I mentioned recently William S. Lind's argument that Gen. Stanley McChrystal has, intentionally or not, done the Obama Administration a favor with the bleakness of his report on the prospects in Afghanistan. In response to the recent Australian analysis of the McChrystal report, cited here, a reader writes with a view complementary to Lind's:

"I suspect that the news media and blogosphere has overplayed the tension between McChrystal and the Obama administration.  As your recent post on the Afghan Rorschach test suggests, McChrystal has given an unvarnished assessment of the state of play, and a fairly unvarnished assessment -- or at least a shockingly high assessment -- of the numbers of troops he needed to 'turn the conflict around.'

"In short, he made his troop request high enough to be fairly easy to reject, and his report pessimistic enough to rule out an Obamaesque middle course   He can't be expected to craft a report that would make withdrawal seem easy, but it is to his credit that he (unlike Westmoreland) has made a good faith effort to make increased commitment seem hard.
"One of the problems with civilian commentary on Afghanistan is that civilians have been much slower than the military to learn the lessons of Vietnam."

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