General McChrystal knew that you stop insurgent threats through good intelligence and trust among the community. It only takes one night raid to undermine years of tactical restraint and goodwill-building measures.
The digital age and the internet has further limited what a public figure should and should not say. But that does not change the first commandment of all public dialogue: you are never off the record!
President Barack Obama did the right thing in firing General Stanley McChrystal. Now, he should direct the armed forces to take the measures needed to leave Afghanistan by the end of this year.
According to Lara Logan, embedded journalists in Afghanistan have apparently been systemically engaged in a journalistic cover-up in their reporting on the longest war in U.S. history.
It's truly bizarre how many in Washington are describing the situation in Afghanistan accurately, but then fail to draw the most obvious conclusion based on what they've just said.
Militarizing the presidency obviously undermines the principle of civilian control, which the McChrystal kerfuffle brought to the forefront.
Petraeus's declaration that he wasn't putting much stock in the president's intending to hold the military command accountable for its failure in Afghanistan earned him an instant rebuke. Now, that same Petraeus is in charge.
In light of the recent firing/resigning of General McChrystal, the U.S. should take up the reconsidering of our unadulterated trust in Generals.
Gallup 6/25-26/10; 1,044 adults, 4% margin of error Mode: Automated phone (Gallup release) Update: Obama on Afghanistan National Obama Handling of A...
This year alone, American taxpayers will spend $100 billion on our involvement in Afghanistan -- roughly five times more than Afghanistan's GDP. Yet this is a conflict which still has no clear definition of success.
In his 2005 suicide note, Army colonel and ethicist named Ted Westhusing mentioned "commanders only interested in themselves." One of those commanders was David Petraeus.
Gratitude is a dying virtue in American society. We continue to live free only because of our brave military, yet most Americans offer empty words of support to our troops that are rarely backed by tangible action.
The real question raised by Michael Hastings' Rolling Stone piece is this: where were the beat reporters covering McCrystal's HQ? If the general and his merry men conducted themselves so unprofessionally, why hadn't the press reported it earlier?
Here's a loose-lipped playlist for Stan the Man, a dude with a big ego and a very mixed record who finally accomplished the impossible -- actually stealing some of the cultural spotlight away from Lady GaGa.
A rolling stone gathers no moss, and this week a loose-tongued General got steamrolled by a paper one. President Obama did the right thing in canning McChrystal. But his appointment of David Petraeus bodes very badly for the July 2011 withdrawal start date. Last week, Petraeus hinted as much, telling Congress he would recommend delaying the withdrawal if conditions in Afghanistan didn't improve (and is there anyone left who thinks they will?). Petraeus Ex Machina got the president's backing: "We didn't say we'd be switching off the lights and closing the door behind us," the commander-in-chief told the nation. Something tells me that Obama - McChrystal + Petraeus = upping the ante in Afghanistan. We need to change the equation.
Michael Hastings has done us a great service. Thanks to his reporting in Rolling Stone, the architect of a failed, vicious war policy is out the door, and Americans are paying attention.