. I will add much more later when I can.

      You state “THE key obligation is naturally to bring the troops home alive. But we have to be able to see beyond that and recognize that this approach simply has not worked.” There my friend you are wrong, dead wrong. There is no seeing beyond that. We live by mission first, men always for a reason. It can be done, we can do the balance, however war is not without a cost and sometimes those prices are innocent lives, just like those prices are most of the time mental sanity of those that have walked the battlefield yet survive it physically.

      I will add more later. Until then….

  5. Well, thanks for your last, because if the mission doesn’t come first, then why are you there? If the point is to bring everyone back alive, then ya’ll just get on the plane and come home now. Believe me, we want our brothers and sons home safe but we were told they’re over there for a good reason.

    All that said, WTF? What is this? You corner insurgents, try to save their women and children, thereby showing their families more respect and consideration than they did themselves, and they slip by unmolested by reasonable, rational searches? Yeesh. Yeah, I know, the culture, and you have to be pop-centric, can’t kill your way out, etc… But this is ridiculous. There has to be a middle ground that doesn’t value the lives of the enemy more than the lives of our own soldiers, who are a national treasure. Military moms, wives and families, who are already tired and pissed off, really really hate hearing stuff like this. It makes them see red.

    The Afghans won’t appreciate such gallantry, and don’t let your bosses be manipulated into instituting risky rules by Afghani psyoptic displays of indignation over civ casualties. When they scream and yell about all the civilians “we” are killing, they are manipulating U.S. leaders into blunting our own tactics — voluntarily! And it works! Nuts.

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