Oh boy: “Rolling Stone” to expose McChrystal’s feuding with administration officials; Update: WH, Gates phone McChrystal; Update: McChrystal apologizes

posted at 9:17 pm on June 21, 2010 by Allahpundit

Via Cuffy Meigs at Perfunction, the RS piece isn’t out yet but this story makes it sound … oh boy. Reserve judgment until the article is published later this week, but if it’s half as bad as the AP description makes it sound — the American leadership at war with itself while the drive towards Kandahar has stalled — there’s going to be major fallout.

The way the AP account is written, it sounds like McChrystal badmouthed Karl Eikenberry on the record with the magazine. Gulp.

An article out this week in “Rolling Stone” magazine depicts Gen. Stanley McChrystal as a lone wolf on the outs with many important figures in the Obama administration and unable to convince even some of his own soldiers that his strategy can win the war…

McChrystal himself is described by an aide as “disappointed” in his first Oval Office meeting with an unprepared President Barack Obama. The article says that although McChrystal voted for Obama, the two failed to connect from the start. Obama called McChrystal on the carpet last fall for speaking too bluntly about his desire for more troops…

If Eikenberry had the same doubts [about McChrystal's strategy], McChrystal said he never expressed them until a leaked internal document threw a wild card into the debate over whether to add more troops last November. In the document, Eikenberry said Afghan President Hamid Karzai was not a reliable partner for the counterinsurgency strategy McChrystal was hired to execute.

McChrystal said he felt “betrayed” and accused the ambassador of giving himself cover.

“Here’s one that covers his flank for the history books,” McChrystal told the magazine. “Now, if we fail, they can say ‘I told you so.”‘

Compare and contrast the McChrystal/Eikenberry relationship with that of Petraeus and Ryan Crocker, whom Foreign Policy noted last year never allowed their disagreements to go public. This isn’t the first time McChrystal’s spoken publicly about matters the White House would prefer remained in-house, either. Remember last year when The One freaked out over his speech in London calling for more troops?

There’ll be more on this later in the week, needless to say, but it’s worth putting it on your radar screen now. Be sure to read the whole AP piece too, as there’s more to it than just the bit I quoted — including troops in the field, again on record, questioning McChrystal’s rules of engagement. Exit question: Between this and Karzai reportedly giving up on NATO, isn’t anyone on our side in sync?

Update: Oh boy, again.

Private security contractors protecting the convoys that supply U.S. military bases in Afghanistan are paying millions of dollars a week in “passage bribes” to the Taliban and other insurgent groups to travel along Afghan roads, a congressional investigation released Monday has found.

The payments, which are reimbursed by the U.S. government, help fund the very enemy the U.S. is attempting to defeat and renew questions about the U.S. dependence on private contractors, who outnumber American troops in Afghanistan , 130,000 to 93,000.

The report’s author called the findings of the six-month investigation “sobering and shocking.”

Update: Like I said — major fallout. Marc Ambinder relays the administration’s reaction.

What in the heck was Gen. Stanley McChrystal thinking? I mean, I know what he was thinking: he was tired of being the victim of what he believes is a concerted effort on behalf of Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry and others to undermine everything he was given 18 months to do. He was tired of being perceived in the press as a neoconservative killer, Dick Cheney’s hired assassin, or disloyal to President Obama and his staff. He was angry at being blamed for leaking the draft of his report to the President to Bob Woodward. (He did NOT leak the document). He was miffed that a large number of mid-ranking soldiers and battalion commanders and enlisted guys didn’t support his strategy…

I don’t think McChrystal intended to do this. Nevertheless, he did. And as for whether there was some miscommunication about attribution, or whether McChrystal thought no one would really notice, or whether he thought a tick-tock like this would help his cause … those questions are unanswerable right now…

Within hours after today’s Rolling Stone story broke, McChrystal was called by the White House, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They were not happy.

Read his whole post for essential background on how poisonous the McChrystal/Eikenberry relationship has been. This has been going on since 2005, apparently. Why on earth would Obama put them in charge of Afghanistan together if they don’t get along?

Update: McChrystal retreats. Is it fast enough to save him?

He says in a statement: “I extend my sincerest apology for this profile. It was a mistake reflecting poor judgment and should never have happened. Throughout my career, I have lived by the principles of personal honor and professional integrity. What is reflected in this article falls far short of that standard. I have enormous respect and admiration for President Obama and his national security team, and for the civilian leaders and troops fighting this war and I remain committed to ensuring its successful outcome.”


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When did Rolling Stone stop covering music?

Denverslim on June 21, 2010 at 9:19 PM

When did Rolling Stone stop covering music?

Denverslim on June 21, 2010 at 9:19 PM

I’m pretty sure they’ve always been politically driven

Another question. Didn’t Yon call for McChrystal’s firing?

MeatHeadinCA on June 21, 2010 at 9:20 PM

What about those eight or ten Rolling Stone magazine covers during the campaign that were graced by Obama’s charming smile?
Divorce is so painful & messy.

itsnotaboutme on June 21, 2010 at 9:21 PM

including troops in the field, again on record, questioning McChrystal’s rules of engagement.

I’d bet $$$ they aren’t his rules of engagement. The Commander-in-Chief wants us to lose. Yes, I typed that out loud!

SouthernGent on June 21, 2010 at 9:21 PM

When did Rolling Stone stop covering music?

Denverslim on June 21, 2010 at 9:19 PM

The first issue?

jdkchem on June 21, 2010 at 9:22 PM

I wonder if Yon will comment on this when the article comes out.

Spirit of 1776 on June 21, 2010 at 9:22 PM

“Isn’t anyone on our side?”

It depends on what the meaning of is is…

Drained Brain on June 21, 2010 at 9:23 PM

….Two devestating articles over the last few weeks exposing Obama’s ignorance and corruption,from one of Obama’s biggest cheerleaders…….

………..The wheels are coming off this bus and people are starting to jump ship….

Baxter Greene on June 21, 2010 at 9:24 PM

National Enquirer breaks the Edwards story and Rolling Stone turns political watchdog. We are in End of Times, people.

John the Libertarian on June 21, 2010 at 9:24 PM

“McChrystal himself is described by an aide as “disappointed” in his first Oval Office meeting with an unprepared President Barack Obama.”

Maybe McChrystal is getting tired of writing letters to the parents and loved ones of our brave dead soldiers who are not even allowed to chamber a round before going on patrol in Afghanistan…

… while Obowma plays golf.

Seven Percent Solution on June 21, 2010 at 9:25 PM

McChrystal’s rules of engagement

Did you mean Obama’s ROE or is the defense department so out of control that generals in the field can write their own now?

Or are you trying to imply that Obama is so disconnected from the ‘troubles’ in Afghanistan and Iraq that DOD has a free hand to do whatever they want, including missile strikes in Pakistan?

Skandia Recluse on June 21, 2010 at 9:25 PM

Scooter??? Unprepared???
Say it ain’t so!
///

kingsjester on June 21, 2010 at 9:26 PM

Well, I hope it’s the ROE he’s fueding about and not whether he’s still going to shut down all the eating places on the Boardwalk in Kandahar.

Priorities.

hawkdriver on June 21, 2010 at 9:26 PM

the wheels are flying off.

rob verdi on June 21, 2010 at 9:27 PM

The article says that although McChrystal voted for Obama, the two failed to connect from the start.

So, the General voted for a guy that had absolutely nothing in his background that would prepare him to be commander-in-chief and now he’s shocked that Obama was unprepared. I have great respect for McChrystal and our military in general, but come on. What did he expect?

JohnInCA on June 21, 2010 at 9:28 PM

Private security contractors protecting the convoys that supply U.S. military bases in Afghanistan are paying millions of dollars a week in “passage bribes” to the Taliban and other insurgent groups to travel along Afghan roads, a congressional investigation released Monday has found.

stimulus funds?

….this is woefully unhelpful….

ted c on June 21, 2010 at 9:29 PM

Oh, God. The White House will cashier him for speaking so openly. “…Wimps in the White House” Deliciously quotable and absolutely poisonous. I thought Gen. McChrystal knew what he was doing over there, but if he gave these quotes he’s likely to be fired sooner rather than later.

Jill1066 on June 21, 2010 at 9:29 PM

Probably the same BS that we had in Vietnam. The civilians running a war instead of the people who are trained to do that.

Vince on June 21, 2010 at 9:29 PM

IRC, BHO didn’t meet with McChrystal until he was goaded by the press, and then thirty minutes aboard AF1 on his way somewhere else…

d1carter on June 21, 2010 at 9:29 PM

From what I have heard, Eikenberry has pissed off just about everyone and won’t talk to Karzai.

Plus who has heard anything from Holbrooke? He seems to be missing in action.

McChrystal has to play the role of ambassador as well as Commander.

huckleberryfriend on June 21, 2010 at 9:29 PM

Private security contractors protecting the convoys that supply U.S. military bases in Afghanistan are paying millions of dollars a week in “passage bribes” to the Taliban and other insurgent groups to travel along Afghan roads

Don’t pay them. Put a bullet through their heads. What the hell are we doing over there? What are our goals anyway? I’m so sick of this crap.

sammypants on June 21, 2010 at 9:30 PM

Paying off the Taliban, and the money then being used by them to buy weapons and munitions to kill American soldiers? Oh man.

Bishop on June 21, 2010 at 9:30 PM

I’m pretty sure they’ve always been politically driven

Another question. Didn’t Yon call for McChrystal’s firing?

MeatHeadinCA on June 21, 2010 at 9:20 PM

…..yes Yon did call for him to be sacked……MB4 called for it well before Yon did.

……if you read some of the Stone’s magazines from the 60′s and 70′s….they read like an underground newspaper….similar to “Tuesday’s Child”……

….very anti-government and anti-military.

Baxter Greene on June 21, 2010 at 9:31 PM

Yeah, you know I just read one of our Hot Air commenters is heading back to Afghanistan next year. If we can’t protect them from IEDs, (and the current ROE doesn’t) I’m scared for them to go back. It’s not worth losing our guys if the administration isn’t willing to let them fight to win.

hawkdriver on June 21, 2010 at 9:31 PM

If McChrystal voted for Obama, that doesn’t say much for his innate intelligence.

GarandFan on June 21, 2010 at 9:31 PM

I said it last year and I’ll say it again…Obama is blowing it Afghanistan big time. McChrystal is a big part of the problem too…he’s an Obama boy. He’s hurt that Obama never signed on to his program (he wasn’t the first and he won’t be the last).

McChrystal thought Obama could (or cared to) do the job…his mistake and his name is now associated with this catastrophe forever…and he is trying now to do a bit of CYA as this mission circles the toilet bowl for the last time.

This happens to everybody who buys into Obama, eventually. But McChrystal could never have been that smart to begin with…like I said…he ultimately bought into Obama just like the majority of our people did…and our country has since been suffering like it never has before.

And much worse to come.

AUINSC on June 21, 2010 at 9:31 PM

McChrystal is preempting the proverbial “bus ride” with this story.

ted c on June 21, 2010 at 9:31 PM

‘passage money’?

Well, of course. It makes perfect sense. Pay money to the Taliban, keep casualty counts low, and we’re gone in a year.

I can see the logic in that.

Skandia Recluse on June 21, 2010 at 9:32 PM

The article says that although McChrystal voted for Obama,

Your first mistake, General.

Vyce on June 21, 2010 at 9:32 PM

…although McChrystal voted for Obama

What the foxtrot tango? If McChrystal couldn’t see through a tissue thin community organizer, what hope does he have to get past the guile of lethal islamonazis?

Western_Civ on June 21, 2010 at 9:33 PM

The payments, which are reimbursed by the U.S. government, help fund the very enemy the U.S. is attempting to defeat and renew questions about the U.S. dependence on private contractors, who outnumber American troops in Afghanistan , 130,000 to 93,000.

Does Congress know about this? Did we payoff the VC too back in ’72 for safe passage? What kind of crap is this? I’ve been to Afghanistan several times and have never, ever heard of this—this is weak, expensive and shameful.

ted c on June 21, 2010 at 9:33 PM

Time to warm up the bus. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

txag92 on June 21, 2010 at 9:34 PM

Whatever. I don’t care about any of this. What I really want to know is if our bases in Afghanistan are using renewable energy?

/sarc

JohnInCA on June 21, 2010 at 9:34 PM

Could it be that McChristal voted for Obama because he knew some scuttlebut about McCain?

Vince on June 21, 2010 at 9:35 PM

The article says that although McChrystal voted for Obama

BTW, we now know why you got this job. From that day forward, Afghanistan was lost.

AUINSC on June 21, 2010 at 9:36 PM

….very anti-government

Baxter Greene on June 21, 2010 at 9:31 PM

Anti-republican, perhaps.

When did Rolling Stone stop covering music?

Denverslim on June 21, 2010 at 9:19 PM

I never heard of RS magazine until I was 16 when I worked at a grocery store. So I was reading it in the backroom one day, someone had a copy. It was an interview with Carrie Fisher. The whole thing was about BJ this and BJ that – when she did her first, etc etc. At the time I had no idea what it meant and I was like, what the hell are they talking about? I thought it was weird that never expanded the abbreviation. Took me forever to figure out what they were talkin about. LOL.

lorien1973 on June 21, 2010 at 9:36 PM

Another one of those Kyl stories. The President will send out one of his goons to refute McCrystal.

mobydutch on June 21, 2010 at 9:36 PM

Fouad Ajami argued, I believe 4-5 years ago (if not before then) that Afghanistan just can’t be governed. They have no history of it. The central government (what little there is) is concentrated in two or three cities while the tribal leaders govern the countryside. Been that way for hundreds of years.

Unlike in Iraq, there is no nation to build. Never has been. Never will be.

Okay, so what’s the solution? Damned if I know.

SteveMG on June 21, 2010 at 9:36 PM

Could it be that McChristal voted for Obama because he knew some scuttlebut about McCain?

Vince on June 21, 2010 at 9:35 PM

or maybe he knew he could ball up BHO pretty easy

ted c on June 21, 2010 at 9:37 PM

This is a wreck. Our troops deserve so much better than this complete idiot in the White House.

WisCon on June 21, 2010 at 9:37 PM

If McChrystal voted for Obama, that doesn’t say much for his innate intelligence.
GarandFan on June 21, 2010 at 9:31 PM

Bingo and bingo again!

Drained Brain on June 21, 2010 at 9:38 PM

Another question. Didn’t Yon call for McChrystal’s firing?

MeatHeadinCA on June 21, 2010 at 9:20 PM


Michael Yon On General McChrystal: ‘This War Is Above His Head’

[ Via: Facebook ]  
http://www.nationalreview.com/the-feed/3990/michael-yon-general-mcchrystal-war-above-his-head

Life was good before I went to Iraq. But after three friends were killed during the GWOT, and my growing mistrust for the media and for the US Government/Military, I quit traveling the world and went to war. The United States was in peril. I am American. Today, I do not trust McChrystal anymore than some people trust the New York Times, Obama or Bush. If McChrystal could be trusted, I would go back to my better life. McChrystal is a great killer but this war is above his head. He must be watched

.

….if you go to his facebook page,Yon makes it clear that McCrystal needs to go and that the current ROE are devastating to our troops.

Baxter Greene on June 21, 2010 at 9:38 PM

JohnInCA on June 21, 2010 at 9:34 PM

You had to separate your trash in the DFAC. They were green.

hawkdriver on June 21, 2010 at 9:39 PM

Wait. McChrystal voted for Obama? Did I miss the outing of this info or is this it?

“an uprepared Obama”…..Teh One won’t like that characterization.

I’m a little hesitant to embrace the AP’s version of the Rolling Stone’s version of Gen Mcchrystal’s words. We’ll see. Seems the fallout won’t be pretty regardless.

conservative pilgrim on June 21, 2010 at 9:39 PM

FUBAR.

All there is to say about it.
What a waste of kids’ lives.

B Man on June 21, 2010 at 9:39 PM

I know GEN McChrystal–he was my commander and he is a helluva guy–and, vote or not, he will remain that way. That man has more time on a static line than most soldiers have in a chow line. He is an extraordinary commander.

ted c on June 21, 2010 at 9:39 PM

an unprepared Obama

pretty much sums it up. doubt that when he steps onto the first tee that he’s unprepared.

ted c on June 21, 2010 at 9:40 PM

National Enquirer breaks the Edwards story and Rolling Stone turns political watchdog. We are in End of Times, people.

John the Libertarian on June 21, 2010 at 9:24 PM

The media establishment is corrupt to the core so it’s easy to break stories that run against their ideology.

Imagine what we don’t know, but would, if we had an honest press?

TheBigOldDog on June 21, 2010 at 9:40 PM

Michael Yon reported that troops were on patrol in Amber status; i.e. no round in the chamber. Stars and Stripes reported on it as well. The information caused that ROE to be dropped and may have saved American lives. I assume that was based on the fear our guys would react to a situation and if their weapon was locked and loaded they might kill civilians.

Maybe President Karzai is seeing Obama repeating the Democrats abandonment of South Vietnam and doesn’t want to be totally dependent on the US. I can’t blame him. I can’t believe Obama gave a withdrawal date as he increased the troop levels. I can see our guys not wanting to be the last American killed as used to be said in Vietnam, I’ve been told. My son is in Iraq and will be there when we withdraw the last combat troops. Another time table the enemy can use to their advantage.

amr on June 21, 2010 at 9:40 PM

stimulus funds?

….this is woefully unhelpful….

[ted c on June 21, 2010 at 9:29 PM]

Stimulous funds, slush funds, federal budget … it’s all the same to I WON to do as he pleases.

Dusty on June 21, 2010 at 9:41 PM

McCrystal voted for Obama? And he shared that with the world?

That’s dumb and dumber right there.

keep the change on June 21, 2010 at 9:41 PM

….

very anti-government

Baxter Greene on June 21, 2010 at 9:31 PM

Anti-republican, perhaps.

lorien1973 on June 21, 2010 at 9:36 PM

……you are right….thanks for the clarification.

Baxter Greene on June 21, 2010 at 9:43 PM

National Enquirer breaks the Edwards story and Rolling Stone turns political watchdog. We are in End of Times, people.

John the Libertarian on June 21, 2010 at 9:24 PM

tomorrow’s headline: Beer on cereal is better for you than milk.

a bizarro world my friend….

ted c on June 21, 2010 at 9:43 PM

McCrystal voted for Obama? And he shared that with the world?

That’s dumb and dumber right there.

keep the change on June 21, 2010 at 9:41 PM

Well, he’s dumb for voting for a CIC that has no experience whatsoever.

deidre on June 21, 2010 at 9:43 PM

So lemme get this staright
We are paying ISI and Pakis mucho dinero to ‘help’ us fight talis in Afghanistan

Then we have to pay talis mucho dinero to get our stuff into Afghanistan so we can fight talis

When ISI=talis,
what does it mean ?

macncheez on June 21, 2010 at 9:44 PM

As always… if we’re not there to win, we need to get our men and women outta there. Simplistic? Yes. It is.

RalphyBoy on June 21, 2010 at 9:45 PM

ted c on June 21, 2010 at 9:39 PM

No disrespect Ted, but he’s sorely lacking time in combat.

hawkdriver on June 21, 2010 at 9:45 PM

The way the AP account is written, it sounds like McChrystal badmouthed Karl Eikenberry on the record with the magazine.

I’d like to see GEN McC wear Eikenberry out in true Ranger fashion.

ted c on June 21, 2010 at 9:45 PM

hawkdriver on June 21, 2010 at 9:45 PM

partially disagree, he is known to *ride with the boys* if you know what I mean. First hand.

ted c on June 21, 2010 at 9:46 PM

nother question. Didn’t Yon call for McChrystal’s firing?

MeatHeadinCA on June 21, 2010 at 9:20 PM

I’m not sure if he specifically called for his firing but from what I’ve read Yon is certainly no fan of the man and his strategy and he is very specific and detailed as to why.

Yakko77 on June 21, 2010 at 9:47 PM

When did Rolling Stone stop covering music?

Denverslim on June 21, 2010 at 9:19 PM

When RS’s Mat Tiabbi(?)strated covering Teh One’s complicity with Goldman Sachs.

Archimedes on June 21, 2010 at 9:47 PM

from the time he took command in JSOC, his units were engaged 24/7/365 until his CoC…

ted c on June 21, 2010 at 9:48 PM

Michael Yon told Dennis Miller that McChrystal is not suitable for the Afghanistan War operation. Here is the interview: http://cubachi.com/2010/05/20/michael-yon-tells-dennis-miller-on-afghanistan-we-are-losing-the-war-mcchrystal-is-not-capable-of-winning-the-war/

cubachi on June 21, 2010 at 9:48 PM

ted c on June 21, 2010 at 9:48 PM

I don’t believe he’s been in one firefight. Am I wrong?

hawkdriver on June 21, 2010 at 9:49 PM

Hoo-boy. Not the kind of stuff a military parent wants to read.

Just got an e-mail today that my son’s made it to Bagram. He’ll be in the ‘stan until just before Christmas. Y’all keep him in your prayers, please.

Lurking Vet on June 21, 2010 at 9:50 PM

I said it last year and I’ll say it again…Obama is blowing it Afghanistan big time. McChrystal is a big part of the problem too…he’s an Obama boy.

AUINSC on June 21, 2010 at 9:31 PM

Not anymore it would seem….

TheBigOldDog on June 21, 2010 at 9:50 PM

I don’t believe he’s been in one firefight. Am I wrong?

hawkdriver on June 21, 2010 at 9:49 PM

I do not know the specifics of any one mission he has been on, but, the guys he was riding with weren’t building schools and handing out backpacks, if you know what I mean.

ted c on June 21, 2010 at 9:51 PM

from the time he took command in JSOC, his units were engaged 24/7/365 until his CoC…

ted c on June 21, 2010 at 9:48 PM

Doesn’t matter at all. He’s an Obama boy. He’s probably a fine guy (as are all of our troops), but he blew it here…he picked the weak horse and now our entire nation is paying for it in blood and treasure, every day.

He is doing a huge CYA here…too late. He is Obama’s George McClellan.

AUINSC on June 21, 2010 at 9:52 PM

I am surprised to read the President was unprepared for a meeting with one of his top Generals. Maybe if the General had met him on the golf course, their meeting would have been more productive.

ramrants on June 21, 2010 at 9:52 PM

I am surprised to read the President was unprepared for a meeting with one of his top Generals. Maybe if the General had met him on the golf course, their meeting would have been more productive.

ramrants on June 21, 2010 at 9:52 PM

I’d be even more surprised that he was prepared at all for any meeting except for his two BFFs—Top Flite and Ping.

ted c on June 21, 2010 at 9:54 PM

ted c

I’m sure he (Gen Mc) is a fine man but if he could not see through obama from the start—esp being a military man then he definitely had some kind of brain fart.

VN 72-73

arnold ziffel on June 21, 2010 at 9:56 PM

Doesn’t matter at all. He’s an Obama boy.

c’mon–don’t go that far. He worked for Rumsfeld at the Pentagon in J3 and did a stellar job. I’ve served with the guy and he is a great American, and I would not say so if it weren’t true.

ted c on June 21, 2010 at 9:56 PM

I just don’t see a scenario in which the U.S. is able to leave Afghanistan. Just look at the map, how do we make sure Al-Qaeda does not gets free reign of the country again to do what it wants? Predators? Where will we fly them from?

ujorge on June 21, 2010 at 9:56 PM

Y’all keep him in your prayers, please.

Lurking Vet on June 21, 2010 at 9:50 PM

Will do
and you pass along our thanks to him
God Bless him and keep him safe

macncheez on June 21, 2010 at 9:57 PM

ted c on June 21, 2010 at 9:51 PM

All I know is that our year under him was one WTF moment after the other. Even the SOTF guys had no respect for him.

They briefed us with a powerpont presentation where the ROE for the mission had rainbows in the perimeter. They were required to write hand receipts for any munitions they conficated from bad guys. Ridiculous. Man, I understand you worked for him but the stories I could tell you. Missions planned for weeks to get a guy called off at the last minute because a CIVCAS investigation was going on. An entire theater came to a stop.

hawkdriver on June 21, 2010 at 9:57 PM

GEN McC is directly responsible for the removal of hundreds of terrorists from the battlefields of the world. If his one mistake was a vote, does that one mistake negate all that he’s done over the last several years?

ted c on June 21, 2010 at 9:58 PM

I know GEN McChrystal–he was my commander and he is a helluva guy–and, vote or not, he will remain that way. That man has more time on a static line than most soldiers have in a chow line. He is an extraordinary commander.

ted c on June 21, 2010 at 9:39 PM

McCrystal has been given the impossible task of trying to win a war under a Commander and Chief whose only concern is
a “political victory” instead of actually defeating the jihadist and their ability to launch attacks in the future.

…..we can’t even get this President or his DOJ to admit that our enemies are “Terrorist”……

We pretty much have code pink defining our foreign policy.

Baxter Greene on June 21, 2010 at 9:58 PM

Probably the same BS that we had in Vietnam. The civilians running a war instead of the people who are trained to do that.

Vince on June 21, 2010 at 9:29 PM

Why not? Civilians are already getting to decide who can openly serve– letting them decide how we fight our wars is just as logical. Hell, why don’t we put civies in charge of trying war criminals?

Oh wait…

RachDubya on June 21, 2010 at 9:58 PM

I had a naive, idealized view of the military and its leadership until I took a job that gave me more of an inside perspective. I would have been shocked to hear that someone like McChrystal voted for Obama, or to hear that we’re paying bribes to the Taliban. Not any more.

There are some great leaders in the military, but there’s a lack of agreement about the US role in the world (and a corresponding lack of coherent global strategy), a widespread belief that military power alone can’t solve much of anything, deep cynicism among many about the motives behind US policy, and a disturbing pragmatism that eclipses the idealism that most of us at HotAir embrace.

Two weeks ago a special ops officer was telling me about guys in his unit converting to Islam, and it didn’t bother him. It bothers me.

The US is in the throes of an identity crisis–perhaps a suicide attempt–and the military reflects the nation.

jazz_piano on June 21, 2010 at 9:58 PM

hawkdriver on June 21, 2010 at 9:57 PM

dude, i’m sure it was, but when GWB was the CINC, Stan the Man was slinging hash and issuing 72 virgins by the train load. I understand the ROE issues went from bad to worse in AF, but, how much of that can be directly attributed to GEN McC, and how much to the Obama administration—with a big hat tip to the corrupt and inept Karzai clusterfark. I hear you, and I know those staff briefings well–one CF looks the same as the next, but GEN McC is at the receiving end of a bad deal if you ask me. He’s a warrior–and has the record to show for it.

ted c on June 21, 2010 at 10:01 PM

And McCrystal is a good commander why? where are his military victories? He fought where? under whose command? He proved his incompetence by voting for him, but he had no credibility before, why does he get a pass now? Clowns!
Bob

Bobnormal on June 21, 2010 at 10:01 PM

Two weeks ago a special ops officer was telling me about guys in his unit converting to Islam, and it didn’t bother him. It bothers me.

jazz_piano on June 21, 2010 at 9:58 PM

Why do I feel like banging my head against a wall
right now ?

macncheez on June 21, 2010 at 10:02 PM

You never tell your enemy when you’re going to pull out. Why? It announces the day of your defeat.

TXUS on June 21, 2010 at 10:03 PM

Yep, not a surprise to folks that have been following Yon on FB – he’s been all over this for some time, and, like almost all his other predictions, this one is coming to pass. From the way it’s gone, I doubt Yon has taken any joy in calling it like he sees it in this instance, and he’s had to put up with quite the truckload of crap from both McChrystal’s staff defenders, and from some particularly ill informed milbloggers, who haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory by putting their unqualified cheerleading skills into the light of public scrutiny. Uncle Jimbo from B5 got his butt handed back to him on a silver platter on G. Gordon Liddy’s show today, as a matter of fact.

It’s an set of ugly symptoms, with the same ultimate source – crappy (or complete lack of) leadership by the Skipster and his ‘let’s make this up as we go along, but not get any of it on us’ toadies.

Cause the way it looks now, he (Skippy) just may succeed in losing this war for us before he can be ejected from office. Even if impeachment were to be initiated the day after the seating of a new Congress next January.

Wind Rider on June 21, 2010 at 10:03 PM

I really do not know why we thought that we could do what the Russians failed to do. They were a lot more “brutal” in their ROE than we are,,,oh right,,smart power is now in and will work all the time The military is not a social clique dedicated to community organizing,, they are suppose to break things and kill people,,hopefully they do not need to be used but when they are, it is because everything else has failed. Let them do the job.

retiredeagle on June 21, 2010 at 10:04 PM

Probably the same BS that we had in Vietnam. The civilians running a war instead of the people who are trained to do that.

Vince on June 21, 2010 at 9:29 PM

Having civilians (or chateau generals, for that matter) micromanage the battlefield is a bad idea, but I firmly believe in civilian control of the military. For all of its folly, I prefer it to the alternative. We can vote out civilians.

jazz_piano on June 21, 2010 at 10:04 PM

McChrystal voted for Obama? Then he obviously does not have the intelligence to be a general.

angryed on June 21, 2010 at 10:05 PM

If his one mistake was a vote, does that one mistake negate all that he’s done over the last several years?

ted c on June 21, 2010 at 9:58 PM

I don’t think that was his only mistake..he bought into the entire Obama program for Afghanistan. We have lost this war. He is doing a CYA…no Commander says the things he just said unless he is trying to disassociate himself from the defeat.

He just said Obama stabbed him in the back, despite his political support. My god..what a disaster for our country. McChrystal deserves credit for his honesty…but he gave legitimacy to a President who couldn’t care less.

AUINSC on June 21, 2010 at 10:07 PM

Anyway ted c, whatever my feelings for McChystal, thanks for serving.

hawkdriver on June 21, 2010 at 10:07 PM

This is just pathetic. We won in Iraq, and Obama can’t follow the roadmap. No wonder he is ridiculed in the Muslim world. This is VERY bad. When enemies think you are weak, they are most likely to double down. Losing Afghanistan will presage the eventual loss of Iraq.
Randy

williars on June 21, 2010 at 10:07 PM

Obama is an idiot but I am questioning McChrystal’s strategy too. Seems like our guys are being put in a position of not being able to fight back. Karzai is a corrupt piece of crap anyway, we have nobody to work with there, the Afghan security forces are a joke and no match for the Taliban.

The place also lacks the foundation to build a nation on. No real economy, banking system, educational system, legal system etc. They are now persecuting Christians right under our nose. Karzai figures we are leaving and has thrown in his lot with the Taliban, hoping to survive.

So, it comes down to 2 choices. We either stay the course for many more years so we can prop up an Islamist extremist government, or we leave and they end up with an Islamist extremist government of another kind. I say f*ck it. The place has no real strategic value anymore. We are not safer here by continuing on over there for another 5-6 years. You can plan a 9/11 style attack from anywhere in the world and pull it off for hardly any money. Bin Laden has moved on from there, time for us to do the same.

echosyst on June 21, 2010 at 10:08 PM

McChrystal’s rules of engagement
Did you mean Obama’s ROE or is the defense department so out of control that generals in the field can write their own now?

Or are you trying to imply that Obama is so disconnected from the ‘troubles’ in Afghanistan and Iraq that DOD has a free hand to do whatever they want, including missile strikes in Pakistan?

Skandia Recluse on June 21, 2010 at 9:25 PM

FTW! Theater-wide rules of engagement are concocted and approved at the top.

theCork on June 21, 2010 at 10:09 PM

I wondered why the supply convoys were no longer being attacked; this was a near daily occurrence several months ago. Guess it wasn’t beefed up security after all.

GnuBreed on June 21, 2010 at 10:10 PM

So, if it appears that GEN McChrystal is fully implementing Mr. Obama’s and Eikenberries ROE, as hawkdriver attests, and there are US $$ paying off Taliban homeboys for passage money as a means to keep cax counts low—-AND—-McChrystal is getting his ass hung out to dry by the administration, would someone please explain to me why McChrystal is getting shat upon so much? It sounds as if he’s doing just about what the administration wants him to do—rainbows, unloaded weapons, $$ payments and head pats all around for all the nice little jihadis…

McChrystal is simply today’s George Bush. He’s doing the best he can with the crap sandwich he was told to eat, and he’s apparently not eating it nicely enough or quietly enough. If what all say is true, then GEN McChrystal has a national duty to resign in protest, a move I would fully support.

ted c on June 21, 2010 at 10:10 PM

McChrystal himself is described by an aide as “disappointed” in his first Oval Office meeting with an unprepared President Barack Obama. The article says that although McChrystal voted for Obama, the two failed to connect from the start. Obama called McChrystal on the carpet last fall for speaking too bluntly about his desire for more troops…

Dismaying anyone in McChrystal’s position would not have the ability to assess how unprepared Obama was for anything, let alone being POTUS, and would vote for him. He was surprised about Obama? Oh, boy, is right.

KittyLowrey on June 21, 2010 at 10:10 PM

Y’all keep him in your prayers, please.

Lurking Vet on June 21, 2010 at 9:50 PM

God bless you and yours, and thank you for your sacrifice.

John the Libertarian on June 21, 2010 at 10:10 PM

McCrystal has been given the impossible task of trying to win a war under a Commander and Chief whose only concern is a “political victory” instead of actually defeating the jihadist and their ability to launch attacks in the future.

Baxter Greene on June 21, 2010 at 9:58 PM

I’m no fan of the President’s policies on the whole (to put it mildly), but this approach to counterinsurgency is the military’s, not Obama’s. He’s actually expanded drone attacks and special ops activities.

jazz_piano on June 21, 2010 at 10:11 PM

I really do not know why we thought that we could do what the Russians failed to do. They were a lot more “brutal” in their ROE than we are,,,oh right,,smart power is now in and will work all the time The military is not a social clique dedicated to community organizing,, they are suppose to break things and kill people,,hopefully they do not need to be used but when they are, it is because everything else has failed. Let them do the job.

retiredeagle on June 21, 2010 at 10:04 PM

Well let’s see, the Mujaheddin had a super power providing finance, advanced weaponry and intelligence. The Gulf was providing financing and recruits and Pakistan was providing an open safe haven, training, intelligence and ISI lead4ership in the field. The Russians were historic “godless” communist enemies who were brutal even going so far as targeting children thereby guaranteeing they’d never win over he people. Other than those major differences, the comparison is dead on.

TheBigOldDog on June 21, 2010 at 10:12 PM

Bring the troops back. Put them on the border. Let the different “stan’ countries blow themselves up Just keep an eye on them and keep them confined.

retiredeagle on June 21, 2010 at 10:12 PM

Anyway ted c, whatever my feelings for McChystal, thanks for serving.

hawkdriver on June 21, 2010 at 10:07 PM

thx–ditto–the war looks a whole lot different from any given fella’s perspective. The prior commander before McC…..was an aviator….*sheesh*.. :)

ted c on June 21, 2010 at 10:13 PM

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