Study hails 'McChrystal effect' in Afghanistan

23rd June 2010, Comments 0 comments

British operations in southern Afghanistan show signs of progress, partly due to the leadership of embattled US General Stanley McChrystal, a study from a leading military think-tank said Wednesday.

The findings were published on the day McChrystal went to the White House for a crunch meeting with President Barack Obama after a magazine interview in which he criticised the president and his war cabinet.

There is intense speculation that McChrystal, who commands NATO and US forces in Afghanistan, could even be forced to quit.

In a briefing note for the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), Professor Theo Farrell of King's College London looked at operations by the British-led Task Force Helmand in north Nad-e-Ali in southern Afghanistan as part of Operation Moshtarak, a major anti-Taliban offensive launched in February.

"Operation Moshtarak demonstrates that in southern Afghanistan, ISAF is practising what it preaches -- a political-led, population-centric approach to counter-insurgency that is generally well integrated with Afghan national security forces," the study said.

"It also shows how the McChrystal effect' -- the reinvigoration of ISAF's campaign under clear strategic direction -- has been amplified in the south by a beefed-up Regional Command (South)".

It added that McChrystal's attempts to change emphasis in this way "has been successful".

But the study contrasted such successes with the story in the Marjah area, where it said "the rapid building of local trust and establishment of governance is not realistic".

© 2010 AFP

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