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McChrystal: U.S. Wasn’t Ready for Afghan War

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Gen. McChrystalThe U.S. began the war in Afghanistan with a "frighteningly simplistic" view of the country and even 10 years later lacks knowledge that could help bring the conflict to a successful end, a former top commander said Thursday.

Retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal said in remarks at the Council on Foreign Relations that the U.S. and its NATO allies are only "a little better than" 50 percent of the way to reaching their war goals.

Of the remaining tasks to be accomplished, he said the most difficult may be to create a legitimate government that ordinary Afghans can believe in and that can serve as a counterweight to the Taliban.

McChrystal, who commanded coalition forces in 2009-10 and was forced to resign in a flap over a magazine article, said the U.S. entered Afghanistan in October 2001 with too little knowledge of Afghan culture.

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