Ex-Commander: US Started Afghan War Lacking Info

By: AP
By: AP

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A former top U.S. commander in Afghanistan says the U.S. military had a "frighteningly simplistic" understanding of Afghanistan when it invaded, and this helps explain why the war has lasted 10 years.

Retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal said in remarks at the Council on Foreign Relations that the U.S. and its NATO allies are only a little more 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 creating a legitimate government that ordinary Afghans can believe in and that can serve as a counterweight to the Taliban.

McChrystal, who commanded in 2009-10, said coalition forces entered Afghanistan in October 2001 with too little knowledge of Afghan culture and a significant gap remains.


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