Hastings told a tale of a project with no hope for success. His story shows us that the U.S. presence in Afghanistan is all about tactics dressed up as a strategy. It’s a profile of a military establishment running on inertia -- unable to withdraw because withdrawing is an admission of defeat, but also unable to accomplish the wholly unrealistic tasks put before it.
In the waning days of WW2, Hitler, rather than admit he was losing, started targeting individual officers and blaming them for the disasters which were unfolding. Obama is playing the same game today and McChrystal should be glad that we are (for the moment) beyond the use of firing squads as punishment.