McChrystal episode comes amid long string of U.S. setbacks in Afghanistan
Tue Jun 22, 6:34 pm ET
Taken on their own, the insubordinate and bizarre comments made by Gen. Stanley McChrystal and his staff to Rolling Stone are enough to raise serious questions about his strategy in Afghanistan and his respect for civilian authority. But Rolling Stone's story also comes at the end of a breathtaking string of terrible developments and milestones in the Afghan war — and thus will likely just accelerate the sense of chaos and aimlessness overtaking the conflict.
[UPDATE: On Tuesday afternoon President Obama said he had yet to decide whether or not McChrystal would be fired, and noted that he and his team showed "poor judgment" in speaking to Rolling Stone as they did.]
The revelation that McChrystal and his staff — they call themselves "Team America" — hold many civilian White House officials in open disdain couldn't have come at a worse time. Since April, scarcely a day has gone by that hasn't brought some unsettling news about the Afghan war. This latest fiasco is but one in a long series of episodes showing that McChrystal — who'd been entrusted with far-ranging authority over the conduct of the Afghan war — has remained largely unaware of the political challenges he faces, while often glibly dismissing dissenting views and civilian authority.
[Other incredible political gaffes]
Here's a review of the parade of horribles emanating from Afghanistan in the weeks preceding McChrystal's outburst:
May 25, 2010: The Army launches an investigation of 10 soldiers near Kandahar for the murder of three Afghan civilians and illegal drug use. One soldier is eventually charged; five remain under investigation.
May 28, 2010: A roadside bombing kills the 1,000th American in Afghanistan.
May 29, 2010: McChrystal calls Marjah, the subject of a massive NATO offensive last spring to oust the Taliban and prop up civilian institutions, a "bleeding ulcer" at a gathering of Afghan officials and civilian strategists. The Marjah campaign was the first prong of the surge strategy McChrystal advocated, and he has essentially acknowledged that it didn't succeed: "I think that we've done well, but I think that the pace of security has been slower. I'm thinking that, had we put more force in there, we could have locked that place down better."
June 2, 2010: A peace summit called by Afghan President Hamid Karzai and attended by McCrystal is attacked by Taliban mortar and small-arms fire. McChrystal has to be evacuated as Karzai offers peace terms to the Taliban over the noise of Taliban rockets. Karzai would later blame the attack on American forces.
June 7, 2010: After 104 months of combat, the Afghanistan conflict becomes the longest war in U.S. history.
June 10, 2010: McChrystal tells reporters at a meeting of NATO defense ministers that a long-planned operation to pacify the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar this summer — designed to serve as a follow-up blow to the bungled Marjah campaign — will be delayed. "I do think it will happen more slowly than we had originally anticipated," McChrystal said.
June 11, 2010: The New York Times reports that, according to two former senior advisers to the Afghan president, Karzai has lost faith in America's capacity to prevail in Afghanistan and is seeking a separate peace with the Taliban without informing NATO. "The president has lost his confidence in the capability of either the coalition or his own government to protect this country," one of the advisers told the Times. "President Karzai has never announced that NATO will lose, but the way that he does not proudly own the campaign shows that he doesn't trust it is working."
June 13, 2010: The New York Times reports that the U.S. military has "discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan," in a story that U.S. officials cooperated with. The story contained little new information about Afghanistan's deposits, which Karzai himself had claimed to be worth between $1 trillion and $3 trillion in February; it is widely viewed as a transparent attempt by the U.S. to fight back against the growing tide of negative press.
June 16, 2010: WikiLeaks announces that it will soon release leaked military video of a U.S. gunship attack near Garani, Afghanistan, that killed nearly 150 civilians, including women and children, in May 2009.
June 22, 2010: A congressional report finds that the U.S. is paying millions of dollars in protection money to Afghan warlords — and potentially to the Taliban — to provide security for convoys. The U.S. practice of outsourcing supply transports has "fueled a vast protection racket run by a shadowy network of warlords, strongmen, commanders, corrupt Afghan officials," and provided "a significant potential source of funding for the Taliban," the report said.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 8:56 PM
General Stanley McChrystal will have a chance to explain his side of the controversial Rolling Stone story when he meets with President Obama in the White House on Tuesday.
McChrystal sliced and diced Obama and the rest of the Obama administration on their conduct of the Afghanistan war.
In this video, CBS anchor Katie Couric offers her comments on the controversial subject.
TURN UP YOUR SOUND
CLICK ON LINK AND DIAMOND SHAPED ARROW TO PLAY VIDEO
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 8:38 PM
General Stanley McChrystal, head of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, has found himself in a world of trouble for remarks he made in Rolling Stone magazine about President Obama and his administration and the way they are conducting the Afghanistan war.
It is a foregone conclusion that FOX NEWS and RUSH LIMBAUGH will seize this opportunity to further blast President Obama and his lack of knowledge on military matters.
In our opinion, FOX NEWS and RUSH LIMBAUGH are the last people on earth who should express any opinion on this controversial matter.
You could count on one hand the number of people who work for FOX NEWS who have ever served in the military, and NONE of the networks prime time anchors have ever served a day in the uniform of this country.
Their opinion is totally worthless.
RUSH LIMBAUGH is another person who should keep his yap shut when it comes to commenting on the Obama/McChrystal dustup.
LIMBAUGH used a boil on his ass to avoid being drafted during the Vietnam War.
My tip to my blog readers is avoid at all costs watching FOX NEWS or listening to RUSH LIMBAUGH because what they have to say doesn't amount to a hill of beans.
Comment by Bill Corcoran, editor, CORKSPHERE, Fmr. Cpl (E-4) United States Army Combat Engineers.
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 10:57 AM
General Stanley McChrystal, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, has been ordered to the White House to meet with President Obama over remarks McChrystal made in an upcoming Rolling Stone interview that were critical of Obama and his administration.
Click on link below for a slide show of Obama and McChrystal in a past meeting and what has Obama so upset now.
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 10:41 AM
Furious Obama summons McChrystal to D.C. to explain slams at superiors
By: Gordon LuboldJune 22, 2010 07:25 AM EDT
The top commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, has been summoned to the White House to explain biting and unflattering remarks he made to a freelance writer about President Barack Obama and others in the Obama administration.
The face-to-face comes as pundits are already calling for McChrystal to resign for insubordination.
McChrystal has been instructed to fly from Kabul to Washington today to attend Obama’s regular monthly security team meeting tomorrow at the White House.
An administration official says McChrystal was asked to attend in person rather than by secure video teleconference, “where he will have to explain to the Pentagon and the commander in chief his quotes about his colleagues in the piece.”
Both Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have spoken with McChrystal. Capt. John Kirby, a spokesman for Mullen, said “the chairman spoke to General McChrystal last night and expressed his deep disappointment with the article and with the comments expressed therein.”
McChrystal and his top aides appeared to let their guard down during a series of interviews and visits with Michael Hastings, a freelance writer for the magazine Rolling Stone. The article, titled “The Runaway General,” appears in the magazine later this week.
It contains a number of jabs by McChrystal and his staff aimed not only at the President but at Vice President Biden, special envoy Richard Holbrooke, Karl Eikenberry, the ambassador to Afghanistan, and others.
McChrystal described his first meeting with Obama as disappointing and said that Obama was unprepared for the meeting. National Security Advisor Jim Jones is described by a McChrystal aide as a “clown” stuck in 1985.
Read full story here: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0610/38837.html
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 7:41 AM