Friday, April 16, 2010

Stanley McChrystal speaks at IHEDN

On April 16, Stanley McChrystal delivered a speech on Afghanistan at the Institute of Higher National Defense Studies in France. In that speech, McChrystal made one really interesting remark.

“In the years since the coalition has been there – the international community back in numbers – we’ve made a lot of mistakes,” said McChrystal. “We, the international community, all of us, have made many mistakes, usually because we didn’t understand.”

Unfortunately, McChrystal never says what the mistakes were nor does he say what the international community failed to understand. But I believe the international community – meaning the participating countries of NATO – used Afghanistan as a war ground to attack one another. When McChrystal said “we didn’t understand,” perhaps he meant the countries who participated in the operation failed to understand each other’s intentions. Perhaps everyone believed that everyone else was trying to take over Afghanistan when all they really wanted was to help Afghanistan. On the other hand, maybe McChrystal is full of shit and everyone understood each other’s intentions perfectly – everyone really did want to grab a piece of Afghanistan and use Afghanistan to put pressure on other countries by attacking their forces.

As a side note, I think this is another video that has been altered after it was originally placed online. In its original form, McChrystal delivered his speech in a much more stern and angry tone than he did in the current version posted online.

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