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‘McChrystal downbeat on Afghan war before sacking’

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LONDON – US General Stanley McChrystal issued a highly critical assessment of the war in Afghanistan just days before he was sacked by President Barack Obama, a British newspaper reported Sunday.

File photo of former US commander in Afghanistan General Stanley McChrystal. McChrystal issued a highly …

The Independent on Sunday said leaked military documents showed McChrystal had briefed defence ministers from the countries involved in the war earlier this month and warned them to expect no progress in the next six months.

McChrystal was forced to step down as commander of the NATO-led force in Afghanistan due to disparaging remarks about administration officials, including Obama, in an explosive Rolling Stone magazine article.

But the newspaper suggested the article was only one reason why the general quit, saying his candour about the reality of the situation in Afghanistan was an obstacle to plans for an early US withdrawal.

“Stan argued for time, and would not compromise. Rolling Stone provided an excuse for Obama to fire the opposition to his plan without having to win an intellectual argument,” it quoted an unnamed senior military source as saying.

According to the paper, McChrystal had said corruption and security remained serious issues as foreign forces battled a “resilient and growing insurgency”.

He said the Afghan security forces were “critically short on trainers — the essential resource required for quality”, while the Afghan government had little control over the country.

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