General Stanley McChrystal, the Nato commander in Afghanistan, has raised the prospect that his troop surge will lead to a negotiated peace with the Taliban.
Gen McChrystal will urge his allies to renew their commitment to his strategy at a conference in London this week.
In a Financial Times interview, he acknowledged growing scepticism about the war, but said he was poised to make “very demonstrably positive” progress this year as a result of the arrival of an extra 30,000 US troops.
By using the reinforcements to create an arc of secure territory stretching from the Taliban’s southern heartlands to Kabul, Gen McChrystal aims to weaken the insurgency to the point where its leaders would accept some form of settlement with Afghanistan’s government.Could you even in your wildest dreams imagine General George S. Patton saying he hopes his efforts "will lead to a negotiated peace" with the Nazis; or that, as a soldier, he is trying "to shape conditions which allow Germans to come to a truly equitable solution to how the German people are governed"; or that he thinks "any Germans can play a role if they focus on the future, and not the past"?
“As a soldier, my personal feeling is that there’s been enough fighting,” he said. “What I think we do is try to shape conditions which allow people to come to a truly equitable solution to how the Afghan people are governed.”
Asked if he would be content to see Taliban leaders in a future government in Kabul, he said: “I think any Afghans can play a role if they focus on the future, and not the past.”
Of course you can't. But then, Patton knew all about his enemies--who they were and what drove them. Whereas McChrystal cannot manifest the merest glimmer of a trace of a clue about the jihadis.
The Taliban "can play a role" if they look ahead, not behind? M'kay. I guess that could work--were it not for the unfortunate fact that the jihad is all about looking back (to the glorious example of Islam's founder) in order to look ahead to the time when sharia law will prevail uber alles.