Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The McChrystal Melee

CNN is reporting that President Barack Obama has relieved General Stanley McChrystal of his command in Aghganistan. This is hardly surprising, as it seemed highly unlikely that the President had brought the General back to Washington for a beer summit, a stern talk, or even a come to Jesus meeting. Besides, the kind of insubordinate talk appearing in the article, and never denied by the General, left the President with no real choice.

A few random observations:
  1. While the media and the public have rightly given a great deal of attention to the foolish rhetoric of Gen. McChrystal, they have largely ignored the other revealing criticism of him that is a major subject of the article. Evidently, a significant number of troops believe that the rules for engagement they are forced to live under put their lives at unnecessary risk. While the insubordination of Gen. McChrystal is a noteworthy subject, our troops deserve for attention to be given to the other matter.
  2. After reading the article's description of Gen. McChrystal's vision of nation building , does any thinking person really believe that is a legitimate role for the U.S. military?
  3. What were the General and his staff thinking when they made these comments in the presence of a Rolling Stone reporter? That they would look really cool when it came out in a really neat mag? Was it stupidity or arrogance?

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