Interview with Gen. Stanley McChrystal

Susan Ormiston speaks with the commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, about the strategy and goals of the mission in Afghanistan, its future, and Canada's role until and beyond the departure deadline of 2011.

Excerpt: General McChrystal praises the Canadian Forces

Susan Ormiston: How do you see Canada’s role going forward?

General Stanley McChrystal: Well, I’d first like to talk about Canada’s role to date. I’ve been honoured, since 2002, to work with Canadian Forces, and it is humbling to watch the courage that they have shown, and the expertise that they show on a daily basis.

Of course it’s not been without significant cost, so I offer my condolences, and one of the reasons for my visit here was just a chance to express, in person, to the people of Canada, just how much I treasure that.

And so we’ve been together for a number of years, and I watched the Canadian Forces. They bring an expertise beyond just conventional military expertise, at which they’re very good. They also bring a nuanced maturity to counter-insurgency. The Canadian Forces operate beyond traditional military security. They have pioneered the development of stability organizations, which…bring in the governance and development, and marry it to security elements to go forward.

And it’s really the holistic view that effective counter-insurgency takes.

The rest of the coalition has learned a lot from the way the Canadians operate, and as we go forward, I’m sure we’ll continue to.

Susan Ormiston: So if you applaud us so much, surely you’d want us to stick around in a combat role longer than 2011?

General Stanley McChrystal: You always feel good when you got a Canadian at your shoulder.

Read the complete transcript of General McChrystal's interview

Click here for the complete transcript of the interview with General McChrystal

Susan Ormiston on why the interview was delayed by four months

Sometimes there's an interesting story behind a story.

Producer Carmen Merrifield and I were scheduled to interview General McChrystal in Kabul in August of this year. The morning of that interview, a car bomb blew up just outside McChrystal's ISAF headquarters in Kabul. The interview was postponed - for about 4 months, until his trip to Ottawa this week.