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Gen. McChrystal's job hangs in the balance

justabubba

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my guess is yes, after the current rolling stone article
he has literally been called on the carpet to be in person in the situation room, not in video, on the monthly afghanistan assessment tomorrow
this is smart guy. he knew the outcome of his insubordination when he made those quoted comments to rolling stone
apparently there is a huge chasm between some military brass and the white house about the strategy for conducting the war(s)
U.S. general lets down his guard in Rolling Stone interview - latimes.com
... The article, in Rolling Stone, said McChrystal's staff frequently derided top civilian leaders, including special envoy Richard C. Holbrooke and U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry. ... McChrystal is reported as visibly exasperated by e-mails he receives from Holbrooke, appointed by President Obama to oversee developments in Afghanistan and Pakistan. "Oh, not another e-mail from Holbrooke," the article quotes McChrystal as saying after receiving one message. "I don't even want to open it." ... Late Monday, McChrystal issued an apology for the Rolling Stone article. "It was a mistake reflecting poor judgment and should never have happened," he said in a statement.
duh!
 

mac

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my guess is yes, after the current rolling stone article
he has literally been called on the carpet to be in person in the situation room, not in video, on the monthly afghanistan assessment tomorrow
this is smart guy. he knew the outcome of his insubordination when he made those quoted comments to rolling stone
apparently there is a huge chasm between some military brass and the white house about the strategy for conducting the war(s)
U.S. general lets down his guard in Rolling Stone interview - latimes.com
duh!
Going public is the only way he can get a face to face with the President......
 

donsutherland1

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If he is fired, his public comments shouldn't be the issue. A legitimate issue concerns the strategy that he largely designed, as what is currently happening in Afghanistan risks becoming a case study in bad planning despite heroic efforts of execution by the troops.

On June 10, 2009, The Washington Post reported:

The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said Thursday that major parts of the military operation to secure Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban movement, would be pushed back because it was taking longer than expected to win local support...

But McChrystal said it was taking longer than anticipated to gain the blessing of local tribal leaders -- and Kandaharis in general -- for the operation. He also said commanders needed more time to ensure that Afghan government could step in after the fighting stops and provide effective public services, something that has been lacking in Kandahar for years.


The underlined part is key. It again reflects Kabul-centric thinking that is a problem. The widely unpopular Karzai regime's legitimacy is suspect it has cronyism-related issues to deal with in Kandahar. Family ties have visibly benefited Karzai's half-brother there. Carl Forsberg, an analyst at the Institute for the Study of War described prevailing perceptions there as follows, "In Kabul, as in Kandahar, state-building and family interests have become confused, such that they are equated with one another, in ways that sometimes parallel the monarchical political order of the old regime, in which the strength of the state relied on the strength of the Shah [king], his family and its personal allies." In that atmosphere, the lack of support from local tribal leaders is reasonable. They are not about to run risks presented by the Taliban largely to benefit the Karzai family.

That the Kabul-centric strategy has yielded suboptimal results was expected, particularly by those who are knowledgeable about Afghan affairs. Ambassador Eikenberry and General Petraeus had concerns about partnering with the Karzai regime during the time the current strategy was being developed. From the December 6, 2009 edition of The New York Times:

That very afternoon, someone leaked word of a cable sent by Ambassador Eikenberry from Kabul expressing reservations about a large buildup of forces as long as the Karzai government remained unreformed. At one of their meetings, General Petraeus had told Mr. Obama to think of elements of the Karzai government like "a crime syndicate." Ambassador Eikenberry was suggesting, in effect, that America could not get in bed with the mob.

Sadly, as had been the case before the new strategy was devised, the architects of the strategy are the ones who yet again have fallen behind the proverbial curve. Worse, in this case they should never have fallen behind the curve. The evolution of events was readily foreseeable (and foreseen by some such as Amb. Eikenberry) and very likely avoidable (had the strategy not been Kabul-centric in nature).
 

WhyteRash

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If he is fired, his public comments shouldn't be the issue. A legitimate issue concerns the strategy that he largely designed, as what is currently happening in Afghanistan risks becoming a case study in bad planning despite heroic efforts of execution by the troops.
i was thinking along the same lines as well..

his "troops and money surge part deux" plan didnt seem to have an effect.
 

pragmatic

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my guess is yes, after the current rolling stone article
he has literally been called on the carpet to be in person in the situation room, not in video, on the monthly afghanistan assessment tomorrow
this is smart guy. he knew the outcome of his insubordination when he made those quoted comments to rolling stone
apparently there is a huge chasm between some military brass and the white house about the strategy for conducting the war(s)
U.S. general lets down his guard in Rolling Stone interview - latimes.com
duh!
This is one of those situations which begs that eternal question:

"What in the name of jeezus was mcchrystal thinking...??!!!"



.
 
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jujuman13

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There will never be a Victory in Afghanistan, in the first place NATO is fighting a guerrilla army somewhat similar to that which defeated the US in Vietnam.
The Commander in Chief has absolutely no idea as to how to conduct a war and in this particular instance would far prefer to talk with Taliban rather than fight them.
The Taliban will never talk with US or NATO while Karzai and the rest of his Chicago style mob are in power in Afghanistan.
General McChrystal's comments were unwise, however whether President will dismiss him is not an automatic given as he McChrystal was elevated to his position at the direct insistence of Gates and another influential person who stated that only McChrystal could win in Afghanistan.
 

apdst

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If he is fired, his public comments shouldn't be the issue. A legitimate issue concerns the strategy that he largely designed, as what is currently happening in Afghanistan risks becoming a case study in bad planning despite heroic efforts of execution by the troops.

On June 10, 2009, The Washington Post reported:

The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said Thursday that major parts of the military operation to secure Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban movement, would be pushed back because it was taking longer than expected to win local support...

But McChrystal said it was taking longer than anticipated to gain the blessing of local tribal leaders -- and Kandaharis in general -- for the operation. He also said commanders needed more time to ensure that Afghan government could step in after the fighting stops and provide effective public services, something that has been lacking in Kandahar for years.


The underlined part is key. It again reflects Kabul-centric thinking that is a problem. The widely unpopular Karzai regime's legitimacy is suspect it has cronyism-related issues to deal with in Kandahar. Family ties have visibly benefited Karzai's half-brother there. Carl Forsberg, an analyst at the Institute for the Study of War described prevailing perceptions there as follows, "In Kabul, as in Kandahar, state-building and family interests have become confused, such that they are equated with one another, in ways that sometimes parallel the monarchical political order of the old regime, in which the strength of the state relied on the strength of the Shah [king], his family and its personal allies." In that atmosphere, the lack of support from local tribal leaders is reasonable. They are not about to run risks presented by the Taliban largely to benefit the Karzai family.

That the Kabul-centric strategy has yielded suboptimal results was expected, particularly by those who are knowledgeable about Afghan affairs. Ambassador Eikenberry and General Petraeus had concerns about partnering with the Karzai regime during the time the current strategy was being developed. From the December 6, 2009 edition of The New York Times:

That very afternoon, someone leaked word of a cable sent by Ambassador Eikenberry from Kabul expressing reservations about a large buildup of forces as long as the Karzai government remained unreformed. At one of their meetings, General Petraeus had told Mr. Obama to think of elements of the Karzai government like "a crime syndicate." Ambassador Eikenberry was suggesting, in effect, that America could not get in bed with the mob.

Sadly, as had been the case before the new strategy was devised, the architects of the strategy are the ones who yet again have fallen behind the proverbial curve. Worse, in this case they should never have fallen behind the curve. The evolution of events was readily foreseeable (and foreseen by some such as Amb. Eikenberry) and very likely avoidable (had the strategy not been Kabul-centric in nature).
There is a such-a-thing in the military as the, "commander's intent", which all military plans are built around. McChrystal built his strategy in accordance with the commander's intent. i.e. The Commander in Chief. It will be nearly impossible for Obama to pass the buck on this, though we know he'll try.
 

Renae

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If the article is accurate, he should be fired for conduct unbecoming an Officer. You don't air dirty laundry about the Chain of Command... some of that stuff reads like high school level drama llama crap.

However, I think it also says a lot about Obama's Admin and the failures of proper leadership going on there. If half of what they said is true, the WH is seriously dysfunctional.
 

ReverendHellh0und

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He knew the consequences of such statements, what this should lead us to believe is that there is some ****ed up **** coming down so much so that he felt he needed to say it.
 

texmaster

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If the article is accurate, he should be fired for conduct unbecoming an Officer. You don't air dirty laundry about the Chain of Command... some of that stuff reads like high school level drama llama crap.

However, I think it also says a lot about Obama's Admin and the failures of proper leadership going on there. If half of what they said is true, the WH is seriously dysfunctional.
Absolutely it does. Yes doing this in public is wrong but if you don't want a repeat you need to find out why his frustration got the better of him and his aides. The comments of the incompetancy Obama and his people isn't the least bit surprising.

The night before the general is scheduled to visit Sgt. Arroyo’s platoon for the memorial, I arrive at Combat Outpost JFM to speak with the soldiers he had gone on patrol with. JFM is a small encampment, ringed by high blast walls and guard towers. Almost all of the soldiers here have been on repeated combat tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and have seen some of the worst fighting of both wars. But they are especially angered by Ingram’s death. His commanders had repeatedly requested permission to tear down the house where Ingram was killed, noting that it was often used as a combat position by the Taliban. But due to McChrystal’s new restrictions to avoid upsetting civilians, the request had been denied. “These were abandoned houses,” fumes Staff Sgt. Kennith Hicks. “Nobody was coming back to live in them.”

One soldier shows me the list of new regulations the platoon was given. “Patrol only in areas that you are reasonably certain that you will not have to defend yourselves with lethal force,” the laminated card reads. For a soldier who has traveled halfway around the world to fight, that’s like telling a cop he should only patrol in areas where he knows he won’t have to make arrests. “Does that make any f–king sense?” Pfc. Jared Pautsch. “We should just drop a f–king bomb on this place. You sit and ask yourself: What are we doing here?”


Read more at the Washington Examiner: McChrystal


If these "new rules" came from Obama and his people the world should know that. It certainly sounds like some moronic liberal pc crap designed to put our people in more danger while embrassing this fantasy of winning hearts and minds with all of the people in Afganistan.
 

Moon

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If he is fired, his public comments shouldn't be the issue. A legitimate issue concerns the strategy that he largely designed, as what is currently happening in Afghanistan risks becoming a case study in bad planning despite heroic efforts of execution by the troops.

On June 10, 2009, The Washington Post reported:

The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said Thursday that major parts of the military operation to secure Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban movement, would be pushed back because it was taking longer than expected to win local support...

But McChrystal said it was taking longer than anticipated to gain the blessing of local tribal leaders -- and Kandaharis in general -- for the operation. He also said commanders needed more time to ensure that Afghan government could step in after the fighting stops and provide effective public services, something that has been lacking in Kandahar for years.


The underlined part is key. It again reflects Kabul-centric thinking that is a problem. The widely unpopular Karzai regime's legitimacy is suspect it has cronyism-related issues to deal with in Kandahar. Family ties have visibly benefited Karzai's half-brother there. Carl Forsberg, an analyst at the Institute for the Study of War described prevailing perceptions there as follows, "In Kabul, as in Kandahar, state-building and family interests have become confused, such that they are equated with one another, in ways that sometimes parallel the monarchical political order of the old regime, in which the strength of the state relied on the strength of the Shah [king], his family and its personal allies." In that atmosphere, the lack of support from local tribal leaders is reasonable. They are not about to run risks presented by the Taliban largely to benefit the Karzai family.

That the Kabul-centric strategy has yielded suboptimal results was expected, particularly by those who are knowledgeable about Afghan affairs. Ambassador Eikenberry and General Petraeus had concerns about partnering with the Karzai regime during the time the current strategy was being developed. From the December 6, 2009 edition of The New York Times:

That very afternoon, someone leaked word of a cable sent by Ambassador Eikenberry from Kabul expressing reservations about a large buildup of forces as long as the Karzai government remained unreformed. At one of their meetings, General Petraeus had told Mr. Obama to think of elements of the Karzai government like "a crime syndicate." Ambassador Eikenberry was suggesting, in effect, that America could not get in bed with the mob.

Sadly, as had been the case before the new strategy was devised, the architects of the strategy are the ones who yet again have fallen behind the proverbial curve. Worse, in this case they should never have fallen behind the curve. The evolution of events was readily foreseeable (and foreseen by some such as Amb. Eikenberry) and very likely avoidable (had the strategy not been Kabul-centric in nature).
Actually, he should, and rightfully so.

Article 88—Contempt toward officials

“Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.”

Link
 

donsutherland1

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Actually, he should, and rightfully so.
Technically his remarks could lead to his dismissal. IMO, the growing problems associated with the strategy largely of his design is a more important reason, if the change is made. It would be one thing if the strategy were leading to progress along the agreed timelines. But it isn't. Moreover, there are increasing stories about even elementary matters having not been given attention.
 

atomsNvoid

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I also believe the General must be relieved of duty.

It is interesting, however, to compare how quickly this White House can react when it's interests are assailed and compare the reaction time to that when the interests of the "small people" are under attacked. Ain't no moss a growin' on this rolling stone, huh?
 

Moon

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Technically his remarks could lead to his dismissal. IMO, the growing problems associated with the strategy largely of his design is a more important reason, if the change is made. It would be one thing if the strategy were leading to progress along the agreed timelines. But it isn't. Moreover, there are increasing stories about even elementary matters having not been given attention.
General officers have been relieved in the past because of disparaging remarks they've made regarding the civilian leadership. It's obvious he's been recalled to DC because of the comments he made, and not because of any strategy issues.
On June 8, 1993, the Washington Post reported that Major General Harold N. Campbell was being "investigated on charges that he ridiculed President Clinton as a 'gay-loving,' 'pot-smoking,' 'draft-dodging' and 'womanizing' commander in chief at a [May 24, 1993] banquet for U.S. Air Force personnel in the Netherlands."

According to a July 8, 1993, Associated Press article, Campbell "retired after he was reprimanded and fined about $7,000 ... for his comments about Clinton." The Air Force investigation's report, according to the AP, also concluded that Campbell had "planned the remarks."

Link
 

Apocalypse

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Military high-ranked officials, let alone Generals, must never make a political position.
The military must always remain an apolitical body, to preserve the authority of the government over it and in the worst case to avoid a military coup.
 

apdst

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Technically his remarks could lead to his dismissal. IMO, the growing problems associated with the strategy largely of his design is a more important reason, if the change is made. It would be one thing if the strategy were leading to progress along the agreed timelines. But it isn't. Moreover, there are increasing stories about even elementary matters having not been given attention.
The admin is going to have a real hard time pinning the lack of success in the ATO on McChrystal. They would be perfectly in the right to relieve McChrystal, however, they will make themselves look like complete assholes if they scapegoat him.
 

ric27

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Just a couple of points to ponder...

1 McChrystal is a warrior's warrior
2 McChrystal swore an oath to the Constitution and to no one else. He simply is fighting at that level for what he thinks is right.
3 Who wants to be known as the general that lost Afghanistan ? **** that
 

d0gbreath

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You do have to be present to be fired.

Did he just want out of this bind, or was he smoking dope with the RS interviewer? He did issue an apology rather quickly. That tends to point out that his disparaging remarks were probably slip-of-tongue accidental. McChrystal and I are the same age. I feel that he is the best man for the job.

I do my job. It's time for him to do his.
 

donsutherland1

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General officers have been relieved in the past because of disparaging remarks they've made regarding the civilian leadership. It's obvious he's been recalled to DC because of the comments he made, and not because of any strategy issues.
I agree. My point is that in the whole scheme of things, a stronger argument for replacing him would rest with the failures of the strategy. I recognize that the former will drive the decision making as to whether he will be relieved. But in the larger context, if the U.S. is to materially increase its prospects for success in Afghanistan, it will need to make strategic changes. That will require tough decisions, including putting interests ahead of personalities.
 

donsutherland1

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The admin is going to have a real hard time pinning the lack of success in the ATO on McChrystal. They would be perfectly in the right to relieve McChrystal, however, they will make themselves look like complete assholes if they scapegoat him.
If he is replaced, and that is not yet certain, it will be done as diplomatically as possible. There will be no scapegoating.

Nonetheless, the Administration still has a need to modify the current strategy. Failure to do so will reduce prospects for a clear-cut U.S. success in achieving its mission and major goals in Afghanistan.
 

Zeke

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Even though McChrystal is wrong for speaking out against his Chain of Command, what about the validity of what he is saying? Sometimes the most rude and unwelcomed comments speak the most truth. Is the war being run by politicians who simply are trying to cover themselves while claiming to fight the war?
 

justabubba

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If he is replaced, and that is not yet certain, it will be done as diplomatically as possible. There will be no scapegoating.

Nonetheless, the Administration still has a need to modify the current strategy. Failure to do so will reduce prospects for a clear-cut U.S. success in achieving its mission and major goals in Afghanistan.
for my edification; what are the mission objectives and major goals to be accomplished in afghanistan before we can remove our troops?
 

RightinNYC

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It's dumb and entirely inappropriate to make stupid comments about your superiors.

It's really dumb and really inappropriate to make stupid comments about your superiors on the record to journalists.
 

StevenA59

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If he is fired, his public comments shouldn't be the issue. A legitimate issue concerns the strategy that he largely designed, as what is currently happening in Afghanistan risks becoming a case study in bad planning despite heroic efforts of execution by the troops.
If he'd kept his mouth shut, the comments wouldn't be an issue. On what grounds should we allow a general to dis the CIC?

If the article is accurate, he should be fired for conduct unbecoming an Officer. You don't air dirty laundry about the Chain of Command... some of that stuff reads like high school level drama llama crap.

However, I think it also says a lot about Obama's Admin and the failures of proper leadership going on there. If half of what they said is true, the WH is seriously dysfunctional.
There's no love lost between the military and Obama's administration. Obama's failure, that he repeats everywhere, is the failure to engage. He acts like some kind of princess locked in a tower.

He knew the consequences of such statements, what this should lead us to believe is that there is some ****ed up **** coming down so much so that he felt he needed to say it.
A bit of "McChrystal Ball" reading, eh?

I also believe the General must be relieved of duty.

It is interesting, however, to compare how quickly this White House can react when it's interests are assailed and compare the reaction time to that when the interests of the "small people" are under attacked. Ain't no moss a growin' on this rolling stone, huh?
What possible benefit could there be in waiting to punish insubordination?

The admin is going to have a real hard time pinning the lack of success in the ATO on McChrystal. They would be perfectly in the right to relieve McChrystal, however, they will make themselves look like complete assholes if they scapegoat him.
Not about scapegoating. MyChrystal shot his mouth off. Now he got to pay.

Just a couple of points to ponder...

1 McChrystal is a warrior's warrior
2 McChrystal swore an oath to the Constitution and to no one else. He simply is fighting at that level for what he thinks is right.
3 Who wants to be known as the general that lost Afghanistan ? **** that
A warrior's warrior understands the chain of command. Swore an oath to the Constitution? Gimme a break.

There's no excuse. Obama should make an example of him.

Even though McChrystal is wrong for speaking out against his Chain of Command, what about the validity of what he is saying? Sometimes the most rude and unwelcomed comments speak the most truth. Is the war being run by politicians who simply are trying to cover themselves while claiming to fight the war?
Soldiers don't have the luxury of speaking their interpretation of the truth. Just like you or I don't have the luxury of telling our boss he's a fat slob who should be flipping burgers. Welcome to the world.
 
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