The entourage entered the bazaar. The Afghans sensed that an important American had arrived, and they began to gather in groups inside the stalls. Then the general stopped and turned.
“What do you need here?” McChrystal asked.
A translator turned the general’s words into Pashto.
“We need schools!” one Afghan called back. “Schools!”
“We’re working on that,” McChrystal said. “Those things take time.”
McChrystal walked some more, engaging another group of Afghans. He posed the same question.
“Security,” a man said. “We need security. Security first, then the other things will be possible.”
“That is what we are trying to do,” McChrystal said. “But it’s going to take time. Success takes time.”
The questions kept coming, and the answer was the same. After a couple of hours, McChrystal put on his helmet and flak jacket, boarded the Black Hawk and flew to another town.
The full article can be found here. Thanks to Adam Pellilo for the pointer.