Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The President Gets It Right UPDATE

Light blogging while I am away on business travel. From my perspective as a retired officer in the Navy, I believe that the President was right to relieve General McChrystal of his duties. There are many reasons already provided in other articles, but I offer one that was used many times during the relief of commanding officers when no one specific thing was egregiously wrong but too many things weren't right in the command; the superior officer had lost faith and confidence in the ability of the officer to command. Given the command climate that prevailed under McChrystal, the President could not really have faith that his policies on the conduct of the war were being implemented as intended. I give the President high marks for the manner in which he handled the issue, this statement gets it exactly right:

"The conduct represented in the recently published article does not meet the standard that should be set by a commanding general," the president said. "It undermines the civilian control of the military that is at the core of our democratic system."
Make no mistake, General McChrystal is a great American, whose efforts have made the United States Army a much more capable organization at fighting insurgencies, but that does not relieve him of responsibilities as Commanding General.

We can now return to our normal bashing of Obamacare and other examples of failed economic policies of justicialism. But I just want to say that I am proud to be an American for this reason as much as any other; the immediate reaction to this whole incident shows how ingrained is our belief in civilian control of the military, that even McChrystal knew he had made a mistake and immediately apologized and indeed, offered to resign.


Link provided to excellent, as always, in-depth analyses of the situation from Information Dissemination. Their blog is a must read for analysis of military, primarily naval issues. Gahlran does not give as much credit to Obama as I did, but concurs about the need for the firing itself. The money paragraph:

I find it very disturbing how little depth our nation has in the bullpen when the President has to demote our most decorated military leader of this generation - General Petraeus - in order to find someone willing and able to execute the existing administration policy for Afghanistan and simultaneously save political face for the Commander in Chief in the midst of a civil - military relations crisis. How effective is the policy itself when the President must borrow the prestige and respect of the nations finest General in order to reclaim civilian control? Color me concerned.
Exactly, the President's Afghanistan policy is not getting the job done. Secretary Gates may be the architect, but it is still the President's. Hopefully, an unexpected benefit of this brouhaha will be a reevaluation of the path ahead.


  1. It also showed some decisiveness and guts. He didn't take time to think about it for a week and releived a general knowing he may go on the Sunday morning talk shows or write a book.

    I thought it ironic; however, that his "brilliant" replacement was the author of "the failed surge in Iraq" General Betray-us, the lying Bush whipping boy. It seems like just yesterday General Petraeus was the personification of all that was evil in the Bush administration.

    Irony aside, it was a good move.

  2. Dawg, agree with all. Thanks for commenting.