1. Mrs Alaska is not the only one "going rogue."
2. On Thursday, at London's Institute for Strategic Studies, Obama's hand-picked commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, spoke with unanticipated candor, saying that suggestions to "scale down" his campaign in the region, proposed most notably last Sunday by VP Biden, would lead to "Chaos-istan."
3. It has been known since September 21, when Bob Woodward leaked McChrystal's secret assessment describing our lack of progress in the theater, that the general is adamant in his recommendation for an entirely new strategy, emphasizing counter-insurgency over counter-terrorism, as well as an infusion of 40,000 additional troops.
4. Of course, the day prior to Woodward's release, the president blitzed FIVE Sunday talk shows to dissemble that he had not yet been briefed about the battleground, that he had not yet been asked for reinforcements,
5. And then, a week later, last Sunday, Biden revealed the White House's probable preference for a "middle ground" approach, employing drones and special forces in the Mountains on the Moon.
6. McChrystal apparently did not appreciate the Veep's posturing, going public with his opinions as he did, the general, that is, in London.
7. When asked if he could support a "scaling back" in Afghanistan, McChrystal kicked back, "the short answer is: no."
8. Thus, today the president summoned his renegade general to Copenhagen, where the pair enjoyed their first personal meeting on AF1, the commander in camouflage fatigues.
9. One wonders just which of the two felt as if he'd been called to the woodshed.
10. Last Sunday nite, McChrystal told 60 Minutes he had spoken only once with Obama since being appointed last Summer to replace David McKiernan to put in place the president's particular policies.
11. President Bush, in contrast, spoke with his Iraqi commanders via videolink "as often as once a week."
12. Who leaked the August 30 assessment to Woodward?
14. Why has the prez been sitting on McChrystal's synopsis for over a month?
15. Is it so he could have time to visit Letterman and fly to Copenhagen?
16. How do YOU think the general feels?
17. Why have so many British commanders quit in recent months?
18. Just yesterday, Obama's Deputy National Security Adviser Mark Lippert resigned.
19. The US situation in Afghanistan, by all accounts, is worrisomely worsening, with record numbers of soldiers killed each of the last two months.
20. Speaking tactfully, the general insisted that he has not been pressured by his civilian bosses to revise his reports.
21. He also claimed in London that he endorses Obama's taking his time to get things right.
22. But it's the worst kept secret in Washington that the general has requested 40,000 reinforcements and that he's declared defeat cannot be avoided without them.
23. McChrystal and his overseer, David Petraeus, are in accord with the president's "comprehensive, new strategy" for the region announced on March 27.
24. It's the president who's backpedaling.
25. While comparisons between the McChrystal-Obama relationship to MacArthur-Truman may, today, be "far fetched," the very fact that Harry's rogue is being mentioned in this discussion is fatefully foreboding.
26. But, either way, reading between the lines, one thing is McChrystal clear: Obama's select commander in Moon Mountains is irreconcilably resolute in his conviction that more troops and a revamped approach are required as part of any recipe for success.
27. If he doesn't get from the president what he's asked for, what's McChrystal supposed to do, stay there and pursue an operation he feels is doomed?
28. McChrystal is both setting up the president and forcing his hand.
29. If Obama goes the Biden route, clearly favored by the White House and the base of the president's party, McChrystal will have no choice but to quit.
30. The camouflage clad commander is on record.
31. Afghanistan is KILLING this president, along with about 50 brave American fighters a month.
32. Soldiers die while our do-nothing president dithers and delays, and his lead commander in the field declaratively disapproves.
LONDON -- The top American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, used a speech here on Thursday to reject calls for the war effort to be scaled down from defeating the Taliban insurgency to a narrower focus on hunting down Al Qaeda, an option suggested by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. as part of the current White House strategy review.
After his first 100 days in command in Kabul, General McChrystal chose an audience of military specialists at London’s Institute for Strategic Studies as a platform for a public airing of the confidential assessment of the war he delivered to the Pentagon in late August, parts of which were leaked to news organizations. General McChrystal, 55, did not mention Mr. Biden or his advocacy of a scaled-down war effort during his London speech, and referred only obliquely to the debate within the Obama administration on whether to escalate the American commitment in Afghanistan by accepting his request for up to 40,000 more American troops on top of the 68,000 already deployed there or en route.
But he used the London session for a rebuttal of the idea of a more narrowly focused war. When a questioner asked him whether he would support scaling back the American military presence over the next 18 months by relinquishing the battle with the Taliban and focusing on tracking down Al Qaeda, sparing ground troops by hunting Qaeda extremists and their leaders with missiles from remotely piloted aircraft, he replied: “The short answer is: no.”