But over time, effectiveness is what counts. To do so is to oversimplify the war, the players, and Afghanistan itself. The Odyssey of an American Warrior , p.
I wondered if I could, or would, be the kind of military leader I admired, and I was eager to try. I trusted and I still trust. At the academy, where we hoarded free minutes, walking the yard meant wasted hours. He teaches a course entitled "Leadership", a graduate-level seminar with some spots reserved for undergraduates. An inquiry by the Defense Department inspector general found no evidence of wrongdoing by McChrystal or his military and civilian associates. So far, counterinsurgency has succeeded only in creating a never-ending demand for the primary product supplied by the military: The Odyssey of an American Warrior , p. Winning, it would seem, is not really possible. For soldiers, the choice between popularity and effectiveness is ultimately no choice at all. Bush, Decision Points , p. He was advised by White House Staff not to present troop increases numbers to "defeat the Taliban", but to "degrade" them. I looked over at two of my aides, one a German officer, another an Afghan. The president offered no specific guidance but locked his eyes with mine and thanked me for accepting the responsibility. I thought of my father, of my first day at West Point, and of our cold Christmas Eve flight over Afghanistan seven months before. If you've fucked up or disappointed him, they can destroy your soul without the need for him to raise his voice. An M4 Carbine fires a. I knew that for as long as I wore the uniform, whatever I had to do, Annie would support me. On her brutal terrain, and in the minds of her people, the struggle was to be waged and decided. Brown as commander of U. Our supposed ally, President Karzai, used his influence to delay the offensive, and the massive influx of aid championed by McChrystal is likely only to make things worse. It was during this time that McChrystal also completed a Master of Science degree in international relations from Salve Regina University. That discipline that causes a young lieutenant to check soldier's feet for blisters or trench foot, will also carry him across a bullet-swept street to support a squad under pressure. He pauses a beat. Shortly thereafter, McChrystal was put in charge of paperwork to award Tillman a posthumous Silver Star for valor. Over time, decisions came easily against that standard, even when the consequences were grave.
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Stanley McChrystal: Listen, learn ... then lead
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