In a stunning Foreign Affairs magazine interview, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, former commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan (I.S.A.F.) and the Joint Special Operations Command, reflects on lessons he learned in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iraq, he says, the first question was “Where is the enemy?” As things evolved, the question became “Who is the enemy?” Then “What’s the enemy doing or trying to do?” and, finally, “Why are they the enemy?”
This catechism is so revealing. In short, the tactic of taking out bad guys may ultimately create more of them.