President Obama just announced a handover of security operations to the Afghan forces as early as spring. Are they ready?
Well, you know, by some metrics they're not. But I think what's really important is the psyche of the Afghan people here. The Afghan people are terrified of the future; they are afraid of a Taliban return. I think if we offer them a strategic partnership that says we are your ally, we are reliable, that the numbers of troops and the amount of money is much less important than that psychological commitment.
Does Afghan President Hamid Karzai have the political capital to secure immunity for U.S. troops after withdrawal, which President Obama has tied to U.S. presence there?
I suspect that he does. I suspect that the Afghan people and the Afghan political body absolutely knows that this is a critical issue. They watched what happened in Iraq, I don’t think they want to see that happen. And clearly we can’t put American service members in a position where they don’t have fair and reasonable protections.
What's next for you?
Leadership. I am teaching leadership at Yale, and then I cofounded a company, the McChrystal Group, that does leadership consulting with non-defense firms. We help them deal with competitive environments. Just like our military changed in response to the world shifting so fast, that's what we help companies do.
- Read Michael P. Noonan: What the U.S. Can Learn from France's Mali Intervention
- Read Brett McCrae: Congress Must Weigh in on U.S. Future in Afghanistan
- Read Mackenzie Eaglen: Other Services Should Follow Navy's Lead on Warning of Hollow Force