FT: When you say we’ll see demonstrable progress, what can we expect to see that will show that your strategy is actually yielding results?
Gen McChrystal: It’s not as important what you and I see as it is what a farmer [sees]. Let’s pick a farmer in Garmsir, in central Helmand River Valley, which has been under Taliban control for several years. Right now we’ve established security, but it is in limited areas – it is pockets of security, and we’re going to expand those pockets. Right now that farmer can farm inside that security zone; he does business in the bazaar that was almost closed eight months ago. Now he can do business there, and he can live his life in there. He will see – when we hit the day, and it won’t be too long in the future – when he can get in a vehicle and move products from Garmsir up to Lashkar Gar, and maybe over to Kandahar and maybe all the way up the ring road to Kabul, without being endangered by Taliban IEDs, without being taxed by malign actors, warlords or something like that. That’s when he sees the absolute effect of what we’re doing, and so at that point the government has a tremendous opportunity to convince that farmer how much better life can and will be.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
The Financial Times has published a long interview with GEN McChrystal, which seems to be accessible without registration if you click through from Google News.
One of a number of interesting Q&A:
H/T to Barnett Rubin's invaluable listserv.