The Senate Armed Services Committee right now is holding a hearing on the nominations of three general officers who, if confirmed, will take over very important combatant-commander positions. Army Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal would receive a fourth star and assume command of the International Security Assistance Force and commander, U.S. Forces, Afghanistan. Navy Adm. James Stavridis would become head of U.S. European Command and Supreme Allied Commander, Europe. And Air Force Lt. Gen. Douglas Fraser would get his fourth star and become commander, U.S. Southern Command.
McChrystal, who has extensive counterinsurgency experience, just told committee Ranking Member John McCain (R-AZ) that he could not put a "hard date" on how long the allied counterinsurgency campaign will last in Afghanistan. "We do have to make progress in 18 to 24 months," McChrystal said. U.S. casualties will go up as the allied operation increases, he added.
McCain asked McChrystal what lessons learned from Iraq could be applied to Afghanistan. "A classic counterinsurgency campaign, well resourced, is needed," McChrystal replied.