I told Walter Cronkite the Vietnam war would never end until we were gone and the two sides, north and south, decided the outcome between themselves. I was proved right then, and I believe it would be true today in Afghanistan.
We will see no frowns when the SASC considers the Petraeus nomination. The committee's most recent hearing with the general was attended by politicians supplicating him to offer any response he might care to. It wasn't oversight; it was bad theater.
I have to admit the impermissible: Barack Obama's name and race were factors that helped attract me to his candidacy. To have a thoughtful, measur...
One of the strangest things about the coverage of the Stanley McChrystal embarrassment has been the cluelessness of the media.
Stanley McChrystal, As hot as a pistol, As tough as old leather -- As dumb as a post.
This episode threatens to prolong this pointless war unless Petraeus unequivocally sticks to the departure plan. Already, in remarks to reporters, I am hearing wiggle room.
No matter what you think of Gen. McChrystal after the Rolling Stone article and the fiasco that ensued, he knew how to work in Afghanistan. Here are a few things he got right.
What is baffling is that McChrystal didn't provide one substantive reason for his contempt of civilian leadership and, if anything, it's we who should have contempt for Obama for trusting McChrystal in the first place.
We only got to read about McChrystal & Co's imprudence because the RS reporter was a freelancer, not a Pentagon beat reporter desirous of maintaining his relationship with an important source.
Obama has stated on the record that replacing a general with another general does not mean a change in strategy. Is there a strategy? Yes -- infinite war; but the Pentagon won't allow that to be spelled out.
President Obama and the U.S. people haven't faced up to the ugly truth that, in Afghanistan, the U.S. has routinely committed atrocities against innocent civilians. By ducking that truth, the U.S. reinforces a sense of exceptionalism.
No matter his diplomatic wrongs, there is one piece of him we need to keep in Afghanistan: his emphasis on civilian protection.
If getting American troops out of Afghanistan in the shortest feasible time is still the president's aim, I don't think he can expect much support from the new man he's put in charge there, Gen. David Petraeus.
Over the past couple of decades, power brokers within the military increasingly have been subverting established official procedures, bucking authority, and exploiting ambiguity.
Obama had something much more conventional in mind: Nation-building, like we tried in Vietnam, cast in the guise of counter-insurgency. McChrystal embraced it. Who knows what he really thought?
A cast change may not be enough when the real problem is with the material. ...