Tag Archives: General McNeill

Admiral Mullen-General McNeill-Who Is Right?

Admiral Mullen, who is Chief of Staff, clashed with his subordinate, General McNeill, commander of NTO forces in Afghanstan over the extent and power of the Taliban in Afghanistan. General McNeill does not believe there is any evidence of a “resurgent” Taliban while his superior has the exact opposite conclusion. According to Mullen: “In Afghanistan, we are seeing a growing insurgency, iincreasing violence, and a burgeoining drug trade fueled by widespread poppy cultivation.” General McNeill’s response was, “Admiral Mullen has his view, I’ve got mine.”

Although General McNeill doesn’t see evidence of any Taliban resurgency, some figures reveal a different perspective. The number of suicide attacks has grown from 3 in 2004 to 130 least year, the number of acts of violence has risen from 900 to 8,950 and the number of roadside bomb attacks has gone up fom 325 to 1,469.

This may well be a minor example of difference of opinion, but it again is indicative of confusion in the Bush administration over policy in Afghanistan.

It’s Getting Better In Afghanistan– Or Is It?

The top American general in Afghanistan discounted stories about a growing insurgency in the nation and assured the world, things remain the same as always. As to the insurgency, General Dan McNeill, told reporters: “I think that it’s probably stayed the same as it was.” He claimed the only differernce is the presence of an additional eight or nine thousand more soldiers than previously which is probably what accounts for additional casualties. “We exposed ourselves to a lot more things than the force has exposed themselves to in times past. And, that, more than anything, created the increased levels of violence that are so often referred to in the news…there wasn’t a resurgent Taliban.”

On one hand, Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates is berating and scolding NATO allies for failure to dispatch more troops to Afghanistan, and General McNeill insists there is no surge in Taliban attacks. If we accept the McNeill thesis that more troops in the field result in more casualties, the answer is simple — reduce the number of troops in the field and the result will be fewer casualties. In fact, why not tell the Germans to go home. One is only left to wonder if commanders in the field ever communicate to Bush administration officials. Does Secretary Gates have any understanding how the words of General McNeill will be interpreted by German officials who are being criticised for not sending troops?