June 25, 2010 Special Dispatch No. 3057

Taliban in Afghanistan Say General McChrystal’s Dismissal Is Aimed At Hiding American Failure In Afghanistan, General Petraeus Is 'No Smarter'

June 25, 2010
Afghanistan | Special Dispatch No. 3057

On June 23, 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama replaced General Stanley McChrystal with his supervisor General David Petraeus as the commander of the U.S. and international troops in Afghanistan. General McChrystal was removed from his post following an interview with the Rolling Stone magazine in which he made contemptuous remarks against the U.S. civilian leaders, including Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke.

Reacting to General McChrystal's dismissal and the appointment of General Petraeus in his place, the Taliban in Afghanistan said that the new appointment will make "no difference" to their strategy in Afghanistan and that General Petraeus is "no smarter" than General McChrystal. A Taliban statement notes that the U.S. is trying to hide its failure in Afghanistan and that the removal of General McChrystal is a reflection of this effort.

The change of military leadership in Afghanistan has come at a time when the Obama administration has pledged to begin the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan in July 2011. It is feared that General McChrystal's removal could derail the U.S. Afghan strategy, especially in view of the Taliban's growing attacks across Afghanistan and the militants' Al-Fatah Operation against the U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

Taliban Statement: "The U.S. Cannot Win This War with Power Or By Firing Its Commanders; The Solution Lies in The Withdrawal of Foreign Soldiers"

The Taliban statement was as follows, "The U.S. cannot win this war with power or by firing its commanders. The solution lies in the withdrawal of foreign soldiers." The statement characterized General David Petraeus as a "weak" commander and - in a reference to Petraeus fainting at a recent U.S. Senate hearing - added that ''his physical ability is questionable."

"Although U.S. officials say that McChrystal was fired because of his comments, in fact, the move proves the failure of Barack Obama's strategy [in Afghanistan]," the Taliban statement added, pointing out that McChrystal had demanded 30,000 extra troops.

The Taliban said that the call for seeking more soldiers in Afghanistan was "a big mistake" on the part of General McChrystal. "Afghanistan is home to all Afghans and unless an Islamic government is established by Afghans, and unless foreign soldiers are withdrawn, peace cannot be restored," the statement quoted Mullah Muhammad Omar, the Taliban's supreme leader, as saying.

Taliban Spokesman Yousuf Ahmadi on General McChrystal's Sacking: "[Obama] Wants to Save His and His Party's Face - But Obama Will Never Be Successful As the Change of Generals Will Not Work"

According to another report on a jihadist website, Qari Muhammad Yousuf Ahmadi, the main spokesman of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the shadow government of the Taliban), termed the dismissal of General McChrystal as "a logical end to the Afghan War." ...

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