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  • #91
    Of many things I cannot be sure.But of a few I can.One of them is that truth on this matter won't be heard straightforward.It will take time and only due some circumstantial evidences.
    The second is that a staff of that caliber doesn't make childish mistakes with the press.Also I wouldn't accuse to quickly McChrystal's team of being disloyal to the boss.They were handpicked veterans of the last decade.
    The third is that if David Killculen is right this is only a confirmation of what the RS article already said.There is a serious rift between those on the ground(guys I would trust to know where the war is going) and the politicians back home.And I doubt the fault lies with those on the ground.How Petraeus can solve this(if he can solve it) remains to be seen.
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

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    • #92
      Originally posted by Mihais View Post
      Of many things I cannot be sure.But of a few I can.One of them is that truth on this matter won't be heard straightforward.It will take time and only due some circumstantial evidences.
      The second is that a staff of that caliber doesn't make childish mistakes with the press.Also I wouldn't accuse to quickly McChrystal's team of being disloyal to the boss.They were handpicked veterans of the last decade.
      The third is that if David Killculen is right this is only a confirmation of what the RS article already said.There is a serious rift between those on the ground(guys I would trust to know where the war is going) and the politicians back home.And I doubt the fault lies with those on the ground.How Petraeus can solve this(if he can solve it) remains to be seen.
      No one doubts the loyalty of McCrystal's staff, just their instincts.

      Further there was no disagreement with the president's policy. In fact McChrystal practically wrote the policy.

      The jibe at VP Biden harked back to the debate the president had among his advisers last year over what the policy in Afghanistan would be. Biden disagreed with McCrystal and lost.

      There is nothing for Patraeus to solve policy-wise, just operationally, which is no different than what McChrystal was facing. And it may be easier for him as he gets along well with the US Ambassador .
      To be Truly ignorant, Man requires an Education - Plato

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      • #93
        Mihais Reply

        "One of them is that truth on this matter won't be heard straightforward.It will take time and only due some circumstantial evidences."

        I agree.

        "The second is that a staff of that caliber doesn't make childish mistakes with the press."

        Then you believe it either wasn't a mistake or, otherwise put, a calculated mistake.

        "Also I wouldn't accuse to quickly McChrystal's team of being disloyal to the boss.They were handpicked veterans of the last decade."

        Refer to your comments on the second point. McClellan to MacArthur, the Mc/Macs have a way despite seasoned veteran status. All those men love their country but please don't confuse that with an obligation to both publically support their president and others in the chain-of-command while avoiding denigration of the same privately.

        "The third is that if David Killculen is right ...There is a serious rift between those on the ground(guys I would trust to know where the war is going) and the politicians back home."

        Wars are fought on many fronts. These officers might not be the first to lose sight of the forest for the trees.
        "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
        "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

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        • #94
          Originally posted by JAD_333 View Post
          I believe they were civilians when they when they spoke out.

          After WWII Gen Patton was reprimanded for criticizing policy. During the Korean conflict MacArthur was relieved for openly disagreeing with the president's policy and lobbying Congress on his own behalf.

          In a more serious case of blatant policy disagreement, in 1990 VP Cheney fired General Michael J. Dugan, Air Force chief of staff. The interesting thing in this case is Dugan was higher up in the chain of command than McCrystal, yet he was fired not by the president, but by the SecDef.
          That was the one I was trying to think of. Thanks. Wonder what the reaction would have been here if Gates had been left to pull the trigger?
          sigpic

          Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C

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          • #95
            Originally posted by S-2 View Post
            Refer to your comments on the second point. McClellan to MacArthur, the Mc/Macs have a way despite seasoned veteran status. All those men love their country but please don't confuse that with an obligation to both publically support their president and others in the chain-of-command while avoiding denigration of the same privately.
            ...
            Wars are fought on many fronts. These officers might not be the first to lose sight of the forest for the trees.
            Sir,I'm not expecting people to get along on personal level.It's preferable,but not a must be.Getting along at institutional level is,however,a must.In this case :a.either the institutional relation did not worked for real( smokescreen for the public aside) or b. the President cared for personal feelings more than he cared about institutional relations between the policymakers and the military.
            If a. is correct than what you are saying for 2 years is correct&will soon prove to be right.It also means that Gen. McChrystal's plan was adopted by the political establishment as a means to save face and not as a real solution to the problem.No alternative was offered by somebody else,AFAIK.
            If b. is correct,than you better remove the Pres. from the office.He's a danger.He puts personal interests before public ones.Impeach him,because he is unfit for command.Btw,if Zraver is correct and he did this for internal policy only,you should also impeach him.He deliberately disrupted the war effort,which in my book(as a simple minded fellow) reads as treason.
            Last edited by Mihais; 27 Jun 10,, 10:50.
            Those who know don't speak
            He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

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            • #96
              Originally posted by S-2 View Post
              I'd love Cohen's view right about now. This book deserves a re-read-

              Supreme Command: Soldiers, Statesmen, and Leadership In Wartime
              Eliot A. Cohen: Why Gen. Stanley McChrystal Has to Go - WSJ.com
              "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

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              • #97
                Originally posted by Bigfella View Post
                That was the one I was trying to think of. Thanks. Wonder what the reaction would have been here if Gates had been left to pull the trigger?
                I have a hunch Obama decided he'd be the one to pull the trigger on McChrystal to enhance his image of being in charge. Gates could have been the one, and a dime will get you a dollar he initially expected he would be the one. As Rahm Emanuel, Obama's chief of staff is fond of saying: never let a good crisis go to waste.
                To be Truly ignorant, Man requires an Education - Plato

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                • #98
                  Shek Reply

                  WSJ didn't waste any time approaching Cohen. I'm dismayed that it took me so long to consider his perspective. Grateful, though, that you took it beyond idle wonder and found his commentary.

                  "There are two lessons here. For Mr. Obama it is the imperative of taking charge of this war and owning it—reshaping the team waging it, and communicating a resolve that, alas, one doubts he actually feels. Failing that, he owes it to the soldiers and civilians we have sent there to liquidate the war and accept the consequences for our country and the region..."

                  This lesson drawn by Cohen suggests it took a monstrous breach of military decorum to shine a light upon this administration's own ambivalence and ineptitude. I'm heartened to see that Cohen views choices in as stark terms as I. I don't blame Obama for what he found in January 2009 but he bears all responsibility for what's ensued since. Self-evident, I suppose. Afterall, he IS the commander-in-chief-where the buck always stops.

                  Zraver felt Obama took too much time last fall. You pointed out, probably accurately, that troop deployments wouldn't have been driven by a faster decision. Cohen, though, points out that allowing such a stew to simmer for so long ran the risk that the pot would boil over with dissension among highly-competitive entities.

                  "...For the rest of us, there is a lesson about re-establishing fundamental norms of civilian-military relations. For years both political parties have used generals as props. Democrats cheered when disgruntled generals snarled at Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Republicans, to their equal discredit, played up military disquiet with President Bill Clinton and may do so again in this case."

                  Everybody likes their views supported by those whom are powerful. It's a shame, though, when one doesn't recognize this encouragement might only serve as a foil to larger machinations. Lot of political minefields out there for military officers failing to recognize and accept which master they'll always be expected to serve.

                  Running point on patrol is probably never fun. If required, at least it should further the interests of the chain-of-command. From matters of procurement and policy to that of strategy it's probably not any officer's responsibility to move the civil-politico discussion in one direction or another but to simply lay the facts as seen on the table and render advice as required.
                  "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
                  "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

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                  • #99
                    I hope it was simply ineptitude on McChrystals part. The idea that he was deliberately throwing himself on his sword to highlight the administrations shortcomings would mean a far greater problem of the military's involvement in politics.
                    In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility.

                    Leibniz

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                    • Here in Israel, most of our high Generals and the Chief of the Joint Chiefs enter politics almost as a matter of course.

                      Any soldier still in the service, especially in uniform is not allowed to identify with any sort of political statement, not even to put a bumper sticker on a car or even walk by a protest or rally in uniform.

                      The Chief of the Joint Chiefs has a mandatory 4 year cooling period from the time he finishes his job in the army until he's allowed to enter politics.
                      Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

                      Abusing Yellow is meant to be a labor of love, not something you sell to the highest bidder.

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                      • Originally posted by JAD_333 View Post
                        I have a hunch Obama decided he'd be the one to pull the trigger on McChrystal to enhance his image of being in charge. Gates could have been the one, and a dime will get you a dollar he initially expected he would be the one. As Rahm Emanuel, Obama's chief of staff is fond of saying: never let a good crisis go to waste.
                        Well...that's one way of looking at it. Another is that McChrystal was very publically 'Obama's man' (in terms of the appointment, not his conduct) and the reason for his sacking was (in significant part) disrespect for the C in C. Thus Obama dealing with it directly made a certain sort of sense.

                        I also have a strong suspicion that if he had left it to Gates it would have raised complaints of 'dodging responsibilities'.
                        sigpic

                        Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C

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                        • Originally posted by Parihaka View Post
                          I hope it was simply ineptitude on McChrystals part. The idea that he was deliberately throwing himself on his sword to highlight the administrations shortcomings would mean a far greater problem of the military's involvement in politics.
                          If this was some sort of critique of the Admin's failures then it redfines 'oblique'. I'd love to know what point or points he was making (really, I'm interested).
                          sigpic

                          Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C

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                          • Cashiered general tells Army he'll retire - Yahoo! News

                            Cashiered general tells Army he'll retire

                            WASHINGTON – Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who was fired last week as the top U.S. general in the stalemated Afghanistan war, told the Army on Monday that he will retire.

                            Army spokesman Col. Tom Collins said McChrystal, 55, notified the service of his plans, but he has not yet submitted formal retirement papers. It is not clear when he will leave the service, but the process usually take a few months.

                            In announcing McChrystal's ouster on Wednesday, President Barack Obama praised his long Army career but said his intemperate remarks in a magazine article that appeared last week could not be abided.

                            McChrystal apologized for the remarks in Rolling Stone magazine and flew to Washington last week to resign as commanding general of the war.

                            The Army has been McChrystal's only career.

                            McChrystal was promoted to the selective and coveted rank of four-star general last year. It is not clear whether McChrystal will be able to retain that rank in retirement. Under Army rules, generals need to serve three years as a four-star officer to retain that rank, with its prestige and retirement benefits.

                            The secretary of the Army can allow officers with as little as two years of service to keep their retirement rank, Collins said.

                            Three military and defense officials in Washington said Obama may use his power as commander in chief to allow McChrystal to keep all four stars. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because McChrystal has not yet submitted his paperwork.

                            McChrystal was the Pentagon's choice to run the war following a year of Taliban advances in 2008 and early 2009. He replaced Gen. David McKiernan, also a four-star Army general, after McKiernan was fired for failing to apply the counterinsurgency strategy McChrystal represented. McKiernan retired from the Army almost immediately.

                            The Senate Armed Service Committee will hold a confirmation hearing Tuesday for Gen. David Petraeus, nominated to succeed McChrystal as the top U.S. and NATO general in Kabul.
                            Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

                            Abusing Yellow is meant to be a labor of love, not something you sell to the highest bidder.

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                            • No cold shoulder to media after McChrystal episode: Pentagon
                              By Dan De Luce (AFP) 1 hour ago

                              WASHINGTON The Pentagon on Wednesday said it had no plans to shun reporters despite the fallout from a magazine article that led to the sacking of the Afghan war commander.

                              "We have no intention of any iron curtain falling between the military and the press. And particularly when it comes to Afghanistan, we believe... the opposite is necessary," said Douglas Wilson, assistant secretary of defense for public affairs.

                              "We are going to do everything possible to dissuade folks of that notion," he told reporters.

                              US General Stanley McChrystal was swiftly relieved of his command in Kabul last week after he and his aides showed disdain for administration officials -- and President Barack Obama -- in a Rolling Stone magazine profile.

                              The episode has set off an impassioned online debate about military-media relations and prompted predictions of a chilling effect for news coverage of the war and the Pentagon.

                              But Wilson said the Rolling Stone article had "reinforced" an approach already under discussion to ensure a more steady flow of information about the war effort in Afghanistan to journalists in Washington.

                              "We think it's more important than ever to provide members of the media with a systematic, regular set of briefings on what is going on over there," said Wilson, saying the briefings had been sporadic.


                              The uproar over the Rolling Stone bombshell has caused Pentagon leaders to take a close look at how the military handles the media, as the department had increasingly empowered commands in Kabul and Baghdad to speak directly to reporters and release information about operations.

                              Defense Secretary Robert Gates said last week the department needed to exercise more "discipline" and improve its work with the media.

                              "I think that people clearly need to make smart decisions about how they engage, the circumstances in which they engage, what they talk about," Gates told a news conference after McChrystal's removal.

                              "And there is, in my view, a need for greater discipline in this process on our part," he said.

                              But Gates did not pin any blame on the media for McChrystal's departure, and said that he had always told his staff not to view the press as "the enemy."

                              Before the magazine piece last week, defense officials voiced some frustration with media coverage of the campaign in Afghanistan, saying it offered an overly pessimistic picture of the war.

                              Wilson said Pentagon officials had no advance warning about the Rolling Stone article, and he suggested the military might be less enthusiastic about profiles of top figures in the future.

                              "People wondered why there was a focus on profiles when the focus ought to be on what's going on in the field, the policy, how it was being implemented, what was happening. I think there is a renewed emphasis now on the latter."

                              Wilson made a joking reference to the magazine profile, which described McChrystal's aides getting drunk at an Irish bar in Paris.

                              "I'm not going to join you at any bars in Paris in the near future," he said, "unless you're buying."
                              In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility.

                              Leibniz

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