General Stanley McChrystal may very well have ended his career courtesy of Rolling Stones Magazine. In an article that is available online, McChrystal was quoted more than once making negative comments about his commander in chief (CIC). Members of McChrystal's staff also got their two cents worth in there. Comments were not limited to President Obama but also included Vice President Biden, American Ambassador Karl W. Eikenberry and Richard Holbrooke, Special Envoy to Afghanistan.
So what happens now? Several
routes are open to President Obama in how he might handle this. The most obvious one is to fire General McChrystal outright. [See McChrystal Fired, Obama Translated ]
We might be hearing about that this afternoon in a White House press conference. That would certainly be a power move on Obama's part to show the world that nobody talks about the President like that and gets away with it.
General McChrystal might be allowed to retire.
Or General McChrystal might just resign. Senator Dorgan from North Dakota thinks this should happen. In fact he was the first Senator to call for his resignation. Of course, Dorgan is against sending more troops to Afghanistan, so this is not out of line with his way of thinking.
Are you having trouble accepting the idea that General McChrystal just suddenly opened up to a reporter and did a "tell all" "take the gloves off" interview? I am. [See Volcanic Eruption Helped Reporter Gain Access to McChrystal]
General McChrystal didn't get those stars on his shoulders by being overtly outspoken against our CIC's over the years and by surrounding himself with staff that spoke out of line, or did he?
If you read the milblogs and this milblog in particular you will see that some there have suggested he let the reporter "in to his inner circle." This, to me, seems a much more reasonable explanation.
Other's are probably crowing with delight because their favorite photojournalist "predicted the fall of McChrystal" months ago. They are feeling well and truly vindicated about now. Although they should be careful, as that photojournalist had 2 embeds in Afghanistan cancelled. One with the British and one with the American troops. The latest cancelled embed with the American troops led him to sound off against McChrystal. Is this a case of sour grapes or inside knowledge? You will have to judge that one for yourself.
One has to wonder if McChrystal suddenly forgot his roots. After all, didn't he rise from the ranks of Special Forces and aren't they supposed to be the tightest lipped people of all? He most definitely blindsided Sec. Defense Gates.
When asked about the McChrystal interview, one veteran had this to say.....
"I saw the Gibbs press conference last night. I haven't read the article yet, but no, I don't think he'll be in uniform much longer.""Funny that Gibbs stressed so much that the American people have a right to have confidence in the command structure in Afghanistan, when the case seems to demonstrate that the person who would best know whether we can trust the command structure selected by the American people, above him, doesn't."
Personally, I think McChrystal and his aides messed up bad when they let that reporter be privy to their moments of blowing off steam or shooting the breeze with each other. Does that mean the General should be fired? Hmm....not sure on that one. If he loses the confidence of his staff and superiors, perhaps. Does this mean his career is heading down the tubes? Most likely. Who will replace the General? Good question.
This all boils down to one mistake, that of letting a reporter be privy to things said in confidence at the end of the day, when people will be people and blow off necessary steam!
I think there is a most definite disconnect between the president and his commanders on the ground in Afghanistan. It will still be an uphill battle in Afghanistan for a new commander (if General McChrystal is replaced). How do you fight battles and win the war if you are not supported from the TOP DOWN??
Well that is my opinion, not necessarily the opinions of the rest of the staff here at War On Terror News.