There are still rumblings within the United States Army over the process followed in the firing of General David McKiernan as commander of forces in Afghanistan. His replacement, General Stan McChrystal is regarded as a hard driving frenetic leader who wants results and is flexible in dealing with problems. Major Greg Cannata who spent several months with the new commander, describes the motto of McChrystal, “find, fix, finish, exploit, analyze” or “F3EA.” He points out that McChrystal was very successful at securing the necessary resources to cary out his mission. Many officers believe General McKiernan was given responsibilities in Afghanistan but never provided the men and resources to carry out the mission.
Seth Jones an Afghanistan expert at the Rand Corporation, points out, “one key for McChrystal is to being to solve the numbers problem in southern and central Afghanistan. There currently are not enough coalition and Afghan national forces to hold territory and protect the local population. This likely means turning to one place: local tribes and villages to defend themselves from Taliban advances.” Actually, over two years ago, British officers made this suggestion and were ignored by the American high command.
We can expect greater use of “special forces” in operations and hopefully more experimental approaches in dealing with narcotics and farmers who grow opium. British officers and government officials two years ago suggested purchasing the entire poppy crop in order to rob the Taliban of narcotics money.