Tuesday, June 22, 2010

General McChrystal Must Go

General Stanley McChrystal is a warrior's warrior, a man largely at war for the past 9 years, and a man deeply schooled in the dark arts of special operating forces (SOF).  He has earned our thanks and he has earned our admiration for his dedication to mission and to country.  But he has also earned his ticket home.

I am not a big fan of this President; I am however, a fan of The Presidency, and Barack Obama fairly won the right to exercise the duties of the office.  One of the duties of the office is to protect its prerogatives and its powers, chief among which is the power of Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.  General McChrystal's comments to a Rolling Stone reporter do not rise to the level of a UCMJ violation.  They do however, rise to the level of a firing offense.  No General in the field can conduct himself openly with the press the way McChyrstal did, and from the lax standards that seemed to have been enforced on his staff, it does not seem that McChrystal paid any particular attention to maintaining an appropriate level of discipline in others.

McChrystal spent almost his entire career in the secretive and cloistered world of SOF.  That he was elevated to command of a Field Army was rare for a man not of the infantry, the armor, or the artillery.  It does not appear to me that McChrystal's time in the shadows has served him well in the blinding light of field army command.  Perhaps his miscues at the start of his tour there were--as the Obama team surmised then--a sign that he just wasn't for prime time.  

Barack Obama must ask for his resignation; if he does not get it, he must fire him.

There are no indispensable Generals--but there is one indispensable office. 


"The Hammer" said...

Obama is an incompetent fool but you gotta have respect for the chain of command. You respect the office, not necessarily the occupant.
Unfortunately the guy has gotta go.

Mudge said...

Well-written and inarguable.

There can be no other outcome.

Perhaps he was never admonished growing up: "If you can't say something good about someone [especially when he's your Commander in Chief], say nothing at all." I'm guessing we'd have a very quiet military corps if everyone abided by that rule.

moondog said...

sadly, I agree

Anonymous said...

"Never let a good crisis go to waste."

Let's see how long it will take before this turns into a full-fledged assault by the Administration (and the media) against the military.

Hard to believe that this 4-Star made such a "Strategic Corporal" mistake.

Sally said...

I agreed with you until I read the whole article, which appears to be more the work of rogue aides than the general spilling his guts to a Rolling Stone reporter. I hate to defend his indefensible indiscretion. But it wasn't POLICY insubordination.

I think this is an opportunity for the president to be magnanimous and say 'the mission in Afghanistan is bigger than this flap.' And I also think the White House, if they're smart, will consider some of the general's opinions re Eikenberry and Holbrooke.

I wonder if Hayward and Joe Barton have sent McChrystal a thank you note yet.

Dan said...

Wonder why General Petraeus is going through confirmation hearings to assume the role of ISAF Commander, a subordinate command of CENTCOM?

Doesn't the CINC have the authority to appoint his Generals?

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