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Dec 8

Written by: Diana West
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 6:45 AM 

Commander-on-the-Ground becomes Commander-on-the-Hill as Gen. Stanley McChrystal testifies before Congress today.

A few questions, just to break the ice:

Q: Sir, you wrote the following the folllowing in your initial Afghanistan assessment:

A more forceful and offensive StratCom approach must be devised whereby INS are exposed continually for their cultural and religious violations, anti-Islamic and indiscriminate use of violence and terror, and by concentrating on their vulnerabilities. These include their causing ofthe majority of civilian casualties, attacks on education, development projects, and government institutions, and flagrant contravention of the principles of the Koran. These vulnerabilities must be expressed in a manner that exploits the cultural and ideological separation of the INS from the vast majority of the Afghan population.

Could explain how you arrived at this statement, that any such such acts are in "flagrant contravention of the principles of the Koran"? What principles of the Koran are you referring to? What are the names of the scholars or individuals you consult on Islamic doctrine?

Or maybe this:

Q: Sir, you have repeatedly emphasized the need to shift to population protection at the expense of force protection. How do you look your men -- and their families -- in the eye?

Q: At what point do attacks on ISAF forces directly by Afghan forces, or likely caused by Afghan forces -- we have seen a disturbing number already, most recently the murders of five British soldiers by an Afghan policeman, and in August, the death of a Marine LCPL very possibly by an Afghan-tipped ambush -- cause you to revisit this policy, which also orders ISAF forces into close proximity and fighting conditions with Afghan forces?

Q: Following up, sir: Indeed, you have written also that ISAF forces have been "preoccupied with force protection," and must change this "manner that distances itself, both physically and psychologically, from the people they seek to protect" as a means of winning support from the Afghan people.
Where do we look in history for any victorious precedent for this strategy?

Q: How does the military maintain morale among troops asked to hold fire, or not call in fire, in dire circumstances?

Q: What progress has been made in the investigation into events at Gunjgal where three Marines and a Navy Corpsman were killed, according to reports, because they were not approved for supporting fire because they were too close to a village?

Q: If, after eight years of pouring men and materiel into Afghanistan, we have not yet won the "support" of the Afghan people, why will the addition of 30,000 troops will make the difference?

Q: Are you familiar with the Islamic doctrine of jihad, of taqqiyya? And, finally (DRUM ROLL): How can tell us that you are doing your duty in devising a military strategy that doesn't take into account the war-fighting doctrine (jihad) of the enemy?

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