Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Obama’s McChrystal Problem

General Stanley McCrystal, America’s top commander in Afghanistan, came under fire today for interviews given to Rolling Stone magazine. In the interview, some of Gen McCrystal's aides questioned the competency of President Obama and other members of his administration for their handling of the war. There’s already preliminary reports this evening that the general has tended his resignation.

Mr Obama’s only comments so far are that the general used very poor judgment and he would not make a decision before speaking with the general. Now, all of the comments from the interview that I’ve read so far appear to be true, but perhaps he could have picked a better venue than the ultra-liberal anti-troop magazine to deliver them. Mr Obama campaigned on the platform that Iraq was the bad war, but Afghanistan was the real war. He then spent several months reviewing his strategy while the troops waited. He claimed that he was involved daily, but only brought the general to the White House for a 10-minute photo-op after four months. This eerily reminds us of his performance with the gulf oil spill, claiming he was involved from day one, then finally inviting the head of BP for a 20-minute photo-op two months later before heading once again to the golf course.

So, the question is, should Mr Obama accept this resignation or fire the general. This could prove to be a dilemma for Mr Obama since the answer is not so clear as it first appears. First, Gen McCrystal voted for Mr Obama (another case of poor judgment), and Mr Obama hand-picked Gen McCrystal before taking the very unusual step of relieving his predecessor in the middle of the Afghan campaign, a move defense officials at the time compared to President Harry Truman's firing of Gen Douglas MacArthur during the Korean War. This fact will make it more difficult for Mr Obama to execute his usual BEOB (blame everything on Bush) strategy regarding this incident.

Next Gen McCrystal is very popular with Afghan President Karzai and many other allies. In addition, relieving the general would certainly delay the rush to Kandahar, made necessary by Mr Obama’s artificial deadline for withdrawal that he has promised to his far-left base. Finally, the dismissal of the general would not solve any of the internal problems among Mr Obama's team that was mentioned in the interview, but only continue to cover them up. Gen McCrystal's motive for the interview remains unclear. He was undoubtedly frustrated with being forced to fight with one hand tied behind his back, but was he a loose cannon, or did he voluntarily "fall on his sword", possibly sacrificing his job for the benefit of his troops? Tomorrow should prove very interesting indeed.

As always, we remind our readers to continue to pray for our troops. I often speak with other marine parents, and there is much visible frustration among our troops due to lack of a clear strategy. Yet, these brave men and women continue to do their jobs in order to protect our freedoms.

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