General Stanley McChrystal had the unfortunate job of heading US forces in Afghanistan from 2009-2010 before being relieved of command. Speaking before a business group in Alabama, he expressed hope there might be hope in the land he had been compelled to leave. “Our greatest challenge is trying to get that government’s credibility up.” He referred to the government of President Karzai which is riddled with corruption and incompetence. As he so accurately noted, “People there still don’t believe in their government from the national level down to the local. And, you can’t blame them, because their leaders have been their worst enemies at times.”
General McChrystal was sent home for several reasons, but his message is correct. There can not be any “victory” until an honest, competent government is in place. The real question is: do we possess any leverage to assure that occurring?