Stanley McChrystal said in remarks at the Council on Foreign Relations that the U.S. and its NATO allies are only "a little better than" 50 percent of the way to reaching their war goals. Of the remaining tasks to be accomplished, he said the most difficult may be to create a legitimate government that ordinary Afghans can believe in and that can serve as a counterweight to the Taliban. Blame game between Pakistan and Afghanistan will yield no positive result.
McChrystal, who commanded coalition forces in 2009-10 and was forced to resign in a flap over a magazine article, said the U.S. entered Afghanistan in October 2001 with too little knowledge of Afghan culture. US forces did not know the country s languages and did not make "an effective effort" to learn them, he said. McChrystal also said that the Bush administration s decision to invade Iraq less than two years after entering Afghanistan made the Afghan effort more difficult.