October 5, 2009

"People aren't sure whether McChrystal is being naïve or an upstart."

"To my mind he doesn't seem ready for this Washington hard-ball and is just speaking his mind too plainly."

Said "adviser to the administration."

Mc Chrystal "flatly rejected proposals to switch to a strategy more reliant on drone missile strikes and special forces operations against al-Qaeda":
He told the Institute of International and Strategic Studies that the formula, which is favoured by Vice-President Joe Biden, would lead to "Chaos-istan".

When asked whether he would support it, he said: "The short answer is: No."
He went on to say: "Waiting does not prolong a favorable outcome. This effort will not remain winnable indefinitely, and nor will public support."


miller said...

Not long for command is what I think.

AJ Lynch said...

You don't answer "chaos-istan" if you are naive. The general is pissed off and could not hide his disgust at the political games and at being asked to comment on a plan devised by the dumbass Biden.

Paul Zrimsek said...

This is the sort of thing that gets generals cashiered for insubordination, and rightly so.

Dark Eden said...

Generals saying things the President doesn't like is now the WORST THING EVARRZ I guess.

Kind of like Dissent is the highest form of patriotism and Listen to the Generals, the libs don't think turnabout should be fair play.

Bissage said...

Someone needs to learn the meaning of the term "hard-ball."

Dogwood said...

This is the sort of thing that gets generals cashiered for insubordination, and rightly so.

At this point, I don't think McChrystal would care. He is trying to win a war & the commander in chief has no interest in finding the time for it.

Roger J. said...

As a former professional army officer, the appropriate thing for GEN McChrystal to do is retire if his PRIVATE advice to the SECDEF or POTUS is rejected. Rejection of his advice is simply a vote of no confidence by the political leadership. AFTER he retires he can then speak out all he wants.

Paul Zrimsek said...

McChrystal doesn't have to care if he doesn't want to; resignation is always an option. In the meantime, his chain of command runs from him through the Army Chief of Staff and the Commander-in-Chief to us. He has no business trying to step outside it by appealing to us over the heads of his military and political superiors.

AllenS said...

Pres. Obama is supposed to lead, to provide a strategy. McChrystal seems to be left hanging in the wind. Obama has given him no direction, and he's upset. I would be too. He should quit. If he doesn't retire, he'll be thrown under the bus.

Slow Joe said...

He's not being insubordinate.

He's not being naive. He's not showing he isn't ready for Washington (where he is not).

That's Obama's people spinning. Anyone who shows they are wrong is 'stupid' or 'crazy' or 'naive'.

But they are none of those things.

McChrystal has a nearly impossible job... fighting Afghanistan when Obama doesn't appear to want to win there, and hasn't been willing to talk to the General about what's going on. Obama promised to talk to the generals, and was lying. this Copenhagen lecture was the second time Obama has talked to this General... and the first time they actually met. Afghanistan is less important to Obama than Obama getting everyone to agree with Obama.

McChrystal only said it's wrong to back off... it's a pretty banal assessment, too. Obama's folks know they can't bash this guy too hard, since the military is much more respected than politicians. So they bash him in this stupid passive aggressive way... knowingly compromising his ability to focus on a tough job. Whether McChrystal stays or goes or wins or loses, it is Obama's fault or credit for whatever happens in Afghanistan.

This is going to be a huge issue in 2012.

Slow Joe said...

Let's remember that all those generals were permitted to have opinions that differed from W Bush. Bush took some advice, and rejected other's advice, and won in Iraq by taking responsibility.

Obama would have you believe that he's not a big part of the decision making process in the Afghanistan war, but regardless, it's not insubordination for General McChrystal to answer a question about a proposal from Joe Biden. Nothing he's done was wrong.

Insubordination is a serious charge, and people making that accusation based on this comment are mistaken in the extreme.

Jason (the commenter) said...

It would be nice for Obama if the general said nothing and didn't leak information. He could then be used to take a bullet if things got bad in Afghanistan. That can't happen now.

If Obama wanted that sort of relationship with McChrystal, he probably should have spent more time with him.

What sort of an idiot expects other people to be that politically naive?

Slow Joe said...

Paul Zrimsek said "He has no business trying to step outside it by appealing to us over the heads of his military and political superiors."

What a stupid interpretation of what's happened. McChrystal is not trying to appeal to us... he's said almost nothing to us. Someone asked him a question about his opinion of a proposal Joe Biden made. McChrystal was respectful and noted his plan was different and the stakes were high.

McChrystal does have a proposal... he did not tell us what it was. He kept his mouth shut about it as Obama took and takes forever to decide what to do with it. How is that going over anyone's head? If Joe Biden's plan was supposed to be classified and all in the military were supposed to be silent about it, maybe Joe Biden should stop talking about it.

Paul, you're just mistaken. It's completely OK for the General to do what he wanted. I'm sure Obama is mad that he answered a question in a way that was compelling and intelligent and showed Biden's plan was stupid, but that's not insubordination.

traditionalguy said...

The fact is that McChrystal was hired to delay a decision in Afghan mountains until the cows go home. The Nationalisation of Health Care and the elimination of oil and coal energy use at competitve costs has always been the goal; and that is taking too much time thanks to Sarah Palin's facebook ghostwriter.The soldiers sent into the Afghan mountain valleys as targets for the taliban to attack from the surrounding mountains are the men McChrystle is in charge of, and he is saying to hell with the Won's needs to enact the end of American power and wealth on Congress's schedule. He needs real action on a plan to get in or to get out while his men are still alive. No wonder the Obama gang is so upset with McChrystal.

Paul Zrimsek said...

No one's asking McChrystal to say nothing. What he should say is "Sir, I request another assignment."

AllenS said...

Obama has no military experience. He needs to get involved. May I suggest that he conducts a short arms inspection of a company of men.

Diamondhead said...

LOL. Someone from the student council is calling McChrystal naive.

peter hoh said...

What does "winning in Afghanistan" look like?

Hoosier Daddy said...

What does "winning in Afghanistan" look like?


Slow Joe said...

Paul, a) there are only so many assignments for someone like this General and b) he is probably happy to do the job he's got, even though it's very hard. He's not backed off even slightly from his responsibility to Afghanistan. Why would he quit? It's Obama who should request a different assignment... McChrystal is actually doing his job.

Jason, I don't think the general leaked his proposal, which seems to have been leaked in DC to the Washington Post. Probably was leaked by someone who likes McChrystal. But you've got a really good point. McChrystal was probably going to be fired and blamed, and now he can't be.

As you note, though, McChrystal now cannot be sandbagged and blamed for the problems. It's been made clear that the president is ultimately responsible... as if we didn't already know that, but Obama has repeatedly pretended he is not.

All this General can do is implement orders as best as he can, and suggest better orders, as he has. That's a really hard job, and it's a shame the democrats are out in force attempting to destroy yet another public servant to defend Obama from a week of bad press. The administration claims he's too naive for Washington (why the hell should I care about that?), but it's the administration that is too naive for Washington.

They should have known that leaks would occur and show they were responsible for Afghanistan.

David Walser said...

Whether McChrystal's been insubordinate or not depends on what's happened. If McChrystal had held a news conference to outline his differences with the President and to explain why the President's policies were wrong, McChrystal would have been insubordinate. My understanding is that's not what McChrystal did. Instead, McChrystal wrote a memo at the request of the Administration outlining the General's recommendations and members of Congress (who were properly given copies of the memo) shared summaries of that memo with the media, and the Administration responded to questions from the media about the memo by suggesting that the President was listening to additional ideas -- including those from VP Biden -- and McChrystal asked by the media what he thought of those ideas. That's not insubordination. He's simply giving a legitimate response to a legitimate question.

The President's not announced a policy on Afghanistan. It's pretty hard to publicly support a policy until you know what it is. It's also pretty clear the General disagrees with Biden's proposal -- else the General would have made the same proposal in his memo. For the General to have refused to respond to legitimate questions might have been more controversial than his having answered them.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Joe, I don't know how to make it any plainer. Yes, the President's plan-- well, I wrote "plan" so no point crossing it off now-- won't work. Yes, it's McChrystal's right and duty to point this out--- but to the President, not to the Institute of International and Strategic Studies, and certainly not to any reporter who asks him about it. Whatever happened to "no comment"?

traditionalguy said...

McChrystal is a trained warrior with more class than every Democrat politician alive today put together. The misuse of his men as enemy targets only sent out to hold an unusable area of no intrinsic value to us cannot be sustained by Obama's false pretending to study things as a delay, much longer. It's time that such false hope is replaced with real change. If it would have benefited Chicago or Acorn or Seiu Union, then a decisive Obama/Democrat action would have happened 6 month's ago, and everybody knows that is the truth.

MayBee said...

It would definitely be preferable if Congress would call McChrystal in to talk to them publicly.

It would give Congress and the American public a chance to hear his thoughts. It would also give MoveOn a challenge to come up with an unpatriotic nickname for him, and the NYT a chance to sell some ad space. Win-Win-Win!

Slow Joe said...

I do kinda laugh at the idea of how Obama would respond if the General had said 'I cannot give my opinion of Joe Biden's proposal... the Obama administration thinks that is insubordination for me to publicly state my opinion on the war they have trusted me with.'

I love that McChrystal was ordered to fly to Copenhagen to get lectured by Obama on his comments. Obama can't pick up the damn phone once a day, week, or even month... or year... to talk about Afghanistan or these proposals, but Obama will go in person to attempt to increase the real estate value of Mayor Daley and Tony Rezko's cronies. He didn't need to talk to the General about anything... until the General made clear the president is responsible for a disaster... then the president needs to meet in person RIGHT NOW!!!

No Chain of Command! Obama could have sent a memo to the Chief of Staff to go down to McChrystal and all in between, explaining this new policy on answering questions about Biden's proposals. Isn't that how Afghanistan is handled?

If the Copenhagen location wasn't enough, the actions make clear Obama cares a lot more about Obama than Afghanistan.

Paul Zrimsek said...

It would definitely be preferable if Congress would call McChrystal in to talk to them publicly.

With or without the President's agreement? Speaking as one of those "unitary executive" extremists, I see some separation-of-powers issues there.

Slow Joe said...


You already called for the General to quit this job in this thread. You think all he can say is 'I want to be reassigned'.

Why? The General is NOT sworn to defend Obama's interest's. He's sworn only to our constitution. Read it sometime, and you'll understand that unless something is classified, the General is doing the world a favor by answering questions intelligently. He merely said he didn't agree with a proposal that is not in place. He has every right to do this.

The white house is refusing to even make a decision that should have been made long, long ago. Why should McChrystal sit around and let his men die? The white house is in command of a republic, after all. The white house thinks it's time for us to publically discuss Joe Biden's plan... that's why they are discussing it. The did not order anyone not to discuss it. So McChrystal discussed it, and now you think he should ask to be relieved of duty. Ridiculous.

Slow Joe said...

by the way, Paul, you don't seem to understand the extent of the unitary executive.

It most certainly does not forbid the military from speaking on public matters. It most certainly does not cause seperation of powers issues if congress calls on generals to discuss things. Congress funds the troops, and has significant responsibility for our military and foreign relations. Just because the president is the executive doesn't mean he can prevent our nation from having and discussing our plans. Ridiculous.

TosaGuy said...

"An adviser to the administration said: "People aren't sure whether McChrystal is being naïve or an upstart. To my mind he doesn't seem ready for this Washington hard-ball and is just speaking his mind too plainly."

Oh the utter wrongness of that statement. McChyrstal certain knows how the game is played and he is running circles around Obama's advisors -- most of whom know little about the military. Subordinates sometimes have to hold their boss accountable when the boss refuses to act.

McChystal is not doing a MacArthur where he was going to ignore Truman's orders. He is demanding that orders that give the US a chance in hell of winning will be issued. He is also protecting his men, like any good commander, by keeping them from being thrown under the bus.

Commanders owe timely and informed decisions to their subordinates so that they can have a realistic opportunity to carry them out.

This is also true for the Commander-in-Chief.

David Walser said...

Whatever happened to "no comment"?

Perhaps "no comment" would have been the best response. Perhaps not. Since the outlines of McChrystal's recommendations had already been leaked and since Biden's proposals were being offered by the Administration up as different from McChrystal's, "no comment" might have come across as harsh and could have been spun as "The General's so upset he won't even explain why Biden's approach is wrong."

Having said that, I don't think McChrystal had any obligation to try to make Biden's proposals look more attractive to the public. As far as we know, the President is considering all alternatives. McChrystal obviously believes his approach is best. Publicly shooting down Biden's flawed idea may help the President select the better alternative. In that way, McChrystal may be serving the President -- by helping him be successful.

Joe said...

Things are going to go bad in Afghanistan no matter what is done. Even the notion that there were lost opportunities, as the Bush critics call them, is silly. Only the most extreme violence will subdue Afghanistan and then only temporarily and nobody has the stomach for that level of violence, especially over a complete shithole of a country.

Our best strategy was to whack the Taliban and pay off the tribal leaders to be on our side. It was cheaper, more effective and cost less American lives. The nation building exercise has been a failure and, ironically, will end up leading right back to Taliban dominance. Do we learn nothing from history?

Bob From Ohio said...

"In the meantime, his chain of command runs from him through the Army Chief of Staff and the Commander-in-Chief to us."

The Army Chief of Staff is not in the chain of command. It is an administrative post.

Chain of command is:

Secretary of Defense
JCS Chair
Regional/Combined Commands

I believe McChrystal has two slightly different chains of commands. As commander of US forces, he reports to Pretarus as CINC Central Command. As commander of the NATO mission, he reports to the Supreme Commander of NATO (also a US officer). How that gets co-ordinated, I am not sure, I am sure his orders spells it out.

The Vice President is not in the chain of command. A VP is just an advisor to the president. The Biden "plan" is not policy at this point.

McChrystal may be too frank but he is not insubordinate at this point.

BTW, his speech appearance was certainly cleared though his exact words may not have been.

Paul Zrimsek said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TosaGuy said...

Why should McChyrstal be the first person to ever get in trouble for dismissing an idea of Joe Biden. It's not like it has never happened before or won't happen again.

mccullough said...

Some people also said Shinseki was insubordinate to W. as well.

Now he's one of Obama's cabinet members. It would be very tough for Obama's people to claim McChrystal was insubordinate given their view of Shinseki. Of course, maybe they both were insubordinate.

And if Shinseki and McChrystal were insubordinate, then defintely Colin Powell was insubordinate in 1993 with his public opposition to Clinton's then plan to end the ban on gays in the military.

Larry J said...

Biden's suggestion is to use armed UAVs and Special Ops forces to fight in Afghanistan. Apparently, General McCrystal strongly disagrees with that approach.

I wasn't familiar with General McCrystal's background so I did a quick check. Military background is important in an commander because many officers don't like or understand Special Ops. However, this biography indicates that the general has first hand experience in the Army Special Forces (Green Berets) and Rangers.

He's a snake eater. He knows what Special Ops can and can't do. It sounds like Biden's proposal is an attempt to fight a "clean" war on the cheap. There's no such thing. War - regardless of how it's fought - is never clean or cheap.

Paul Zrimsek said...

He's sworn only to our constitution. Read it sometime,

Christ. Oh, for a killfile.

virgil xenophon said...

I simply LUVV the wailing and gnashing of teeth on the left by those who decry the leaking of McCrystals' Top Secret Rpt, while previously regarding "leakers" as "whistling-blowing Patriots" when top-secret CIA plans, etc., were published on the front page the NYT above the fold during the Bush Admin.

Gored-oxen are stampeding all over the place.

Paul Zrimsek said...

The Army Chief of Staff is not in the chain of command. It is an administrative post.

Correction noted. Loose shit, as they say over at Ace's.

Joe said...

Based on my above response, here's the Machiavellian version of what's going on:

McChrystal has looked at his tea leaves and realized he doesn't stand a chance in hell of winning this war, no matter what is done. The solution: be very public in proposing the one thing that would at least appear to work on the short term knowing it will be rejected. This lets him point the finger at the politicians who would (not might WOULD) blame him when the time comes. Obama is smart enough to pick up on this and is taking it to the next step; putting it on Congress. At the same time Biden volunteers (ah, the advantage of having a complete moron as VP) as the scapegoat. Now that everyone but Biden has covered their ass, Congress goes with Biden's plan and then snickers when it blows up in his face.

A less charitable version is that McChrystal is a jackass who actually believes his own bullshit. Doesn't matter since it plays out the same way.

Ironclad said...

What could be considered "Victory in Afghanistan"? The main criteria has to be provide something that will allow the people to support more than just the local tribe or ethnic group. It used to be the King there (name loyalty only), but he is dead. Religion has been co-opted by the Taliban, and even that is a non-uniter with divisions between Sunni & Shia groups (the Hazara suffered badly under the Taliban). And it is surely not the central government anymore, after the fiasco elections.

You have got to provide security, you have got to deliver some visible civil improvements (schools, roads and health) and you have to do it in a way that is direct - not through the central government. That is the trickiest point now - how do you separate yourself from being seen as a tool of the corrupt state? (but still work there).

We kept Iraq intact instead of separating it into 3 states because they did have some form of national identity. I don't think the glue is as strong in Afghanistan - so maybe a Swiss type federation of states makes a lot more sense. That also might allow more separation from the center in our operations there, and at the same time, make it easier to "target" one group - the Pashtuns, that seem to be the bulk of the Taliban now. Or at least target and try to separate the factions.

The other thing we need to do is start buying the opium wholesale to shut down the corruption channels (and inject money direct into the economy and stop pissing off the farmers). Maybe we can dump the surplus on Iran - they already have enough addicts there.

But like Iraq - this is going to take a lot of time, treasure and blood to fix.

Rialby said...

The Left hates being questioned in the same way they harangued Bush for 8 years. How many friggin times did we hear about how W fired General Eric Shinseki for questioning his strategy? Good lord, it was all John Kerry could talk about for months.

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

Gen.McChrystals troops are fighting and dieing while President ShortPants dithers and holds his finger in the air.

The General must speak in order to protect his troops.If doing so causes Obama to take him down,I'm sure the Generals conscience will be clear.

It's more than curious that Obama gets furious with his own General but not with the enemies of the U.S.

edutcher said...

TosaGuy said...


McChrystal is not doing a MacArthur where he was going to ignore Truman's orders.

But he may be getting ready to do a MacArthur telling FDR, "When we lose the next war, ...".

It strikes me McChrystal is a stand up guy and right now is standing up for the men in his command while Obambi votes 'present', as he always seems to do. Since he was picked for this job by the Administration, if McChrystal resigns, I have a feeling he'll say something MacArthuresque when he does.

He's trying to get the wusses and the Commies from Chi-town to let him do his job and quit playing games with the lives of his troops.

Roger J. said...

Rick Shenseki revisited--first of all President Bush did NOT fire Rick Shenseki--he retired--look up the tenure lenghts of the Army chiefs of staff--we went thru this canard three years ago.

Paul has already been straightened out about the chain of command and admitted he was wrong. That whole chain of command changed in 1986 when the service chiefs were taken out of the chain, a vice chairman was created, and the secdef was make the ultimate CINC (after POTUS).

McChrystal is off base on this one, no matter what his professional credentials are--he's not a policy maker--he's a policy recommender and executor. He doesnt like it? retire and speak freely--Truman had the balls to fire king douglas--don't think thats where Obama is

Hoosier Daddy said...

The nation building exercise has been a failure and, ironically, will end up leading right back to Taliban dominance. Do we learn nothing from history?

Well we have successfully done some nation building in the past so actually history has proved it successful. That being said succes has been in more modern and ethnically homogenous nations (Germany, Japan, S. Korea) as opposed to a made up nation (Iraq and Afghanistan) which diverse ethnicities who fanatically subscribe to a intolerant religion. Afghanistan is a tribal nation and I don’t think people really grasp the concept of ‘tribal’ being an impediment to a stable nation-state. It isn’t and never will be. Lotalty to one’s tribe trumps all else. Thus we can ignore that reality and continue to feed good people into the meat grinder or just resign ourselves to the fact that there is a certain group of people on planet Earth who have no desire to join the 21st century (much less the 16th which would be an improvement) and hope for the best.

As far as I am concerned they can be cave dwellers, shoot their women for baring an ankle and blow up Buddahs and homosexuals to their hearts content. Just keep it over there thank you very much.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The Biden "plan" is not policy at this point.

As hard as I try, I can’t think of three more terrifying words than “the Biden plan”.

MayBee said...

With or without the President's agreement? Speaking as one of those "unitary executive" extremists, I see some separation-of-powers issues there.

I'd prefer Obama allow it to happen, as Bush did.

If McChrystal can speak to a London think tank and 60 minutes, it doesn't seem outlandish to allow him to speak to Congress.

AllenS said...

As hard as I try, I can’t think of three more terrifying words than “the Biden plan”.

Oh, yeah? How about "the Biden presidency."

Hoosier Daddy said...

It strikes me McChrystal is a stand up guy and right now is standing up for the men in his command while Obambi votes 'present', as he always seems to do.

Well its probably best for me that I never enlisted since I would have undoubtably ended up court martialed. I imagine if I was McChrystal I would have said something along the lines of:

"I'm sorry to bother you at this very busy time in your schedule Mr. President, I know you and Mrs. Obama have many other very important things you need to take care of while here in Copenhagen but if its not too much trouble, do you think you can get off your skinney ass for 10 minutes and make a decision on Afghanistan, you know that place you called the good war where if you haven't been keep up with current events, we have good soldiers dying tryingt to defeat the jihadist monsters?

Thank you for the opportunity to meet with you and share my concerns. Good luck with that Olympic thing.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Oh, yeah? How about "the Biden presidency."

Well I thought of that and all I can picture is him sitting behind the desk in the Oval Office playing helicopter with a pencil and ruler.

edutcher said...

I'm noticing nobody here really understands the whole MacArthur sacking. Truman was hoping to negotiate an end to the Korean War with the red Chinese and told everyone not to say or do anything to queer the deal. MacArthur made some provocative statements to the press (a direct disobedience of orders) and was cashiered. This is light years from what McChrystal is doing. (Read Manchester's "American Caesar")

BTW The "adviser to the administration" Ann quotes sounds like he is giving a little friendly "Chicago advice". This stuff works well with frightened shopkeepers, less well with people who can fight back.

AllenS said...

As hard as I try, I can’t think of three more terrifying words than “the Biden plan”.

Oh, yeah? How about "the Biden presidency."

Try 3 1/2 more years of the Zero :(

ricpic said...

We all know that Obama cares not a whit about our soldiers dying in Afghanistan. That's what is so enraging.

The Drill SGT said...

Roger J has it right, though I don't like it much.

McChrystal needs to get his resources and orders, and if he doesn't think they will accomplish the mission, he should resign.

Then Obama can explain why his third new strategy for this "necessary war", and his hand picked general are not compatible.

The Drill SGT said...


I stood a short-arm inspection on my return from Nam. Never conducted any though.

My troops were always cleaner than those Airborne troopers :)

madawaskan said...

Irony is the Obama Administration using a guy named-

Jim Jones

to go after Petraeus and McChrystal.

I dunno but when I hear a name like that I think of drinking the Kool Aide and -well....this word that ain't so pretty.

madawaskan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
madawaskan said...

Let's see what are they trying to imply McChrystal is being insubordinate about?

Trying to stay true to the stated objectives in Afghanistan that Obama made to -

The Electorate-

during his campaign?

Now, McChrystal is being called supposedly disrespectful to the Constitution because he actually believed candidate Obama?

David said...

This is not insubordination. Insubordination involves criticizing or not implementing the current policy. The General is talking about what future policy would be. If the policy is changed and he still criticizes it, then he is insubordinate and should be dismissed.

He may be not long for command, as Miller said. But no one in the administration would be criticizing him if he spoke in favor of a revision of policy, would they?

LarsPorsena said...

"McChrystal needs to get his resources and orders, and if he doesn't think they will accomplish the mission, he should resign. "

If only the enlisted men had this option. Maybe McC feels a sense of loyalty to them first. He resigns to replaced by whom? He's an SF guy. Who would be better to lead? Some ticket puncher?

Also, just like the monsoon limited hostilities in Viet Nam, winter is coming to the Hindu Kush and the operational tempo is going to slow.
Maybe that is what the Won is waiting for and the breathing room it will give him for political maneuvering.

The Drill SGT said...

a historical note, but of relevance here.

Hindu Kush = Killer of Hindu's

every time those low landers went up into those mountains, they got their asses handed to them by the tribes.

Larry J said...

Oh, yeah? How about "the Biden presidency."

Although a conservative agnostic, I'll pray for Obama's continued health and well being for just that reason - at least until Jan 20, 2013.

Ralph L said...

The JCS Chair is not in the chain of command, either. The theater CINCs (aka the Unified and Specified Commands in the 90's) report directly to the SECDEF and President. The Chairman is only an advisor.

BJM said...

I've got a really baaad feeling about this.

jpr9954 said...

For those who think McChrystal is being insubordinate, I suggest you go back and read David Halberstam's "The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War."

If you compare McChrystal's comments to anything coming out of MacArthur's mouth, it is like night and day. McChrystal sees himself as a general fighting for his men and for his mission. MacArthur saw himself as God.

And while we are on Afghanistan, I suggest everyone go to Michael Yon's website and read his posts on Afghanistan. He has said, rightly so, that without a surge in Afghanistan we will lose that war.

Ralph L said...

The second question is, with a surge, are we likely to win?

traditionalguy said...

It's the terrrain stupid. One road up the valley crawling with IED's like fleas on a dog and mountains on either side and to the front with local suicidal warriors dedicated to attacking in force the small outpost or patrols sent out from a rear base that needs re-supply up the single road, and what have you got? You have multiple replays of Stonewall's Shenandoah Valley Campaign. And Jackson enjoyed everday he killed another Army sent down the valley to get him.

Larry J said...

Ralph L said...
The JCS Chair is not in the chain of command, either. The theater CINCs (aka the Unified and Specified Commands in the 90's) report directly to the SECDEF and President. The Chairman is only an advisor.

As of several years ago, there is only one CINC and that's the president. Those military commanders who used to be called CINCs are now called Combatant Commanders (COCOMs). I think Rumsfeld was behind that decision.

Paul Zrimsek said...

If MacArthur was farther out of line than McChrystal, all that means is that MacArthur was farther out of line than McChrystal. It doesn't prove that McChrystal wasn't out of line.

Ralph L said...

I think Rumsfeld was behind that decision.
A good move, if you ask me. I bailed out of a beltway bandit in 92, so the titles have probably changed twice since then.

What does the Navy use instead of CINCUSNAVEUR and CINCPACFLT, etc?

Dudley Do-right said...

+1 on what Slow Joe's been saying.

Plus, McChrystal is not a quitter, resigner or retirer in the face of difficulty. He's invested in winning and that's the kind of general the country needs over there.

Having spoken the truth, the General now walks in the steps of his predecessor....Joe the Plumber.

VinceP1974 said...

You know what's funny...

How the idiotic seditious Left kept harping "Don't you think we should find out why they hate us" in the immediate aftermath of 11 Sept 01


but they never ask "What will they think us" if they think they defeated us in a war.

The answer to the question "what is victory" is... for the enemy to realize he's been defeated.

Bob said...

The "not ready for Washington hardball" assertion made by the "advisor" is just frustration that the General has boxed Obama in a corner. The General spent a few years as the JSOC Commander and a year as XO to Admiral Mullen. He is a very savvy insider. McCrystal also remembers the very shabby treated of his predecessor so he knows Obama will throw him under the bus. So its "ponyup or go home".

Anthony said...

I am no fan of Obama and think his Afghanistan policy (or lack there of) shows a complete lack of serious.

Either send in Joe "I know the address of bin Laden's cave" Biden in with enough resources and political backing or get out already. We had 8 years of a manifestly unserious president, we do not need 4 (or 8, be realistic) more.

And meeting with your field commander of a war you said was a necessity twice in 8 months, one time a 2 minute while waiting for AF One to warm it is incredible.

Still -- I do not like it when generals go public. If McChrystal has a really big problem with Obama, he should resign. No I say he has a DUTY to resign. Then he can go as public as he flikes.

Jason said...

General McC was only articulating the position Obama himself already took during the campaign. Obama called for at least two additional brigades in Afghanistan, maybe three.

General McC's comment was well within the guidance already established by the President.

Why is Biden going off the reservation? I don't like it when Vice Presidents go public. If he's got advice, he should keep it within the chain of command.