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The fall of America's top soldier

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The fall of America's top soldier


He is the top soldier in Iraq but that has not stopped him getting into trouble in the past.

General Stanley McChrystal has a history of making controversial remarks.

They have alienated his friends and infuriated his enemies.

It all seemed so promising when he took over: “The Afghan people are at the centre of our mission. In reality, they are our mission. We must protect them from violence…. whatever its nature. “

What he has not done is protect the reputation of the White House.

A series of unhelpful comments and leaks has prevented the US administration from providing a united front on Afghanistan.

Not the sort of approach one might expect from a former special forces chief… who understands the importance of safeguarding information.

But he’s done it before.

Last autumn, McChrystal warned the war would be lost unless thousands of additional troops were drafted in.

His comments were made in a classified document, which nevertheless found its way into the media.

That put pressure on President Obama to commit more resources, before the administration had decided its Afghan strategy.

“Let me be clear. There has never been an option before me that called for troop deployments before 2010, so there has been no delay or denial of resources necessary for the conduct of the war during this review period.”

And McChrystal also criticised Vice President Joe Biden in October… saying his approach to the war was “short sighted.”

Those comments also embarrassed former general Karl Eikenberry, now US ambassador to Afghanistan.

Eikenberry has the job of selling White House policies to the authorities in Kabul.

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