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Old 12-30-2018, 04:45 PM
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Arrow Retired General warns against withdrawing half of U.S. troops from Afghanistan

Retired general warns against withdrawing half of U.S. troops from Afghanistan
Published: Dec 30, 2018 4:58 p.m. ET
RE: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/re...tan-2018-12-30

McChrystal says move would strengthen Taliban, rips Trump as dishonest, immoral

Photo link: https://ei.marketwatch.com/Multimedi...7-ac162d7bc1f7
Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal smiles while speaking during his retirement ceremony in 2010.

WASHINGTON — The former top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said Sunday that withdrawing up to half the 14,000 American troops serving there would reduce the incentive for the Taliban to negotiate a peace deal after more than 17 years of war.

Retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal said the U.S. has “basically traded away the biggest leverage point we have.” McChrystal’s comments were in response to reports that President Donald Trump had ordered the Pentagon to develop plans to withdraw thousands of American troops by next summer. Outgoing Defense Secretary Jim Mattis mentioned the order in his resignation letter. Mattis’ last day in the administration is Monday.

The U.S. and NATO formally concluded their combat mission in 2014, but American and allied troops remain, conducting strikes on the Islamic State group and the Taliban and working to train and build the Afghan military.

“If you tell the Taliban that we are absolutely leaving on date certain, cutting down, weakening ourselves, their incentives to try to cut a deal drop dramatically,” McChrystal said on ABC’s “This Week.”

Read: Graham says Trump is rethinking quick U.S. pullout from Syria
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McChrystal also said he’s worried that the Afghan people will lose confidence in the U.S. as an ally that can be counted on.

“I think we probably rocked them,” said McChrystal, who commanded U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan for about a year.

He also was critical of Trump personally, saying he doesn’t believe Trump tells the truth. The comment came when asked what he would say if he were asked to join the Trump administration.

“I think it’s important for me to work for people who I think are basically honest, who tell the truth as best they know it,” he said.

When asked if Trump is immoral, McChrystal responded: “I think he is.”

It’s not the first time he’s criticized a sitting president. President Barack Obama accepted McChrystal’s resignation in June 2010 after he made scathing remarks in a magazine article about administration officials, including about Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

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Personal note: Most Generals don't like walking away from a stalemate. Finishing what they started is the norm. To walk away now after so long makes and open sore in your gut. This is how most us felt with Viet Nam. I've said it before if you commit you have to complete the mission or just don't go in at all. Currently we are fighting wars of attrition and the meaning of life to our enemy doesn't mean much to those who are losing. These conflicts we get into - start out with an all out attitude but the longer they progress and the loss of life piles up - and the more you wonder - what in the hell did we get into. There's always a point where attrition begins to show signs of a no win scenario. We've reached that point a few times and the world is watching us having to back out from these ongoing conflicts. We must have a damn good game plan when going in - but if it fails - we have to understand when it's time to book out. Russia knows this they've been there. China also knows this but they also knew stalemates can oftentimes flip the issues and whomever backs out first has to live it with for quite some time.

It also has an impact on the military personal - it seems we've had too many cut and run maneuvers more than once now. The lives lost for a no win fight just doesn't sit right with the men and women who come back home - and to the lost & wounded during this fight. Ground battles are the toughest one on one or worse many more than you can handle.

Our enemies fight harder when they are fighting in their own lands. They know the terrain and know how to hide & survive in places we have to look for. Imagine an enemy invading the U.S. let me tell you it wouldn't be any cake walk.

Sometime in the near future we may see the rockets red glare crossing the skies. People won't know what hit them. Bombings have no discretion to whom they kill - women and children slaughtered in their own homes or kids in schools. It's an awful thought knowing this could occur at any time from those who already have these weapons and could push those buttons at any time.

Devastating just thinking about it. Whole cities wiped off the map in an instant. Radiation killing millions more. Starvation and pollution everywhere. Crops dying water poisoned - to awful to think about - but if we continue down this path - it's inevitable knowing this threat is always there!

Boats
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