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General Stanley McChrystal and his hard-driving team probably didn’t say anything about their civilian bosses that military leaders haven’t always said about their civilian bosses.
McChrystal & Co. just said it in front of a reporter. From Rolling Stone, no less.
No wonder these guys can’t catch Osama.
McChrystal never quite hit me right. Like yon Cassus, he has a lean and hungry look. He eats one meal a day and runs seven or 10 or 12 miles a day or something.
Now, I’ve been a runner for more years than I want to count. But there’s a point where fitness crosses over into obsession.
The real surprise in reading the Rolling Stone article was that McChrystal voted FOR Obama for President. What would he have said if he hadn’t?
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# carbine
Saturday, June 26, 2010 12:54 PM
Excuse me, but what exactly did General McCrystal say about Obama that was wrong, disrespectful, or insubordinate? From all the reporting I've heard (and I haven't read the RS article, I've just got NPR, FOX, CNN, and local print media accounts to rely upon) I have yet to hear any quote from him that fits that description. His subordinates certainly crossed the line, and on at least one occassion did so in McCrystal's presence without rebuke, but that in itself hardly merits relief from command.

The bigger question here is the substance of the complaints raised by McCrystal's staff. The civilian side of our counter insurgency operations in Afghanistan is a horrible mess, and THAT'S what our boy-wonder president ought to be focusing on, not lashing out at a general who's staff told a reporter some unpleasant and unflattering truths. But that would take some maturity, judgement, and a willingness to put his personal feelings aside for the good of the country. McCrystal is the best man for the job; Obama ought to swallow his pride and back him to the hilt.
# carbine
Saturday, June 26, 2010 10:33 PM
OK, I've now read the article, and I'll double-down on my comments above with one minor modification--some of McCrystal's direct quotes were disrespectful. However, none of those were directed at his superiors (CINC CENTCOM, the Sec. of the Army, the Sec. of Defense, or POTUS). It's a shame the precocious twelve-year-old who wrote the article (I assume that's an accurate description, based on the way it's written) saw fit to include many of the details that he did, but McCrystal and his staff should have kept the dude at arm's length or curbed their enthusiasm for self-expression when he was around.

I hope Patraeus can pick up the ball and get results, but I doubt he will unless he gets a few things straight with the president. First, he should tell Obama that he MUST force the civilian leadership to either get on the team or get off it--no more hedging, backstabbing, or politicking. Second, he should insist that Obama publicly renounce his idiotic self-imposed 2011 deadline for beginning a withdrawl. If Obama won't do those things than Patraeus should resign.
Sunday, June 27, 2010 11:25 PM
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# dap916
Monday, June 28, 2010 2:41 PM
The biggest Patraeus can do is not only stick by the plan to get our guys out of Afghanistan by 2011 but formulate a plan that can get our country's entirely out of that piss-hole even quicker because they will NEVER be anything but a fighting-faction group of people as has been the case for eons. The Russians had zero success there...all attempts to squelch the faction violence there previously has been unsuccessful and guess what....WE'RE gonna be unsuccessful. It's Obama's question about it. Oh, and for those mindless, radical, puppet-stringed liberals here that want to say that Bush left Obama Afghanistan....check out Obama's beliefs, statements, perferred policies on Afghanistan from BEFORE he became prez so that you won't look like just one more radical, far left idiot here.
# carbine
Monday, June 28, 2010 9:21 PM
There is an old saying that goes something like, 'when you're up to your a**hole in alligators, it's hard to remember your original objective was to drain the swamp.'

We ought to think carefully about why we went into Afghanistan in the first place, and what it was we were trying to accomplish there. It wasn't to build a model of democracy, at least not initially. That idea set in later. It was to oust a government that had collaborated with Al Qaida (mission accomplished) and kill or capture Osama bin Laden and as many of his Al Qaida compatriots as possible in the bargain (still working on that one).

Neither the Russians, nor the British, nor any other foreign invader that came to grief in Afghanistan went into that unhappy land with such limited objectives. Our problem is that once in, we (as usual) get bogged down in 'nation-building' and a hundred other things that are not necessarily essential to our original mission.
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