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McChrystal on Marjah and More

10:20 AM, Jun 11, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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McChrystal on Marjah and More

Gen. McChrystal talks to Radio Free Afghanistan:

RFE/RL: Let's start with Marjah, Afghanistan. How satisfied are you with the results of the operation in Marjah, and what lessons have been learned for the Kandahar operation, which is ahead?

McChrystal:
I am pleased with the operation in Marjah, what has been done, but I am not satisfied that it's complete. It clearly is not. It is a little more than 120 days since we conducted [Operation] Moshtarak. We have improved security. We have brought in the initial parts of governance, begun some development. There are bazaars open, there are schools open, there's more freedom of movement and agricultural issues. But the security is not complete yet.

I am not satisfied that we are able to protect Afghans from [threats], from murder, and from intimidations. So to me, it is only a work in progress. I would also tell you that in Moshtarak -- Nad Ali and Marjah -- we learned lessons. We did some things very well. We engaged the population and conducted shuras before we went in. We were extraordinarily careful to prevent civilian casualties. And although there were some, we were very proud of the efforts we did and the success in doing that.

At the same time, we know that security is not yet complete. So we are pushing ourselves harder there. We also know that the governance is incomplete as well. We had hoped to come in and have governance more credible, more rapidly. And yet, getting that capacity in, getting civil servants in, getting places to work, getting vehicles, getting all those things, hasn't gone as fast as we would like it to. And we use those lessons to help inform us in preparation for Kandahar as we take a deliberate look so that as we go into a similar effort to secure an area and provide those kinds of services in Kandahar city and around it, that we're better.

Read the whole thing here.

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