Afghanistan Crossroads

Around the Web: McChrystal’s appearance before Congress

U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, and Karl Eikenberry, the U.S. ambassador in Kabul, testified before Congress Tuesday and sought to minimize reported differences between the two over the strategy in Afghanistan.

During the deliberations over the increase of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, reports surfaced of an Eikenberry cable advising the president that McChrystal's plans to send more troops would be ill advised because of a lack of confidence in the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

In their opening statements, both said they were honored to testify together and each called the other a friend. Yet, more of those differences were seen when the men gave their predictions about the final outcome of the war.

The New York Times report picks up on the theme as well and reports this detail:

“’When asked at one point whom he consulted most to align the military and civilian aspects of the mission, General McChrystal glanced over at Ambassador Eikenberry and said, ‘The person I listen to the most is about three feet on my right.’”

Other reports on McChyrstal’s appearance before Congress: Washington Post, Wall Street Journal.  

Robert Baer, a columnist for Time magazine and a former CIA field officer in the Middle East, says it’s “time to give up the ghost on bin Laden.”

“This week the Obama Administration made an unusual admission: It doesn't have a clue as to where Osama bin Laden is,” Baer writes. “The Administration's frankness is refreshing, but it suggests that we should really start considering the possibility that bin Laden will never be found.”

Some other reports and perspectives:

- Behind-the-scenes photography (Flickr): U.S. Embassy in Kabul | ISAF Media

- Robert Dallek (USA Today): "U.S. history is littered with war blunders"

- Michael Georgy (Reuters): “Pakistan’s Peshawar, epicenter of Jihad

- Tarek Fatah (Globe and Mail): “A military coup in Pakistan?"

- Maha Atal (Mint): “The golden mean in Pakistan

- Ishaan Tharoor (Time): "India, Pakistan and the battle for Afghanistan"