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Thread: Gen. McChrystal's job hangs in the balance

  1. #11
    Why so serious?

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    re: Gen. McChrystal's job hangs in the balance

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    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.”

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    "I believe in a Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the harmony of all that exists, but not in a God who concerns himself with the fate and actions of human beings."

    --Albert Einstein, 1929

  2. #12
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    re: Gen. McChrystal's job hangs in the balance

    Quote Originally Posted by Moon View Post
    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.

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    re: Gen. McChrystal's job hangs in the balance

    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?

  4. #14
    Why so serious?

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    re: Gen. McChrystal's job hangs in the balance

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    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."

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    "I believe in a Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the harmony of all that exists, but not in a God who concerns himself with the fate and actions of human beings."

    --Albert Einstein, 1929

  5. #15
    DEATH TO ANTARCTICA!!!
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    re: Gen. McChrystal's job hangs in the balance

    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.
    "The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis."

    Dante Alighieri

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    re: Gen. McChrystal's job hangs in the balance

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    At least Bill saved his transgressions for grown women. Not suggesting what he did was OK. But he didn't chase 14 year olds.

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    re: Gen. McChrystal's job hangs in the balance

    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

  8. #18
    White trash on dope.
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    re: Gen. McChrystal's job hangs in the balance

    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.
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    The systems that ensure freedom and liberty are breaking down and fundamentalism is growing. Nobody is righteous anymore.


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    re: Gen. McChrystal's job hangs in the balance

    Quote Originally Posted by Moon View Post
    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.

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    re: Gen. McChrystal's job hangs in the balance

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    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.

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