President Obama acted wisely and correctly today in asking for General McChrystal's resignation from command of the field army in Afghanistan (I realize it isn't called that, I just like writing it). And now General Petraeus will re-don his battle-rattle and head back into the fight, a place in which he has proven himself with distinction for the better part of ten years now.
This is however, Mr. Obama's last chance in Afghanistan. If Petraeus cannot turn the corner on the battle with the Taliban in relatively short order (and I mean six months), it will be time for the President to cut our losses and begin to think differently about how to deal with denying safe haven to Al Qaeda. Perhaps at the end of the day, Joe Biden had it right after all. I don't know--but I supported the President's policy out of a sense that he be given the opportunity to win--and if we cannot, then it is time to end the nearing nine-year war.
The President's speech was sober and appropriate--he said all the right things, and he said them well. He is the protector of an office, an office that cannot countenance the kind of disloyalty displayed by McChrystal and his team.
We Americans should ALL be proud today. One of our cherished bedrock tenets--civilian control of the military--was reinforced for all to see. The Army will not now alight from the barracks in coup d'etat. The Constitution reigns supreme here in the land of liberty, the war must go on. All good things to General McChrystal, a man who gave his all to the country.