Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fire General McChrystal

Is President Obama an incompetent amateur with an administration full of second-rate appointees? Yes. But I'm saying that as an unknown blogger. I don't work for the government, and I'm not commanding the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan. Regardless of what you think about the Obama administration, the comments by General Stanley McChrystal and his staff are way out of line, a clear case of insubordination and attempting to undermine the civilian leadership. That type of behavior should not be tolerated from someone in his position. It's an embarrassment not only to the administration, but to the U.S. as a whole. It exposes the dissension within the ranks of our leaders to our enemies, and it's completely unnecessary.

General McChrystal is well-aware that he went way over the line, but he did it deliberately. His apology is not enough. President Obama needs to exercise some actual leadership for a change, and fire the general. Is it any wonder that we constantly have secret information leaking to the press, when even a high-ranking general like McChrystal thinks he can talk to reporters with impunity? We don't need generals who can't keep their mouths shut. If McChrystal wanted to criticize the administration, he should have done the honorable thing and resigned. But he'd rather have it both ways -- keep his job, and undermine those who are above him through the press.

Relieving McChrystal of command will be difficult. It will free him to launch even nastier and more embarrassing public criticism of the administration, and will be used as an issue against the president. Most likely it will cause at least some disruption in our war efforts in Afghanistan, as a new command team takes charge. But the president should do it anyway. 


  1. I disagree. McChrystal is able to have his own opinions. His main fault was talking to Rolling Stone.

    Biden's been throwing his weight around like he's an expert when he likes to talk big without knowing too much.

  2. He can have all the opinions he wants. But he can't talk to the press in such a way. And he knows that. You don't rise to his rank without having political awareness and an understanding of what is and is not acceptable. It doesn't matter that Joe Biden is a complete buffoon. He's still the VP.

    It doesn't matter if everything McChrystal said is true. As a military officer, you aren't allowed to direct that sort of public criticism toward your civilian superiors, let alone permit your staff to do the same.

  3. Saw this over at the Market Ticker:

    "Among other things it's a raw violation of Article 88 of the UCMJ:"

    “Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.”

    As much as I despise the current administration, it appears McChrystal crossed the line on this one.