General Sir Richard Gannet isn't all that impressed with president Obama's strategy for Afghanistan. Oh he's all for more troops. That part he likes. He doesn't like the timetable part, especially the idea that Obama may call it off in three years.
The Afghan war has been a dandy parlor game for a battery of Western generals. It's been a nice place to get their tickets punched before they sail off into retirement. The best part is that they never really had to accomplish anything... and so they didn't.
The worst kept secret of the Afghan war, obvious since 2002, was that the Western effort was grossly understrength. Grossly as in gross negligence. How many of these puffed up general officers stood up for the line soldiers under fire to resign in protest over this farce? How many of them raged at the incompetent management of this war even as, for eight years, the enemy strength grew and ours didn't?
Did they demand that the folks at home make things right? No. Instead they fed gullible reporters a rich diet of fairy tales about how we had the insurgents on the run. Now that the Bush/Cheney/Blair regime is gone they've suddenly found the courage to criticize - anyone but the generals themselves.
War is a result-oriented activity. Generals are expected to win. If they don't win, they're losers. In Afghanistan the West has had plenty of generals but not one winner among them. They were never playing to win and they knew it.
In the next war I think we ought to select a general to command the fighting until either victory is secured or he/she is relieved in disgrace. Those are the sort of conditions that bring forth Rommels and Pattons.