McChrystal’s Frank Talk on Afghanistan

General Tells 60 Minutes U.S. Needs to “Deprogram” Bad Habits And Change How The War Is Fought

Sept. 27, 2009

(CBS) He eats one meal a day; anything more makes him feel sluggish. In another life, he could have been a monk.

“The lap of luxury,” Martin joked, seeing the general’s small and Spartan bedroom.

“It is. It’s good. I mean, what else do you need? It’s functional and it’s comfortable. You get very used to it. You have what you have and that’s all you need. And you realize you don’t need a lot of other stuff. One thing of course you miss is family, but besides that it’s pretty much perfect,” McChrystal said.

He lived like that for five years as head of a top secret hunter-killer unit which captured Saddam Hussein and tracked down the infamous terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, calling in an airstrike to kill him.

Being a general didn’t stop him from going on commando raids.

“I won’t claim that I was ever any great help on the missions,” McChrystal said. “It was really to go and see what the force does. And to understand just what their challenges are. And also there’s a value to the old man coming along, just to show that he’s willing to do that.”

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