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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If you Americans don’t get your act together and start killing your enemies, instead of playing footsie with them, I’m going to pretend I’ve “reverted” to Islam and become an imam in self-defense. You won’t like me as an imam, I promise, because I’ll be p1ssed at having to pretend to believe such a stupid religion, and I’ll be out for revenge. My very first act will be to issue a fatwah against commenters who need [sarc][/sarc] tags to figure out which end is up, and it’ll be all downhill from there.

Kralizec on June 22, 2010 at 12:56 AM

As time goes on, it’s looking more and more like a deal with the devil in which Gates has gotten – and accepted – the short end of the stick, and I’m having a hard time maintaining much respect for the guy.

JEM on June 22, 2010 at 12:53 AM

Yeah, I cut Gates a lot of slack earlier…I thought he was trying to slow down the de-militarization (or stripping of our National Defense, to put it more correctly) program of the Obama administration.

Now, I think he’s doing everything he can to help Obama achieve it.

AUINSC on June 22, 2010 at 12:57 AM

GW or Reagan would know its time for McChrystal to come home, his effectiveness is surely compromised.

Obama however gives his power away, through abuse, laziness and ideology.

Afghanistan is a critical field, this makes it easier to create a meat grinder.

The President better leave his liberalism behind and get focused because this is a big effing deal.

Speakup on June 22, 2010 at 1:13 AM

The President better leave his liberalism behind and get focused because this is a big effing deal.

Speakup on June 22, 2010 at 1:13 AM

The Earth will go flat before this happens.

Schadenfreude on June 22, 2010 at 1:35 AM

PercyB on June 21, 2010 at 11:29 PM

May you be right.

Generals who voted for Obama are insane.

Schadenfreude on June 22, 2010 at 1:47 AM

I’;d be pissed too if I was running the Military and the Pres was telling me we’d be better off to go on a hugging tour of the middle east.

Rbastid on June 22, 2010 at 1:48 AM

Obama is McChrystal’s Squad leader in the sky.

F15Mech on June 22, 2010 at 2:04 AM

This retreat by McChrtstal is a mistake. It makes him look stupid.

Birdseye on June 22, 2010 at 2:06 AM

The upper leadership in the military gets put in an impossible position – they often have to support and implement policies they don’t agree with, without acknowledging their actual feelings, even though they repeatedly asked for their opinion. So should they resign, and let someone else who is (presumably) less capable implement said policies?

And if they slip, and give their honest opinion, they get pilloried by both sides. One side for criticizing the President, the other side for obeying orders and implementing his policies.

exhelodrvr on June 22, 2010 at 2:13 AM

Alec Guinness “woke up” and realized his role at the end of “Kwai”…

Gohawgs on June 22, 2010 at 2:42 AM

McChrystal could only retract or resign; there is just no other option.
`
No President can afford to have his authority – or his chain of command – questioned publicly by a flag officer (it’s against the rules for lower ranks too, of course, but less consequential to the top brass).
`
That he spoke the truth is irrelevant; if it is so important to get this out to the public, he should retire first.

Adjoran on June 22, 2010 at 3:10 AM

General McChrystal has crossed the line. There is no going back. I say that with great sadness, for he has undermined his CIC. As a flag, once you pin those stars on, you not only carry out policy, you are making it too. For the good of his service and his country Stan McChrystal should do the honorable and right thing. Retire.

flackcatcher on June 22, 2010 at 5:26 AM

Sounds like the ‘good war’ ain’t goin’ so smooth for Barry.

We’ve got the Taliban on the payroll and we’re bombing civilians.

Reading between the lines of the apology, it doesn’t sound like he retracts anything. You can respect somebody and still think they are dead wrong.

This is gonna be a must read!

McChrystal’s aides diss the Commander-in-Chief, call the National Security Advisor a “clown,” and make fun of Vice President “Bite me.”

Mr Purple on June 22, 2010 at 5:40 AM

Recognizing that I volunteered as a Ranger, fully knowing the hazards of my chosen profession, I will always endeavor to uphold the prestige, honor and high esprit de corps of my Ranger Regiment.
Acknowledging the fact that a Ranger is a more elite soldier who arrives at the cutting edge of battle by land, sea or air, I accept the fact that as a Ranger my country expects me to move further, faster and fight harder than any other soldier.
Never shall I fail my comrades. I will always keep myself mentally alert, physically strong and morally straight; I will shoulder more than my share of the task whatever it may be, one hundred percent and then some.
Gallantly will I show the world that I am a specially selected and well-trained soldier. My courtesy to superior officers, neatness of dress and care of equipment shall set the example for others to follow.
Energetically will I meet the enemies of my country. I shall defeat them on the field of battle for I am better trained and will fight with all my might. Surrender is not a Ranger word. I will never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy, and under no circumstances will I ever embarrass my country.Readily will I display the intestinal fortitude required to fight on to the Ranger objective and complete the mission, though I be the lone survivor.

If any of GEN McChrystal’s aides read this blog, then please encourage him to resign in protest rather than continuing to prostrate himself in front of this man who is not fit enough to carry his boots.

ted c on June 22, 2010 at 5:54 AM

GEN McChrystal should throw smoke over his last possible LZ and then scorch the earth behind him. If he’s biting his damn tongue and saying he’s sorry then he needs to instead bite the damn bullet and resign outright. To hell with the pension, do what is right for the country general, a great man like yourself should not be left holding the crap sandwich when the music stops.

ted c on June 22, 2010 at 6:04 AM

ted c on June 22, 2010 at 5:54 AM

copy that

cmsinaz on June 22, 2010 at 6:13 AM

If any of GEN McChrystal’s aides read this blog, then please encourage him to resign in protest rather than continuing to prostrate himself in front of this man who is not fit enough to carry his boots.

ted c on June 22, 2010 at 5:54 AM

Well said. I support that suggestion.

petefrt on June 22, 2010 at 6:23 AM

Eikenberry is the one who should be fired. As far as that is concerned,the Obama administration’s diplomatic efforts in Afghanistan have done nothing but complicate the military efforts. Obama might do an okay job of ordering drone strikes, but beyond that he just does not have the experience to run something like this.

Terrye on June 22, 2010 at 6:23 AM

To the tune of “As We Merrily Roll Along..

Last night, on an otherwise excellent Factor, we were reminded how bright our CIC is. Thanks Bill for the last few shows!

Unfortunately, the only solace I have is that there no cliff or oncoming traffic visible from my seat on the bus. The driver never drove anything in his life but is the preferred race, very cool and used excellent maneuvers to get into the seat. Awesome. With what I saw of his resume, I couldn’t get him through Human Resources if I owned the transit company….

BTW, a lot of we reactionaries hope that they remake Seven Days In May but give it a happy ending this time. (joke)

IlikedAUH2O on June 22, 2010 at 6:24 AM

If Bush was President the netroots would be floating his name for vice-president.

rob verdi on June 22, 2010 at 6:30 AM

It always comes down to leadership. And we have lousy leadership, starting with the Commander-of-Chief, going down to McCrystal.

olesparkie on June 22, 2010 at 6:34 AM

mcchrystal is going to go under the bus in the next 24 hours…
resign now, and be done with the bonehead-in-chief

cmsinaz on June 22, 2010 at 6:49 AM

according to the msm, he has to show up in person in the sit room tomorrow am….bus will be right behind on the front lawn…

cmsinaz on June 22, 2010 at 6:52 AM

according to the msm, he has to show up in person in the sit room tomorrow am….bus will be right behind on the front lawn…

cmsinaz on June 22, 2010 at 6:52 AM

Where did you read he was called in?

hawkdriver on June 22, 2010 at 6:54 AM

hawkdriver on June 22, 2010 at 6:54 AM

just saw it on morning joe…they are calling for his head

cmsinaz on June 22, 2010 at 6:56 AM

cmsinaz on June 22, 2010 at 6:56 AM

Thanks.

Only strange thing is that this isn’t on Drudge at all. When I read your comment, I was doing a quick scan to find what you were talking about. This would normally be a nuke banner on The Drudge Report. I wonder what gives?

hawkdriver on June 22, 2010 at 7:02 AM

hawkdriver on June 22, 2010 at 7:02 AM

I mean the whole Stones Story, not just the Morning Joe comments.

hawkdriver on June 22, 2010 at 7:03 AM

hawkdriver on June 22, 2010 at 7:03 AM

odd indeed….they are saying that he has been ordered to explain himself in person re: the article…

cmsinaz on June 22, 2010 at 7:06 AM

cmsinaz on June 22, 2010 at 7:06 AM

That’s it then.

“Contemplate this on The Tree of Woe.”

hawkdriver on June 22, 2010 at 7:07 AM

hawkdriver on June 22, 2010 at 7:07 AM

*sigh*

cmsinaz on June 22, 2010 at 7:09 AM

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

I will give this a shot, because there are historical precedents that need to be examined and much of 20th century mechanized warfare that is inapplicable to Afghanistan. This means I will be linking to some of my previous background pieces, and they don’t tend to be short. Like this one examining the unreal ‘realists’ in diplomacy as applied to Iraq.

First in understanding is that Afghanistan is not a Nation, but a region of tribes more or less defined by their affiliations with each other and often long-lasting resentment. The British Empire tried to solve the Pashtun problem by putting up a border through the Pashtun tribal regions and then try to work out a diplomatic and military way to find an acceptable solution. They failed and the 100 year ‘peace’ that was imposed was outwaited by the Pashtuns and the Empire expired in the area before the ‘peace’ did. Today that AF-PAK border is still an area of contention and the source of the Talibe, Mehsuds and other tribes run in the old way of tribes with personal fighting forces.

This is not unusual in the region, and Iraq can be seen as a few steps further down the road to a Nation State than Afghanistan is. Even better the Kurds are drawn from the same ethnic stock as Afghans, so that if we could get our act together in Iraq and get some Iraqi Expeditionary Forces derived from Kurdish background, we would have similar ethnic outlooks to draw upon as these people share a similar system of values and comprehension that we do not have in the modern West. We did have this in the modern West during the stand-up of Germany (the ‘German Question’), the Norman Conquest in England, and the formation of Italy out of multiple ethnic groups in the Peninsula. We have enforced forgetting what it takes to make a Nation, find common accord amongst multiple warring tribes and get a large scale act together. The Kurds remember this (and often despise the way Empires have divided them so as to keep their people separated) and yet understand they must live in this world of Nation States.

Afghanistan has this in nascient form in the Loya jirga, which is an all-tribe governing system (we call it a parliament, but it more closely aligns with an inter-tribal brokering system of power and resources). The ‘President’ of Afghanistan is a late-coming figure that was once relatively respected before the Soviet invasion, but the de-cohesion of society there devolved power strongly back to the tribal level. That is not an egg we can unbreak and we had best learn that. What is needed is to approach the Loya jirga and see if they can find a better way to get a general representative of them (a form of Nation-level executive) that they can hold accountable to all of them via unanimous vote. There are methods to do this that are direct (a form of Prime Minister with a ‘no confidence’ vote) and indirect (like the Doge of Venice and the system behind that). Thusly, understanding the tribal basis of governance in Afghanistan, our first approach is via the Loya jirga to the tribes, themselves.

As the US is derived from a multi-ethnic common law system (actually understood in Afghanistan!) and that we once understood the necessity of local defense of town and family, that becomes the basis for a local Militia run by locals and having a modicum of oversight from the Loya jirga on rules of operation. This is not a National military, but a local militia arrangement as enshrined in Amendment II, that upholds the right of each to go armed and of local government to defend itself when the National cannot do so (as seen in Art. I, Sec. 10, para.iii of the US Constitution). These need to be de-conflicted, yes, but they then serve as a counter-weight to an oppressive National system and gives a stout first line against other tribes and even Nations.

That covers the social and cultural aspect of Afghanistan: understand devolved power systems, work with them, bring in experts with knowledge from more advanced areas, help to institute a local and accountable militia system (it is now unaccountable and that cannot be done via 20th century Nation State concepts) and generally recognize the internal authority of the inter-tribal power brokerage system.

Secondly is geography and terrain. We cannot, indeed must not, fight a 20th century flatland war in Afghanistan, and yet we do so, by and large, with the bulk of NATO forces (not US or Canadian). The terrain is highland and mountainous, the style of warfare is Mountain Warfare. Every single male in every tribe understands Mountain Warfare: we don’t as a Nation and even our military system is not set up to utilize specialized (not special) forces in a big way. When you read the description of what is expected of MW fighting, you also characterize all sides in the current military conflict, save western troops: someone is out of step with what to do and it is us.

MW devolves power and responsiblity downward for a simple reason: survival. As this IS how the locals fight we should strip out a number of pages from the last successful western force to actually win in the region. That was led by yet another leader of hastily affiliated tribal groups with a more or less coherent ethnic background: Alexander. Alexander the Great. He won in the region using small, specialized, fast moving forces to assault areas that the locals thought impenetrable. By winning against the locals in the style the locals understood, he was able to cement some of the first ties in the region and he is still sung about, to this very day, by the bards throughout the region. The region hasn’t changed much in outlook, a bit in ethnicity due to the Mongols, and none at all due to geography.

The locals, prior to the spendthrift Saudis getting into the act, had as their major firearm the Small Magazine Lee-Enfield rifle, and the ammo (pennies per round in the West) was expensive to the locals. While the younger generation went off on a shooting spree with FA AKs, the older fathers and grandfathers picked off dinner from a half-mile away with ancient bolt action rifles. If we had been anywhere near smart, we would have indicated to all tribes that we would support the SMLE with lots of training, ammo and spare parts (which we would buy from the UK). This would make the militias more effective and put a long-distance counterweight to FA weapons (which are typically short to medium range in the man carried versions). Thus the locals would have a well known, supported and reinvigorated historical weapons platform and the knowledge that we understood it and how they used it.

After that we fight mountain style: small, self-contained groups moving quickly with little to no supplies in mountainous terrain. The Canadian mountain warfare group did the local impossible in 2007-2008 by staging a Winter Campaign and ferreting out the Talibe/al Quaeda training centers in Pakistan’s NWFP and even further in. Some of that could not, ever, be garnered from overhead because the training facilities were used for general housing in winter and only sporadic training: if you weren’t there to see the training you wouldn’t figure out what was going on. The Canadians gained the deep respect of the locals for doing as Alexander did: fight the locally impossible.

What would that mean for the US? A second Mountain Division would be a great start, culled from volunteers who had already been in-theater and adding in new recruits to get lessons learned from the experienced hands… and then train them in mountainous terrain for two years. If this had been our focus from the start, we would now have two MD giving all year coverage to Afghanistan. As this would require local ROEs developed by local commanders in coordination with local Militias and coordinated between tribal areas by our command structure we would not have the blanket ROEs that encumber us now. Plus we would be able to train the National military in how to do this hard problem.

This isn’t a problem of ‘fight and stay’ which is classical COIN. Nor is it our obtuse way of ‘fight and leave’, that gains no trust. This is the local form of ‘fight and fight and fight’.

Thirdly is logistics. By deploying more specialized forces, changing the security arrangement to a localized one with centralized de-confliction, and requiring each and every single ally provide us with their mountain/alpine/highland forces, the entire logistics train is slimmed down. This is critical due to the lack of supply routes to a land locked region. We can only supply 10% of our cargo needs via air, the rest is via ship and overland (its cheaper). Lack of lift at altitude and treacherous winds due to mountain environment point to a lack of ability to get airlifted supplies to Afghanistan even if we paved every flat piece of the place over with airfields. Thus we must have a smaller logistical tail, harder and more independent fighting forces, and make ourselves less vulnerable to the Pashtun tribal areas our supplies have to go through.

Remember them, the Pashtuns? Outwaited a 100 year truce and the British Empire. The British learned that the distance of safety in the area was the length of accurate rifle fire from the road. Lovely place, no? It is still that way, today. They need to learn the lesson that we can outshoot them and use our capabilities (hard won in Iraq) to find and stop IEDs. And that nothing, ever, stops our supplies… and if Pakistan can’t help, then they do need to understand that rolling armor down those highways may not be what they want, but it is required for our safety of supply lines. No more payoffs to thieves and pirates.

Thus what is desperately needed is a real State Dept with capable hands to craft us a second supply route. This can be done without involving Russia, nor Iran, and they will both be PO’d simultaneously as we put in the land/water equivalent of a new Silk Road. That gives economic benefits to the region (a major plus) and allows us to pay off National governments to protect vital supply lines that they can also use. A triple win and more than Russia or Iran can do. Way more. With a firm and secondary supply chain source, we can then operate more freely in Afghanistan and let Pakistan know that they must, absolutely and positively must, stop supplying money to the Talibe, al Qaeda off-shoots, Hekmatyar’s organization, Mehsud clans… by gaining a second supply route we get freedom of activity and action to finally get the Pashtun mess on everyone’s plate and let them know that we do not want to be there, and that this little problem must be fixed once and for all amongst all parties there.

We should not have a fixed end-goal in that, but a fixed and understood process. So long as it gets the old conflicts out of the way, brings a modicum of stability to the region and ensures that terror funding is ended: then we can leave, tyvm.

That should have started… ohhhh… 2002? 2003?

It is much, much, much harder to do now.

But what we have done hasn’t worked.

We can still win, but that means changing the parameters of our expectations vis a vis Nation States and recognize that a good, self-checking localized system of federal accountability amongst tribes is actually way better than what is there now.

ajacksonian on June 22, 2010 at 7:15 AM

He’s going to have to go. If Obama accepts the apology as sufficient then’s he going to seem like an even bigger wuss than he does already. I might have sympathy for McChrystal because he’s in a no-win situation in Afghanistan –and I think that would be true regardless of who the President is– but this kind of poor judgment should cost him his job.

And he sounds like a major suck-up anyway, oooohh President Obama I voted for you. Please like me. Is he that big of a tool, that he truly thought it would matter to Obama? Who has zero interest in all things military. Pathetic really.

Bennett on June 22, 2010 at 7:15 AM

Time of meeting: 0900?
Time of resignation: 0855

full story on POTUS’ dereliction of duty by author Stan McChrystal, 1000.

ted c on June 22, 2010 at 7:20 AM

ted c on June 22, 2010 at 7:20 AM

That’s the only way any good would come of this. Off for a run. Take care Ted and CM.

hawkdriver on June 22, 2010 at 7:24 AM

I find it interesting the Rolling Stone magazine is doing the investigative journalism that the main stream media purposely ignores.

This all reflects very badly on Obama’s judgment…thus the main stream media hides the story.

albill on June 22, 2010 at 7:26 AM

hawkdriver on June 22, 2010 at 7:24 AM

have a good one!

cmsinaz on June 22, 2010 at 7:26 AM

Time of meeting: 0900?
Time of resignation: 0855

full story on POTUS’ dereliction of duty by author Stan McChrystal, 1000.

ted c on June 22, 2010 at 7:20 AM

Yes!

Between McChrystal and Kyl, the Bamster may be in for a bad hair day.

petefrt on June 22, 2010 at 7:32 AM

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

No, he doesn’t. He just wants the messiness of war to go away so that he can continue his program of socializing our country without the distraction. Whether its Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan or the gulf oil spill, he doesn’t care a whit about any of it, except that it is taking away from his ability to rape our economy in the name of “social justice.”

MJBrutus on June 22, 2010 at 7:33 AM

The article says that although McChrystal voted for Obama

Apparently McChrystal’s thought process has been flawed for some time now.

darwin on June 22, 2010 at 7:42 AM

ajacksonian on June 22, 2010 at 7:15 AM

Thank you so much for taking the time to write all of this out. It is the most descriptive synopsis of what is going on in Afghanistan and makes it so much easier (not that it is easy at all) to understand.

We need the fighting skills of those raised in running, playing, and hunting in mountain regions of the Appalachians and Rockies. That goes for the Canadian forces as well. Might also want to dig up some of the historical accounts (as close to time period as possible) of the integration of the Scottish clans and the fighting methods used against Bonnie Prince Charlie (which I think much informed the fighting methods of many of our colonists during the American Revolution).

Greyledge Gal on June 22, 2010 at 7:47 AM

The libs are absolutely having a fit on Morning Joe. It’s consumed almost all of the first two hours of the show. Next up is the executive editor of Rolling Stone magazine.

Beyond McChrystal, many of his aides could be in deep doo doo. One guy was quoted in the article calling Jim Jones a clown. Nobody was spared.

BuckeyeSam on June 22, 2010 at 7:50 AM

MJBrutus on June 22, 2010 at 7:33 AM

Right, war is an annoying distraction from “transforming” America.

But the Bamster’s going to fire McChrystal, and losing McChrystal will not make Afghanistan any easier.

petefrt on June 22, 2010 at 7:51 AM

The libs are absolutely having a fit on Morning Joe. Next up is the executive editor of Rolling Stone magazine.

BuckeyeSam on June 22, 2010 at 7:50 AM

What do they have in mind for the editor?

petefrt on June 22, 2010 at 7:54 AM

hmmm…..who/what was the 1st line of Oath by the General.

To the USA Constitution…or to Obamabi, who by the way took the same oath.

sbark on June 22, 2010 at 7:58 AM

What do they have in mind for the editor?

petefrt on June 22, 2010 at 7:54 AM

Questions. He’s up next after the commercial break. The RS author isn’t a well-known writer so that’s one thing that has the MJ people in a fit.

It’s funny that one NYT business writer (Andrew Sorkin?) who had the gall to start discussing the “substance” of McChrystal’s remarks (that is, whether the Obama administration is a bunch of clowns) wasn’t on the set after they returned from a commercial.

BuckeyeSam on June 22, 2010 at 8:01 AM

Why did I wake up today and feel like it’s 1972 all over again?…..with the oil spill it feels like it’s 1978/1979, but with OEF falling to pieces in front of our eyes, it’s like 1972—and I’m very very sorry to say that out loud. US forces pay the ultimate price for feckless ROE emplaced by hamstrung generals who try to do their level best to enact policy consistent with the national command authority, yet it’s obviously not winning no hearts, nor minds—particularly amongst the General’s staff. If McChrystal doesn’t resign in protest, then his boss, GEN Petraeus should. The American people are not willing to see our military abused in this way.

ted c on June 22, 2010 at 8:04 AM

Executive editor of Rolling Stone is explaining how they got SM to tell all.

Unprecedented access, several months, a trip to Europe during the Icelandic volcano, which essentially stranded the RS guy with SM and his aides.

The editor says they didn’t violate “on record, off record” distinction. He says that they omitted much off-the-record stuff.

BuckeyeSam on June 22, 2010 at 8:06 AM

BuckeyeSam on June 22, 2010 at 8:01 AM

I’m thinking this incident is likely to bring a lot of conflicting undercurrents between Øbama and the military to the surface. It could get really big.

petefrt on June 22, 2010 at 8:09 AM

This was stupid of McChrystal. Petraeus or Odierno would never have been this dumb.

McChrystal must go. He serves at the pleasure of the President. You cannot undermine that authority if you are a flag officer. Period.

We are not Venezuela.

Oh, wait…..

victor82 on June 22, 2010 at 8:11 AM

Drudge must have read my comments.

hawkdriver on June 22, 2010 at 8:12 AM

The editor says they didn’t violate “on record, off record” distinction. He says that they omitted much off-the-record stuff.

BuckeyeSam on June 22, 2010 at 8:06 AM

I’d have loved to have seen the “off the record” comments.

Maybe General McChrystal will resign, then tell all. It could partially make up for his voting for the Narcissist-in-Chief.

Marybeth on June 22, 2010 at 8:12 AM

Something like this happened to me a long time ago at my work.
I told my boss that she didn’t know what she was doing, and when I explained why I did what I did, I didn’t apologize.

I kept my job because she needed me.

We’ll find out how much Obama needs McCrystal now. He’s going to have a face to face with his boss now.
We’ll find out his side of things in a few years when his book comes out, I’m sure.

B Man on June 22, 2010 at 8:14 AM

Let’s see … Americans know our failed leader doesn’t have any clue about the oil spill, jobs, the economy, health care, the list goes on and on …

And so now the generals are saying Obama doesn’t have a clue about the war in Afghanistan? Yeah, sounds about right.

America’s vuvuzela, Obama doesn’t have a clue. What did you expect from someone whose top line of his resume says reading teleprompter and street agitator. Why does everyone now profess to have a headache every day? Could it be that buzzing sound inside your head.

Hey I hear we are going to get some news on health care … Sounds like Chavez and his good news about food in Venezuela.

Obama lies about most everything … Maybe he should try bowing more often, or visit the 57th State. America has now woken up, and found they have elected an alien.

tarpon on June 22, 2010 at 8:16 AM

***

Maybe General McChrystal will resign, then tell all. It could partially make up for his voting for the Narcissist-in-Chief.

Marybeth on June 22, 2010 at 8:12 AM

He slammed everyone, but he’s turned around and apologized to everyone in DC except the hag reporter who recently had to quit.

The MJ conventional wisdowm is that he’ll resign before tomorrow’s meeting. He torched so many people, I have to wonder whether this is some kind of “noisy withdrawal” by McChrystal.

BuckeyeSam on June 22, 2010 at 8:17 AM

victor82 on June 22, 2010 at 8:11 AM

I don’t disagree with his criticisms, but he should have resigned/retired first and then made the statements public and frame the comments in a manner describing what he thought should have been done by the administration or how they could have handled it differently.

There is a real strong chance, (IMHO) that the dissent in his staff with the administration and our dissent in the rank and file slowly took a toll on his opinion of what we were doing. I think he honestly believed in COIN. We didn’t. And we talked openly about it. I made comments personally to every LTC and Col in my chain of command and even made comments to a two star at an awards ceremony.

hawkdriver on June 22, 2010 at 8:18 AM

there are no winners here. none whatsoever, Obama has a unicorn and rainbow strategy, McChrystal can’t execute it, soldiers die, it’s that simple.

I support GEN McChrystal, but he should resign in protest and tell the whole story. Enough of this dime store rag paper sniping then crying an “I’m sorry” in the wake of it. That’s twice he’s done that. Cut the BS, be straight up with the American people, either do the job and STFU, or tell the story and fix the problem.

ted c on June 22, 2010 at 8:18 AM

If McChrystal doesn’t resign in protest, then his boss, GEN Petraeus should. The American people are not willing to see our military abused in this way.

ted c on June 22, 2010 at 8:04 AM

+1000

Mr. Grump on June 22, 2010 at 8:19 AM

McChrystal claims to have voted for Obama in this article. IF that is true, I have little sympathy for him. How can any military commander vote for someone like Obama? Or, in today’s world, any dem?

Maybe he just said that to try and soften the criticisms he was making, but if it is true, I think it shows a serious lack of perception on his part, which also makes me question his abilities as a general. Seriously, what could he have been thinking?

Monkeytoe on June 22, 2010 at 8:21 AM

McChrystal loses at least twice over this. He’s losing the support of his superiors, and he’s losing the support of his staff and his command. If the policy is dangerous and it gets soldiers under his command killed unnecessarily, then it is the moral and imperative duty of the general to stand up for that man. If there are soldiers getting killed and the strategy of winning the war is working—then it would be the job of the general to continue the fight, however, if there is one life wasted for the sake of a policy that both he, and his staff, see as a losing plan—-then their silence is their compliance along with that plan.

I urge him to resign ahead of being fired. It is the right thing to do by our country and our military. Duty, honor, country.

ted c on June 22, 2010 at 8:23 AM

McChrystal is a point by point strategist.

He would not have done the interview as he did unless he decided that’s how this all has to play out between himself and Obama.

It isn’t as if he’s never heard how MacArthur’s criticism of Truman played out.

It isn’t as if he got drunk and wasted for the interview, talking loosely out of control.

He sees the writing on the White House wall–that for all his and the military’s efforts, Obama’s ruining whatever pudding is in the mix. So perhaps he’s decided it’s better for himself to be removed from taking all the responsibility for Obama’s failures yet to be exposed internationally within the Afghanistan American occurring experience.

Of course he has the highest respect for our soldiers and Marines on the ground.

Maybe McChrystal’s withdrawal of personal supervision will be the “excuse” Obama will use to transform the US military engagement in Afghanistan into more reliance upon predatory drones, as if that wins the hearts and minds of the enemy.

And McChrystal’s Rolling Stone narrative follows the media’s big deal re-discovery of Afghanistan’s immense natural wealth YET TO BE EXPLOITED.

So McChrystal voted for Obama but is now disillusioned with that straw man. Had I known he voted for Obama, I would have directed more scrutiny at the General from the onset for LACK OF CRITICAL JUDGMENT and unwillingness to perform or identify scholarly research before forming a critical decision of such magnitude as making the likes of Obama the Commander in Chief of the US Military, McChrystal’s field of expertise.

maverick muse on June 22, 2010 at 8:23 AM

He’s gone. And I’m glad – for McChrystal.

Daggett on June 22, 2010 at 8:23 AM

Sounds like the decade that we are starting to resemble is the sixties when LBJ was in charge. That ended well and had no lasting repercussions for our country. Riiiight.

txmomof6 on June 22, 2010 at 8:24 AM

Since when have our military’s big brass cared more about anything than their careers?

That is the saddest commentary of our magnificent military complex. Grunts be damned when it comes down to whether its the brass or the grunts.

God bless our grunts with better brass than that.

maverick muse on June 22, 2010 at 8:30 AM

maverick muse on June 22, 2010 at 8:23 AM

Although it’s a small minority, President Obama does enjoy a loyal group of soldiers. I know of a few personnally who regret voting for him and a few who I think will support him no matter what.

hawkdriver on June 22, 2010 at 8:32 AM

I know what’s going to be tops on my reading list in the future. “Clowns in the White House” by General (Ret) S. McChrystal.

Caper29 on June 22, 2010 at 8:34 AM

“McChrystal has championed a counterinsurgency strategy that prioritizes protecting the population as a means to marginalize and ultimately defeat the insurgency. Because new rules sharply restrict the circumstances under which air strikes and other lethal operations that have resulted in civilian casualties can be conducted, some soldiers say the strategy has left them more exposed.”

I’m not sorry to see him go.

Socmodfiscon on June 22, 2010 at 8:44 AM

If the policy is dangerous and it gets soldiers under his command killed unnecessarily, then it is the moral and imperative duty of the general to stand up for that man. If there are soldiers getting killed and the strategy of winning the war is working—then it would be the job of the general to continue the fight, however, if there is one life wasted for the sake of a policy that both he, and his staff, see as a losing plan—-then their silence is their compliance along with that plan.

ted c,

You remember when McChrystal submitted his report and Obama’s negligence in reading and responding. We all had the opportunity to read the report then.

McChrystal’s basis was the Afghan tribal customs, that every “compassionate” move any American makes inevitably is an affront to the powers that be within that tribal society, disturbing the customary balance of power by enabling someone rather than someone else. (He used the example of digging a water well–how that empowers the person whose land the well is on rather than the person in the community who had the power up to that point.) McChrystal enforced the Karzai 12 Rules of Engagement in his plan in order to “prove” the West’s good intentions to the Afghans, as if allowing our troops to be fired upon denying our troops the self defense posture means to Afghans what our lost lives mean to American parents and families of fallen soldiers called to war initially by Bush in a self-defensive posture, but perpetuated by the straw man Obama who swore he’d remove our troops long ago.

McChrystal based his master plan upon somehow dealing with the Afghan powers that be, to win their hearts and minds. As if that is possible–that Americans can convince the Afghan tribal civilization to abort all their traditions and customs in order to fit into what those tribes consider to be the Great Satan.

And now, to top it all off, our Western media complex is rubbing the Afghan noses in the obvious threat that their natural mineral and oil deposits are about to transform them one way or another out of their comfort zone and into modern society. So all the winning the hearts and minds of the enemy is based upon MONEY and the ideology of WEALTH. As if warfare weren’t bad enough, the indigenous populations of Afghanistan are about to become enslaved for the power and wealth of political leaders.

Like Michael Savage, I question why our troops are in Afghanistan. The rhetoric coming from these White House administrations is Newspeak propaganda. Take the war to them so we don’t have to fight them here? Yet refuse to protect and defend our open borders? Convoluted double talk.

maverick muse on June 22, 2010 at 8:48 AM

You guys know things that you see leave an impression and give you those watershed moments. Sometimes it makes you wonder why it wasn’t more apparent to more people. For me fretting about whether President Obama could actually end up being my CinC during the 08 campaign and then actually hearing what he wanted to do with Afghanistan was a big one.

Say what you want about Senator McCain (I do) but he kicked President Obama’s ass during the foreign policy debate. McCain described the politics by region and tribe in Afghanistan and all PBHO could do was agree with him and then disagree with what McCain said his battle plan would have been. (“UH, um, er that’s right John, you’re correct but….) I thought huh? I also thought it would have a bigger impact of who people would have thought won the debate. But it was all, “Obama held his own,” and some actually thought he bested McCain. SO, I guess with me it always goes back to the media. They facilitated the outright lie that this man was 3:00 am ready for the challenges of being in charge of the most powerful nation and military in the world. I know there are element of what he does that he intends in that march to Socialism, but what he’s doing with the war and his military is abject incompetence. Why did the whole world not see this in Fall 08?

hawkdriver on June 22, 2010 at 8:49 AM

I know what’s going to be tops on my reading list in the future. “Clowns in the White House” by General (Ret) S. McChrystal.

Caper29 on June 22, 2010 at 8:34 AM

Good one Caper29!!

yoda on June 22, 2010 at 8:51 AM

txmomof6

Eerie to be in that last segment of the generation still being sent to Vietnam by the draft. Obama wants to reinstate the draft, by the way.

Two significant differences between then and now is volunteer military service, and the love and respect that we hold in our hearts for our men and women doing the fighting on our behalf.

The Fog of War may hold some glaring parallels. One for certain is Kissinger, whether up front or behind the scenes.

maverick muse on June 22, 2010 at 8:55 AM

It is refreshing to hear an accurate assessment of Obama and company even though it was very poor judgment. Once it was said McCrystal should never have apologized but might as well have had his resignation already typed.

duff65 on June 22, 2010 at 8:58 AM

One incompetent disaster after another. This would be comical if it wasn’t so nauseating. Thousands upon thousands of lives adversely effected because of the most incompetent and corrupt administration in our history. November is do or die. Two more years of this garbage and life as we know it will cease to exist.

volsense on June 22, 2010 at 9:04 AM

Monkeytoe on June 22, 2010 at 8:21 AM

Exactly.

Hawkdriver, and all our military with the good sense not to have voted for the man who is your CinC, I am truly so sorry. (I didn’t vote for him, of course, but I feel for you.) And I thought it was bad having to be a Navy Wife under Bill Clinton.

maverick muse on June 22, 2010 at 8:30 AM

+1000 and Amen.

pannw on June 22, 2010 at 9:10 AM

yet it’s obviously not winning no hearts, nor minds—particularly amongst the General’s staff. If McChrystal doesn’t resign in protest, then his boss, GEN Petraeus should. The American people are not willing to see our military abused in this way.

ted c on June 22, 2010 at 8:04 AM

Not winning hearts and minds isn’t the worst of it: it’s getting our guys killed while the ROE hinder killing the enemy (the Taliban).
McChrystal obviously doesn’t like leading a fight that isn’t a fight, where our fighting forces (including him) all have a hand tied behind their backs.
This is ridiculous!
We’ve already lost over 1,000 guys in Afghanistan.
Are we going to lose this front of the WOT because we were avoiding hitting civilians (and you know those jihadi b*st*rds and always lie about casualties being “civilians”)?

Jenfidel on June 22, 2010 at 9:12 AM

I feel for the General. If a reporter is shadowing you for a month, as was the case here, you’re eventually going to give some quotes that you’ll regret.

hawksruleva on June 22, 2010 at 9:13 AM

Note that McChrystal’s apology doesn’t take back any of the statements, beliefs, or characterizations in the article. He kind of says “I’m sorry I said these things on the record.”

hawksruleva on June 22, 2010 at 9:19 AM

Wow. Well, McChrystal knew what he was doing when he gave those quotes. He knew it’d be a career ender. Let’s hope he doesn’t grovel, but stand his ground.

Thanks ted c and hawkdriver for the insights. The ROEs are literally killing our troops. It’s insanity. When will this change?

conservative pilgrim on June 22, 2010 at 9:43 AM

If any of GEN McChrystal’s aides read this blog, then please encourage him to resign in protest rather than continuing to prostrate himself in front of this man who is not fit enough to carry his boots.

ted c on June 22, 2010 at 5:54 AM

Well said. I support that suggestion.

petefrt on June 22, 2010 at 6:23 AM

what they said; McChrystal can no longer lead, must resign and must not retract

Willie on June 22, 2010 at 9:43 AM

General McChrystal has crossed the line. There is no going back. I say that with great sadness, for he has undermined his CIC. As a flag, once you pin those stars on, you not only carry out policy, you are making it too. For the good of his service and his country Stan McChrystal should do the honorable and right thing. Retire.

flackcatcher on June 22, 2010 at 5:26 AM

You must believe that we live in some kind of dictatorship where military officers no longer have First Amendment rights. It is not insubordinate to criticize or question the judgment your commander, particularly in a democratic republic.

Barry’s got paper thin skin. He’s spent his entire life being treated like he’s something special and he expects servitude.

rokemronnie on June 22, 2010 at 9:43 AM

General McChrystal is a “political general”. He was placed as the supreme commander in Afghanistan because he was a Democrat and voted for Obama. Now that the Administration drum beats for surrender and pull out McChrystal has figured out that leaving without losing is best done by being fired for something other than war fighting performance.

OldSarg on June 22, 2010 at 9:45 AM

I think my biggest concern is discovering that McChrystal voted for Obama. Reason enough to fire him on the spot right there – he clearly lacks the judgement and critical-thinking skills to be in command of a HMMV, let alone the AFPAK theater.

Beo on June 22, 2010 at 9:51 AM

While working at DuPont, I was once accused of insubordination by a real rectal orifice of a group supervisor, Jim MacMillan, because I openly criticized his reorganization of our team. I got called into a meeting with him and my direct boss. When he accused me of being insubordinate, I asked him to tell me just which things I’d been told to do that I refused to do. He blustered and stammered but couldn’t cite a single task that I was assigned that I’d not done.

I told him and my boss that as an IT support specialist they expected me to use my brains and that I wasn’t capable of being stupid just when the boss was wrong. As long as I was doing my job, they’d have to put up with me screaming and kicking about their bad decisions.

The guy eventually got me fired, but it took him two years and he had to lie and dissemble about my performance to do so.

rokemronnie on June 22, 2010 at 9:55 AM

The lesson:

Never never, never criticise the Dear Leader….

Dick Turpin on June 22, 2010 at 10:11 AM

Paying the taliban for safe passage? Didn’t see that headline in the NYT. Why do we have boots on the ground when bombs from the air would work much better.

Kissmygrits on June 22, 2010 at 10:30 AM

I predict that McChrystal is coming to Washington with resignation in hand. I must admit that once I found out he voted for Obama I immediately questioned his judgment entirely. How could any serious military officer who loves this country vote for Obama?

KickandSwimMom on June 22, 2010 at 10:43 AM

Obama may not understand the military … but you would think a military man like McCrystal would understand the military and the chain of command. Goodbye General, enjoy your retirement.

Monkei on June 22, 2010 at 10:52 AM

you question is intellect because he voted for Obama? Hell, question if for why he gave a “gotcha” interview to Rolling Stone in the first place.

Monkei on June 22, 2010 at 10:53 AM

Barry’s got paper thin skin. He’s spent his entire life being treated like he’s something special and he expects servitude

Yes we should all be so luck to grow up special with a single mom and no dad around … special.

Monkei on June 22, 2010 at 10:56 AM

This would be comical if it wasn’t so nauseating. Thousands upon thousands of lives adversely effected because of the most incompetent and corrupt administration in our history. November is do or die. Two more years of this garbage and life as we know it will cease to exist.

Yes, please lord, let us get back to when live was perfect and Bush was president.

Monkei on June 22, 2010 at 10:57 AM

odumbo is the jerk of the century. The General was correct. Absolutely correct and that’s why our troops are dying over there. The incompetent boob we have as liar in chief… It would be sweet if the General was appointed to the staff in the new administration in 2012. Odumbo is a moron and that goes for his entire liberal, marxist, cabinet.

ultracon on June 22, 2010 at 10:59 AM

Nows’ not the time for apologies nows’ the time to attack.
Someone, somewhere attack on Obamas’ ineptitude and outright dereliction of duty in the gulf. It is time to IMPEACH the imposter he has committed high crimes and misdemeanors agaist this ,not his, country.

Jindal a Southern Senator or House member attack now!

Or does Sarah have to do all the heavy lifting?

dhunter on June 22, 2010 at 11:02 AM

George W. Bush was right:

Somalia started off as a humanitarian mission and then changed into a nation-building mission, and that’s where the mission went wrong, the mission was changed and, as a result, our nation paid a price. And so, I don’t think our troops ought to be used for what’s called nation-building.

I think what we need to do is convince people who live in the lands they live in to build [their] nations. Maybe I’m missing something here. We’re going to have some sort of nation-building corp?

Because if we don’t stop extending our troops all around the world in nation-building missions, we’re going to have a serious problem coming down the road [...]

The force must be strong enough, so that the mission can be accomplished and the exit strategy must be well-defined.

In Which the Terrorists Win

Here’s a question for the politicians who support Obama’s plan, as well as those to the right of him who think it isn’t warmongery enough: What exactly does “victory” in Afghanistan look like? Certainly no one in his right mind thinks the country is going to look like, say, Iowa in 20 years. Same for Iraq. Are we expending what in the end will be a few trillion dollars and likely the lives of 6,ooo-7,000 troops to create another . . . Saudi Arabia? Another Egypt?

We do have a pretty good idea how bin Laden pictured victory. It looks a lot like what we’re seeing now. He wanted a holy war. We gave him two. We’ve compromised our values, rolled back civil liberties, and let our politicians generally scare the crap out of us whenever they want new powers. Oh, and we’ve let the b@stard live to gloat about it all.

This war should have been over the moment we disposed of the Taliban. The military doesn’t build liberal societies. They destroy illiberal ones (and they do it very well)

Rae on June 22, 2010 at 11:12 AM

First, ‘GIVE HIM A FIFTH STAR’
……..then Bust him back to a damn buck private for voting for this sorry a/o!

try again later on June 22, 2010 at 11:17 AM

Or does Sarah have to do all the heavy lifting?

Yes, I am sure she is strained from having to carry her very heavy head around all day with all it’s brain matter.

Monkei on June 22, 2010 at 11:21 AM

“McChrystal has championed a counterinsurgency strategy that prioritizes protecting the population as a means to marginalize and ultimately defeat the insurgency. Because new rules sharply restrict the circumstances under which air strikes and other lethal operations that have resulted in civilian casualties can be conducted, some soldiers say the strategy has left them more exposed.”

I’m not sorry to see him go.

Socmodfiscon on June 22, 2010 at 8:44 AM

+1

funky chicken on June 22, 2010 at 12:05 PM

This is what happens when you elect a complete loser as CiC.

Christien on June 22, 2010 at 1:07 PM

This whole thing merely exposes one fundamental issue: if, as Von Clausewitz put it, “war is policy by other means,” then what is a military commander charged with fighting a war to do when no policy has been communicated to him? How can the military, who merely executes policy, execute a policy that does not exist? We have a Constitutionally-mandated civilian-led military, for which I’m in 100% agreement, but the American public needs to understand the difference between policy and the strategic and operational levels of warfare. But that would require a public and civilian leadership who have actually studied warfare. And people wonder why I’m a firm believer that the President and members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees should have military experience.

Send_Me on June 22, 2010 at 1:09 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.

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.

That’s a lot of material support of a foreign terrorist organization.

Nixon’s Law revised: When the government does it, that means it’s not illegal.

Rae on June 22, 2010 at 1:51 PM

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