Last night's ABC national news had some really well done segments on current operations in Afghanistan. I guess the network wanted to introduce Diane Sawyer as their new nightly news anchor with a high profile embed...and they sure got what they asked for.
Sawyer had some revealing interviews with Gen. McChrystal, who answered her forthright questions with honesty and just enough emotion that you could tell he wasn't a spec ops cyborg, but not so much that he came across as fake or a wimp. I strongly recommend watching the interviews.
McChrystal had argued to Obama last year that without a quick infusion of U.S. troops the chances of a victory in Afghanistan would be lost. Obama authorized 30,000 troops and the flow of fresh forces is just underway, but McChrystal said it has already blunted Taliban momentum and is turning the tide against the insurgents.But the best part was their embed boy Bill Weir who linked up with a company from Army 2/12 in the Pech valley and got into some bang bang when they were patrolling. If you remember, 2-12 is the battalion that received the MultiCam uniforms and this is the first time we've seen video of the Joes wearing the new duds against their environmental backgrounds and in combat.
The general said he believes he is making good on his promise of a "quantum shift" on the battlefield.
"I believe we're doing that now. I believe that we have changed the way we operate in Afghanistan. We changed some of our structures and I believe that we are on the way to convincing the Afghan people that we are here to protect them," he told Sawyer.
"We've been at this for about seven months now and I believe we've made progress. It's not a completed mission yet," he said.
McChrystal cited as evidence a meeting he recently held in a river valley in Helmand province, an area where the Taliban has been strong and was one of the first targets of the American offensive.
"When I sit in an area that the Taliban controlled only seven months ago and now you meet with a shura of elders and they describe with considerable optimism the future, you sense the tide is turning," he said.
Watch the video HERE.
You'll notice some of the guys are wearing ACU and some are wearing MC...some have MC helmet covers, some don't. I couldn't see anyone wearing MC plate carriers, so those must not have gotten to them yet (you can tell they're at a pretty remote outpost in this video HERE with Sawyer chatting with embed boy about his week with the troops). But you can see a real difference in the green and brown backgrounds with MultiCam as opposed to the ACU.