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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Exclusive: McChrystal's New Persuasion

From my copy of transcript of Charlie Rose's interview with Gen. Stanley McChrystal airing tonight on PBS, as he is asked about making pay offs to get Taliban who have maybe killed his soldiers on our side.
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Charlie Rose:
But can you peel away some members of the Taliban from the insurgency?

General Stanley McChrystal:
Right, yes, I think we can, and it --

Charlie Rose:
How will you do that? Why will you convince them that it is better to be on your side than the other side?

General Stanley McChrystal:
We need to understand why each fighter is in the insurgency, and, of course, each person has individual reasons. Some are deeply ideological, and that will be difficult. Some are frustrated with their own government, and we work to improve governance. Some are unemployed, and that’s not an insignificant factor. And some, because of tribal, family and other linkages, have gotten caught up for any number of reasons. I think what we’ve got to do is offer them really two options. One is a very firm resistance to the insurgency so they can see that the insurgency they’re a part of is not going to be successful. And two, we’ve got to offer them an open door, and an open door that is credible. It’s got to offer them an opportunity to for a new life. It’s got to offer them respect not to be dishonored as they make the decision to come back under the government of Afghanistan. And those things together, I believe, give us the opportunity to take a tremendous number of the Taliban mid and lower-level fighters off the battlefield.

Charlie Rose:
People who have been planting IEDs can be convinced to change sides?

General Stanley McChrystal:
I believe they can, if we determine --

Charlie Rose:
Are you prepared to say to them, I realize what you have done, and I realize you have killed American soldiers, men and women who are fighting against you, but if you will come over to this side, what?

General Stanley McChrystal:
I think you offer them a chance to rejoin society.

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