Gen. Stanley McChrystal; placed in a no-win position by his CinC?
Via a series of Tweets by Fox White House correspondent Major Garrett;
An article due out at Rolling Stone magazine later this week is previewed by an AP piece at FoxNews.com describing how the embattled General McChrystal receives little to no support from the Administration nor those chosen by the Obama White House to work with the General.
WASHINGTON — The top U.S. war commander in Afghanistan told an interviewer he felt betrayed by the man the White House chose to be his diplomatic partner, Ambassador Karl Eikenberry.
An article out this week in “Rolling Stone” magazine depicts Gen. Stanley McChrystal as a lone wolf on the outs with many important figures in the Obama administration and unable to convince even some of his own soldiers that his strategy can win the war.
Of the profile in Rolling Stone, Gen. McChrystal is quoted by Major Garret as saying;
“I extend my sincerest apology for this profile. It was a mistake reflecting poor judgment and should never have happened….
Throughout my career, I have lived by the principles of personal honor and professional integrity. What is reflected in this article falls far short of that standard. I have enormous respect for President Obama and his civilian leaders and troops fighting this war and I remain committed to ensuring its succesful outcome.”
What in the heck was Gen. Stanley McChrystal thinking? I mean, I know what he was thinking: he was tired of being the victim of what he believes is a concerted effort on behalf of Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry and others to undermine everything he was given 18 months to do. He was tired of being perceived in the press as a neoconservative killer, Dick Cheney’s hired assassin, or disloyal to President Obama and his staff. He was angry at being blamed for leaking the draft of his report to the President to Bob Woodward. (He did NOT leak the document). He was miffed that a large number of mid-ranking soldiers and battalion commanders and enlisted guys didn’t support his strategy.
What I don’t know is which of McChrystal’s aides thought it would be a good idea to let his senior staff speak on background to Rolling Stone (!) of all publications, venting McChrystal’s frustrations and their own.
Because if there was ONE thing McChrystal could do to reduce trust between himself and the National Security Council leading up to December’s planned policy review, it was to allow a staffer to mock Joe Biden and call the national security adviser a “clown” … and to put words in McChrystal’s own mouth that denigrate Eikenberry.
I don’t think McChrystal intended to do this. Nevertheless, he did. And as for whether there was some miscommunication about attribution, or whether McChrystal thought no one would really notice, or whether he thought a tick-tock like this would help his cause … those questions are unanswerable right now.
I don’t know about you all, but I’m depressed as hell right about now. I remember all during the Bush years the left was constantly comparing the war in Iraq to Vietnam, and now it seems that same left (minus one dead Kennedy and an actual deceased “ex”-Marine) is close to actually achieving accuracy with that comparison with regard to Afghanistan.
Even now, after working overtime to ensure failure in the theater, the left seems to be gearing up for a “But Mister President you promised!” campaign;
When he ordered his escalation of the war in Afghanistan, President Obama pledged that U.S. troops “will begin to come home” in the summer of 2011. Discouraging reports from the war zone should make him more determined to keep his promise – and Americans more insistent on holding him to it.
In his Capitol Hill testimony this week, Gen. David Petraeus – the godfather of Obama’s 30,000-troop Afghanistan surge – sought mightily to carve out some wiggle room. “We have to be very careful with timelines,” he told the Senate Armed Services Committee. The July 2011 deadline for beginning a troop withdrawal depends on the assumption that “conditions” are favorable, Petraeus said.
But wait a minute. Another way to describe a withdrawal deadline that is based not on the calendar but on “conditions” would be to call it an open-ended commitment. This is precisely what Obama said he was not giving to Afghanistan’s corrupt and increasingly unreliable government.
Whether or not Obama adheres to his announced deadline matters less to the Afghans than it does to us. U.S. casualties are increasing, as was anticipated. [my emphasis]
The question is how much more the war will cost in precious young lives and in scarce resources. Obama won the nation’s forbearance promising the inevitable withdrawal would begin next year. Americans should and insist that he keep his word.
Yeah, make me wonder…