…about the McChrystal fooforaw:
…surely officers in Afghanistan should know that the purpose of Rolling Stone magazine is not to emphasize either their competency or their insight. And as a general rule, anytime a liberal journalist wishes to empathize with a frustrated officer, it is usually to exaggerate the officer’s unhappiness and use it for his own political purposes, which rarely if ever are those of the military.
If an officer cannot figure out Rolling Stone, how can he understand the Taliban?
Somebody needs to lose their job over this. I’d sure like to see Holbrooke and Eikenberry go, but we probably won’t be so lucky.
Afghanistan seems to be becoming Obama’s Vietnam.
[Update a while later]
Don’t blame McChrystal — blame Obama:
Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal should not lose his job because of the article about him in Rolling Stone magazine. If anyone deserves blame for the latest airing of the administration’s internal feuds over Afghanistan, it is President Obama.
For months Obama has tolerated deep divisions between his military and civilian aides over how to implement the counterinsurgency strategy he announced last December. The divide has made it practically impossible to fashion a coherent politico-military plan, led to frequent disputes over tactics and contributed to a sharp deterioration in the administration’s relations with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
The virtue of the Rolling Stone article is that Obama may finally have to confront the trouble. But the dismissal of McChrystal would be the wrong outcome. It could spell disaster for the military campaign he is now overseeing in southern Afghanistan, and it would reward those in the administration who have been trying to undermine him, including through media leaks of their own.
It’s the wrong thing to do, so it’s the likeliest outcome.
[Update a couple minutes later]
McChrystal’s real offense:
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?”
Well, those rules of engagement are what the administration wants.
[Late morning update]
Why Obama can’t fire the general.
[Update a few minutes later]
The Rolling Stone article isn’t about a general’s insubordination — it’s about the administration’s mistakes. Well, this is what the country voted for.
[Update early afternoon]
John McCain: “Fire Eikenberry”
[Update a while later]
McChrystal has reportedly submitted his resignation. The best result might be for the president to not accept it. An even better result would be for him not accept it, but to fire Eikenberry and Holbrooke instead. But that won’t happen, unfortunately.