[Marxism] Civilian control of the military

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Oct 8 19:12:22 MDT 2009

On October first, General Stanley McChrystal, the commanding officer in 
Afghanistan, made a speech to the International Institute for Strategic 
Studies in London that implicitly repudiated Vice President Biden’s 
proposals for refocusing the war as one against Al Qaeda in Pakistan 
rather than the Taliban in Afghanistan.  In his speech, the General 
dismissed the claim that Afghanistan “is a graveyard of empires” as 
“untrue”. Given the deteriorating situation that, more than anything 
else, has prompted Biden’s “dovish” stance, one wonders if McChrystal is 
whistling in the graveyard.

If you read the speech, you will not find much in the way of Fox-TV 
rhetoric. Indeed, the main thrust against Biden took place in the Q&A 
when the General was asked whether he favored a strategy in Afghanistan 
of killing top insurgent leaders with unmanned drones and missiles that 
was associated with the peace-loving VP. He replied, “The short, glib 
answer is no. You have to navigate from where you are, not from where 
you wish you were. … A strategy that does not leave Afghanistan in a 
stable position is probably a short-sighted strategy.”

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