Stanley McChrystal, a retired four-star general and the former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, is visiting the Philadelphia Speakers Series at an interesting time, given recent unfortunate news events. He will take the stage at the Kimmel Center the evening of March 26.
The presence of U.S. armed forces in Afghanistan is once again the subject of intense controversy following last month’s unfortunate Quran disposal at the U.S. air base in Kabul and, more recently, the aftermath of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales’s massacre of 16 Afghan civilians.
CNN is reporting that retired Maj. Gen. James A. Marks, a former commander of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center, thinks this will hasten the withdrawal of American troops from the country. However, President Obama seems to be holding to the original NATO timeline.
While McChrystal will have a lot to say generally about leadership, teamwork, and international affairs, one would expect him now to have further insight into recent events and the question of troop withdrawal.
McChrystal’s leadership of the Joint Special Operations Command, which oversees the U.S. military’s most sensitive counter-terrorism units, is credited with the capture of Saddam Hussein and the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates calls him “one of America’s greatest warriors.”
Give us your questions below for the general, and we’ll try to get a couple of them in during the Q&A session following his remarks.