I understand the President believes in team of rivals but who the hell can last for this long shitting on an Administration that bestowed trust on him to do a job when a General is sticking it to his Commander-in-chief abusing the military code of conduct when American's are losing lives.
So what did Gen. McChrystal say:
"McChrystal thought Obama looked "uncomfortable and intimidated" by the roomful of military brass.
"Are you asking about Vice President Biden?" McChrystal says with a laugh. "Who's that?"
"Biden?" suggests a top adviser. "Did you say: Bite Me?"
...and what did his top aide say:
"It's not going to look like a win, smell like a win or taste like a win," says Maj. General Bill Maryville, who serves as chief of operations for McChrystal. "This is going to end in an argument."
...and many more quotes in the rolling stones, The Runaway gereralarticle.
It really is not what General Stanley McChrystal said that is so troubling here. What was troubling to me was the General mantra of feeling untouchable.
More below the fold...
From the get go McChrystal has been a fucking bully whose intentions were not of team playing but of the notion that the military is authoritarian and he is the man with the plan who must be heard with no regards to civilian authority. The mantra of McChrystal egotistic nature triangulating and overruling the State Department and civilian leadership as if they have nothing to contribute should have been a lesson President Obama had noted early on with all the drama that unfolded during the Presidents decision to increase troop levels.
Well, we did not know what General McChrystal stand for then and it is a bit too late to say the President should have known about who General McChrystal really is. But, we do know who Gen. McChrystal is now.
According to Mark Perry" who is a military, intelligence and foreign affairs analyst and writer, from his December 2009 article: The day the general made a misstep, an excerpt that illustrates the egotistic nature of the man:
McChrystal, a former Green Beret and a celebrated special operations commander, was the answer. Petraeus recommended a change to Gates, and Gates agreed. Within days of his May 11 appointment, McChrystal showed up in the Afghan capital, Kabul, with a team of counter-insurgency experts who commandeered McKiernan's headquarters and fanned out throughout the country.
McChrystal's teams were told to identify the problem and find a solution. "They absolutely flooded the zone," a US development officer says. "There must have been hundreds of them. They were in every province, every village, talking to everyone. There were 10 of them for every one of us." Not surprisingly, within weeks of their deployment, McChrystal's team leaders had concluded that the US was facing was an escalating insurgency that could only be checked with an increase in US troops. In-country State Department officials rolled their eyes: "What a shock. If you deploy a gang squad, they're going to find a gang," a senior State Department official says with a tinge of bitterness. "They were looking for an insurgency and they found one."
"From the minute that McChrystal showed up in Kabul, he drove the debate," a White House official confirms. "You'll notice - from May on it was no longer a question of whether we should follow a military strategy or deploy additional troops. It was always, 'should we do 20,000 or 30,000 or 40,000, or even 80,000'? We weren't searching for the right strategy; we were searching for the right number."
A senior State Department official, watching McChrystal from her State Department perch in Washington, remembers the frustration among the department's top policymakers: "We kept saying 'we need to open up to the other side, like we did in Iraq with the Anbar insurgency,' and the military kept saying, 'well this isn't Iraq.' And so we'd answer: 'fine, so if Afghanistan isn't Iraq, then why do you keep talking about a surge?' And we never got an answer."
In the end the power of McChrystal and his people in Pentagon especially his people when he was in-charge of the Pakistan-Afghanistan Coordinating Cell (PACC)before assigned to Afghanistan, allowed him to bypassed command structure including the State Department making him the sole voice to be heard on how to fix Afganistan.
Perry goes on to expand on the how McChrystal actually was able to power play to achieve the increase in troop level and silence many outside of his loyalists:
The PACC is "a stovepipe operation", this senior Pentagon official notes. "It's beautiful. It's headed up by McChrystal acolytes, former special operations officers who view him [McChrystal] as their patron. So they follow his lead. And there is no requirement for them to share any of the information they get from Kabul with the State Department or anyone else - let alone with Eikenberry. This is McChrystal's game. The PACC people in Washington pass information to McChrystal without going through any channels and they take the best information from Kabul and they brief [JCS chairman Admiral Mike] Mullen - and he briefs the president. So during the run-up to the Afghanistan decision, the military always looked current. They had the best information. Everyone else looked like a bunch of amateurs. Eikenberry was out of the loop. He had no chop [influence] on any of it. They just ran circles around him."
The tensions in the Eikenberry-McChrystal relationship came to be defined by Eikenberry's growing anger that the State Department's views were not getting an adequate hearing, either in Kabul or in Washington. That is: because the military was the sole voice in determining what was wrong in Afghanistan, they would be the sole voice in determining what to do about it. To deal with the first problem - in Kabul - Eikenberry confronted McChrystal after the general had had one of his private, face-to-face meetings with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. "Don't you think I ought to be a part of these meetings?" Eikenberry asked. McChrystal shrugged him off. "I'll keep you informed," he said. Eikenberry was enraged: the American in-country effort was supposed to be a coordinated military-civilian initiative. According to a Pentagon official, the Eikenberry-McChrystal confrontation, which "first took place in July", was repeated again and again. "It got worse and worse."
The article goes to clearly show the egotistic one man show characteristics of this man with the help of some in the Pentagon but I must ask in the greater scheme of things how many in Pentagon are of the like mind of McChrystal and how much damage can be orchestrated to undermine and hijack the military goals of the Commander-in-chief. It leaves me baffled as to who the fuck is in charge at Pentagon?
So, the question is how long can you have a bully continue to undermining you?
I want good things for Afghanistan and the people of Afghanistan but under the circumstances, with a General that is insubordinate that undermines the military strategy of the Commander-in-chief, I think we are failing our troops. We are failing the Afghan people and we are failing the American people until there is a solid leadership that will complete the Afghanistan mission the President outlined in his Westpoint speech.
If it was my way, I would say let's just get the fuck out of Afghanistan.