McChrystal: Iraq boundaries likely to shift 'pretty significantly'

McChrystal: Taliban must get political or face irrelevance

Former Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal said Iraq boundaries are likely to change “pretty significantly” following the recent conflict there.

“One of the things I do with my students is have them look at a globe and then remind them that although we are used to boundaries being sort of permanent, that's not the way boundaries are,” McChrystal, who teaches a leadership course at Yale, told Reuters at the Aspen Ideas Festival.

“I think it's very likely that national boundaries will change pretty significantly,” he said.


McChrystal was a member of the Joint Staff in the Pentagon at the start of the Iraq war. He commanded the Joint Special Operations Command from 2003 until 2008, spending time in Afghanistan and Iraq. He retired as a four-star general in 2010 after a Rolling Stone magazine article quoted him and his staff mocking key administration officials. 

Last month President Obama authorized sending up to 300 military advisers to Iraq to assess the country's security forces and coordinate with local authorities.

Earlier this week the White House announced 200 troops were being sent to Iraq for added security at the Bagdad embassy and airport. The Pentagon said on Tuesday there is a total of 750 U.S. troops in Iraq.

In February, McChrystal cautioned against pulling all troops out of Afghanistan, adding that Iraq “should be a warning” of what can happen when the U.S. withdraws completely.