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According to sources familiar with the meeting, Mc Chrystal thought Obama looked "uncomfortable and intimidated" by the roomful of military brass.Their first one-on-one meeting took place in the Oval Office four months later, after Mc Chrystal got the Afghanistan job, and it didn't go much better.Dressed in off-the-rack civilian casual – blue tie, button-down shirt, dress slacks – Mc Chrystal is way out of his comfort zone.Paris, as one of his advisers says, is the "most anti-Mc Chrystal city you can imagine." The general hates fancy restaurants, rejecting any place with candles on the tables as too "Gucci." He prefers Bud Light Lime (his favorite beer) to Bordeaux, (his favorite movie) to Jean-Luc Godard. The city has been rocked by two massive car bombs in the past day alone, calling into question the general's assurances that he can wrest it from the Taliban."We have two KIAs, but that hasn't been confirmed," Flynn says. If you've fucked up or disappointed him, they can destroy your soul without the need for him to raise his voice.
In the end, however, Mc Chrystal got almost exactly what he wanted.The president had thrown his weight, however hesitantly, behind the counterinsurgency crowd. troops passed 1,000, and the number of IEDs has doubled.Today, as Mc Chrystal gears up for an offensive in southern Afghanistan, the prospects for any kind of success look bleak. Spending hundreds of billions of dollars on the fifth-poorest country on earth has failed to win over the civilian population, whose attitude toward U. troops ranges from intensely wary to openly hostile. The president finds himself stuck in something even more insane than a quagmire: a quagmire he knowingly walked into, even though it's precisely the kind of gigantic, mind-numbing, multigenerational nation-building project he explicitly said he didn't want. It's a Thursday night in mid-April, and the commander of all U. and NATO forces in Afghanistan is sitting in a four-star suite at the Hôtel Westminster in Paris.Opposition to the war has already toppled the Dutch government, forced the resignation of Germany's president and sparked both Canada and the Netherlands to announce the withdrawal of their 4,500 troops.