Wednesday, June 23, 2010

McChyrstal and an Exit Plan

First, there's no doubt the General should be fired. Obama is the Commander in Chief, in the United States of America our military is under civilian control. If McChrystal stays that undermines the President's authority on all military matters from now until the end of his Presidency. This goes beyond the usual Beltway concerns about "looking tough" or firing some underling for a minor transgression. This is a case of a military commander directly subverting his Commander in Chief. Think of it like this, would McChrsytal tolerate one of his subordinates publicly trashing him and his staff? This is a command and control issue.

This from Peter Bienart (courtesy Atrios) tracks my thoughts on the opportunity that McChrystal situation presents pretty well. Replacing McChrystal is a chance to change course and get the hell out of Afghanistan.

update: Sir Charles is, as always, far more eloquent than I...

First on the opportunity to get us the hell out,
So Obama should look for the general who is least enthusiastic about the mission, someone with no faith in counterinsurgency strategy (and there are many of them in the Army), who desperately wants to get the troops out as fast as possible. That's your guy.

And on the need to fire,
I only disagree about the insubordination not being a sufficient point to fire this asshole. Sometimes, in fact, showing everyone who has the biggest metaphorical dick is actually important, and when the issue is over who has control of the military, it's, pardon the pun, no small thing.

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