U.S. Gen. Stanley McChyrstal, in an interview with USA Today, says that the recent arrests and killings of Taliban leaders are taking a toll on the organization.
“You see a weakening of the organization's confidence,” McChrystal told USA Today.
“McChrystal, however, cautioned that it was too early to suggest the recent successes in targeting militant leaders is ‘decisive’ because it hasn't led to a reduction in violence or fighters in Afghanistan,” writes Jim Michaels of USA Today.
"We don't see [the Taliban] collapsing," McChrystal told the paper.
Bobby Ghosh of Time magazine has behind-the-scenes detail on McChyrstal’s anti-Taliban strategy. Ghosh reports:
“Two days before launching the most ambitious military campaign of the Obama Administration, General Stanley McChrystal, commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, convened a meeting in Kabul of 450 tribal elders and scholars from Helmand province. The general's objective: to build support for Operation Moshtarak, a massive offensive on the Taliban stronghold of Marjah. McChrystal ran through the military phase of the plan, which would involve 6,000 U.S. Marines and British soldiers and 4,500 Afghan troops and police.
“Then he described how these troops would protect the town while a ‘government in a box’ — a corps of Afghan officials who had been training for this moment for months — would start administering the town. The elders all signed off on the plan, but not before one of them warned the American general, "You have to understand that if you don't do what you say, we'll all be killed."
Some other news reports and perspectives:
- Kang Hyun-kyung (Korea Times): “Afghan troop dispatch approved”
- Andrew Higgins (Washington Post): “Officials puzzle over millions of dollars leaving Afghanistan by plane for Dubai”
- Fred Kaplan (Slate): “Is NATO well-suited to wage war in Afghanistan?"
- Kai Eide (The Hindu): “Time to talk of a political process”
- C.J. Chivers (New York Times): “Arming Both Sides: The Perils of Ammunition Leakage in the Afghan War”