Gen. David McKiernan, commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, did an interview yesterday with Margaret Warner of the NewsHour. He didn’t really say anything unexpected — the war is "winnable" but not in strictly-military terms; security in Afghanistan is inextricable from security in Pakistan; he thinks the war will go on for years — but there was this recap of his views on reconciliation with the insurgency:
What I would say, though, is that [NATO troops] and U.S. military as well here favor the idea that if a fighter, if an insurgent wants to lay down their weapon, support the legitimate constitution of Afghanistan, then that probably is a legitimate reconciliation that should be led by the Afghan government, that certainly the military would be supportive of.
Question: what’s the difference here between "reconciliation" and "surrender"?
Crossposted to The Streak.