Editor’s Note: Each week we cross-post an excerpt of Katrina vanden Heuvel’s column at the WashingtonPost.com.
Gen. Stanley McChrystal has submitted his resignation. Or he’s been fired. In any case, it was time for him to go. His departure will help slow the increasing erosion in civil-military relations—aided by both political parties over the last 20 years—which has threatened civilian control of the military.
It also means we can now turn to a more fundamental exit debate: How do we change course and craft a responsible strategy to end the war in Afghanistan?
It is critical we have this debate. Here’s one good reason: McChrystal’s top aide believes this war is unwinnable. In the most important quote in Rolling Stone‘s fascinating article, Maj. Gen. Bill Mayville argues that the only way we win in Afghanistan is to redefine failure as victory: "It’s not going to look like a win, smell like a win or taste like a win. This is going to end in an argument."
So, instead of redefining failure as victory, shouldn’t we be debating how to fundamentally change course?
Read the rest of Katrina’s column at WashingtonPost.com.