In much-anticipated testimony before the House armed services committee, the first of several scheduled appearances on Capitol Hill this week, Gen McChrystal described the new strategy as a “realistic and effective approach” and said he believed success in the central Asian war zone is “achievable”.
“The president’s decision rapidly resources our strategy, recognises that the next 18 months will likely be decisive, and ultimately enables success,” said Gen McChrystal, who also commands Nato troops and is considered by US officials to be the foremost expert on counterinsurgency. “I fully support the president’s decision.”
Gen McChrystal broadly outlined his vision of success as a “stable Afghanistan, a defunct al Qa’eda and a secure future in that vital region of the world”. He also said disrupting the Taliban’s “capacity” and “denying their access to the Afghan population” is a “prerequisite to the ultimate defeat of al Qa’eda”.
Gen McChrystal appeared alongside Karl Eickenberry, the US ambassador to Afghanistan, who also served there as lieutenant general in the army there before taking up his diplomatic post.
Their joint appearance fulfils a long-standing request by legislators for the two key players in the US war effort to appear for questioning before Congress.