More at The Washington Post.
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, June 24, 2010 -- President Barack Obama's nominee for the top U.S. Joint Forces Command post said today he will utilize the lessons he has learned during three combat command tours in Iraq if he is confirmed to lead the nation's joint force provider.
During his confirmation hearing at the Senate Armed Services Committee, Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno explained the approach he would take at the Norfolk, Va.-based command.
Odierno, commander of U.S. Forces Iraq, also has served as commander Multinational Corps Iraq and was the commander of the 4th Infantry Division during the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
"My first priority will be to support all of our combatant commanders and prepare our U.S. joint interagency team to meet the needs of this evolutionary and complex environment in which we must continue to operate, and not only operate, but succeed," the general said. "I will never forget my responsibilities to ensure our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, as well as our dedicated families, are prepared and ready to take on all of the challenges ahead."
Continue on for the rest of the story...
While participating in a Commander's briefing in March this year at the Tactical Operations Centres (TOC) on a US military Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Afghanistan, the XO prepared the military staff before they gave their presentations by saying "be brief, be bold and be gone." So given five minutes with General Petraeus it would certainly be bold of a little Australian to give this highly intelligent, supreme commander of Coalition forces in the Middle East any advice at all. In 1991 Petraeus was accidently shot in the chest at Fort Campbell while observing a training exercise. The M16 bullet pierced his lung and artery. A week after the operation Petraeus proved to the doctor he was fit to be dismissed by doing 50 push-ups in his hospital room. He is one tough soldier as well.
We know that General Petraeus is not averse to taking advice from Australians, so here are some ideas from one who has been on the ground in Afghanistan for the last eight months. The advice is from raw and at times life-threatening situations at a level that many of the coalition soldiers don't get to experience. As the Regional Manager for a USAID implementing partner responsible for overseeing a key plank of counterinsurgency strategy I witnessed many facets of military operations, the impact on Afghan people, the attitude of the Taliban, the intricate web of tribal relationships and deep ethnic divisions, poverty and of course the omnipresence of Islam.
My brief advice would be to suggest five changes that may help turn the tide in Afghanistan -- but they require a paradigm shift in how our political leaders decide troops should engage and how aid organisations and civilian policy makers place moral judgements on development.
More at The New York Daily News.
President Obama's Statement
Today I accepted General Stanley McChrystal's resignation as commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. I did so with considerable regret, but also with certainty that it is the right thing for our mission in Afghanistan, for our military and for our country.
I'm also pleased to nominate General David Petraeus to take command in Afghanistan, which will allow us to maintain the momentum and leadership that we need to succeed.
I don't make this decision based on any difference in policy with General McChrystal, as we are in full agreement — (audio break) — strategy, nor do make this decision out of any sense of personal insult. Stan McChrystal has always shown great courtesy and carried out my orders faithfully. I've got great admiration for him and for his long record of service in uniform. Over the last nine years, with America fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, he has earned a reputation as one of our nation's finest soldiers. That reputation is founded upon his extraordinary dedication, his deep intelligence and his love of country. I relied on his service, particularly in helping to design and lead our new strategy in Afghanistan. So all Americans should be grateful for General McChrystal's remarkable career in uniform.
But war is bigger than any one man or woman, whether a private, a general or a president...
-- President Obama - New York Times Transcript
This morning the President accepted my resignation as Commander of U.S. and NATO Coalition Forces in Afghanistan. I strongly support the President's strategy in Afghanistan and am deeply committed to our coalition forces, our partner nations, and the Afghan people. It was out of respect for this commitment — and a desire to see the mission succeed — that I tendered my resignation.
It has been my privilege and honor to lead our nation's finest.
-- General McChrystal - New York Times Transcript
Continue on for news, transcripts and opinions...
More at The Los Angeles Times.
More at PSYOP Regimental Blog.
Interesting if predictable developments today with GEN McChrystal being relieved
by President Obama. Er, I'm sorry, resigning. And certainly an
interesting move with GEN Petraeus being promoted, er, demoted, er,
reasssigned - yeah, that's it, reassigned. That strikes me as a wise move,
all the more so because of the explicit statement that the rest of the CENTCOM job
will not be his, too. It's not like that's an easy enough job alone and we
need to get more mileage out of that particular 4 star billet.
I also think the fairly short press statement today was delivered fairly well
by President Obama. I'm sorry, he just looked so whiny and bureaucratic doing
his Gulf "War" address, particularly in Jon Stewart's
commission accomplished send up, that I was very anxious about today.
But the emphasis in today's address on the assertion of civilian control over
the military struck me as very ironic in this particular time and in this particular
war. One of the key thrusts of the
Rolling Stone article
is the issue of who is really in control of the civilian side of things -- who was
GEN McChrystal's counterpart, and was there coherent execution there?
Obama's choice of Petraeus is thus surprising but understandable. Petraeus has not had a command in Afghanistan but is known to Hamid Karzai and other Afghan leaders. Back in Washington, Petraeus should get a quick confirmation by the Senate and likely without a major Senate review of Afghan policy, something the White House staff is eager to avoid.
Assuming that Petraeus retains his very full-time job at Centcom, the de facto replacement for McChrystal is actually Lt Gen David Rodriguez, the corps commander in Afghanistan. As long as Petraeus remains at Centcom, he will have to tend to the many relationships the Centcom boss has with foreign leaders, which extend from Egypt to Pakistan. Since foreign leaders want to deal with the top man, he cannot delegate this critical diplomacy to a deputy. In addition, he is responsible for supervision of the Iraq endgame, deterrence and contingency planning for Iran, and supervising the region's air and naval strategies. All more than a full-time job.
So what can we expect Petraeus to do about Afghanistan? He will have to sort through McChrystal's staff, no doubt replacing several of its members. He will have to re-establish troubled relationships with the White House staff, the embassy, the State Department, USAID, and other agencies. And he will have to reassure Karzai and other Afghan leaders and other members of the coalition. After an initial burst of attention, we should expect Petraeus to hand much of this work over to Rodriguez, assuming of course that Petraeus retains his Centcom position.
Obama chose Petraeus because of Petraeus's great prestige and his polished temperament. Unfortunately for Petraeus, the Afghan mission is just as intractable today as it was yesterday. The Taliban, the biggest winners from this episode, will hardly care about today's change and have no reason to change their successful tactics. General Petraeus will soon face his toughest challenge.
The Associated Press is reporting that President Obama has decided to relieve General McChrystal. He is to be replaced by General David Petraeus, currently the Commander of U.S. Central Command.
WTOP Radio announced that President Obama will make a statement regarding General McChrystal at 1330 (EST) today. WTOP Radio will be broadcasting the statement live and the statement can be listened to via the Internet at the link.
The Associated Press reports Afghanistan war commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal privately discussed his blistering interview with President Barack Obama Wednesday, but his fate remained unknown as a formal White House war session got under way as planned.
McChrystal was seen leaving the West Wing and climbing into a van after his nearly half-hour showdown with the president. McChrystal had met earlier in the morning at the Pentagon with Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Adm. Mike Mullen...
The general was not seen returning to the White House for the Afghanistan strategy session, as he has been expected...
Military Blogs Ask: Should He Stay or Go? - New York Times
Should McChrystal be Fired? Pundits Weigh In - CBS News
The Replacements: 5 McChrystal Successors - The Daily Beast
Commanders-in-Waiting Line Up to Await McChrystal's Fate - FOX News
President Barack Obama meets Wednesday with his top commander in Afghanistan, whose job is on the line after he made disparaging remarks about administration officials in a published interview.
The head-to-head meeting between Obama and Gen. Stanley McChrystal is expected to take place before the president's regular monthly war meeting with his entire national security team.
Via the White House Office of the Press Secretary:
In the morning, the President will meet with his national security team on Afghanistan and Pakistan in the Situation Room. This meeting is closed press. Expected attendees include:
Vice President Joe Biden
Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State
Timothy Geithner, Secretary of the Treasury
Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense
Rahm Emanuel, Chief of Staff
General James Jones, National Security Advisor
Tom Donilon, Deputy National Security Advisor
John Brennan, Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor
Ambassador Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
David Gompert, Acting Director of National Intelligence
Leon Panetta, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
Rajiv Shah, Administrator, USAID
James Steinberg, Deputy Secretary of State
Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
General James Cartwright, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan
Doug Lute, Coordinator for Afghanistan and Pakistan
John Tien, Senior Director for Afghanistan and Pakistan
General David Petraeus, U.S. Central Command
General Stanley McChrystal, Commander, International Security Assistance Force and Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan
Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan (via videoconference)
Ambassador Anne Patterson, U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan (via videoconference)
The Runaway General - Michael Hastings, Rolling Stone
How 'Rolling Stone' Got Into McChrystal's Inner Circle - Newsweek
What Happened in Paris... - Foreign Policy
McChrystal's Fate in Limbo as Obama Cites Poor Judgment - New York Times
President Obama's top commander in Afghanistan flew to Washington on Tuesday to find out whether he would be fired for remarks he and members of his staff made that were contemptuous of senior administration officials, laying bare the disarray and enmity in a foreign-policy team that is struggling with the war. In an article in Rolling Stone magazine, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal and his aides spoke critically of nearly every member of the president's national security team, saying President Obama appeared "uncomfortable and intimidated" during his first White House meeting with the general, and dismissing Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. as "Bite Me." The firestorm was fueled by increasing doubts - even in the military - that Afghanistan can be won and by crumbling public support for the nine-year war as American casualties rise. The criticism of General McChrystal's statements was swift, and the general had apologized and prepared a letter of resignation, though President Obama had not made up his mind whether to accept it when they meet on Wednesday morning.
-- New York Times
General Stanley McChrystal Tenders his Resignation - Daily Telegraph
A senior Capitol Hill source tells me that General Stanley McChrystal had tendered his resignation to President Barack Obama and that the White House is actively discussing a replacement who could be quickly confirmed by the Senate. The source said that among the names being touted as possible successors are General James Mattis, the outgoing head of the U.S. Joint Forces Command and due to retire after being passed over as U.S. Marine Corps commander, and Lieutenant General William Caldwell, commander of Nato's Training Mission in Afghanistan.
-- Daily Telegraph
"General McChrystal has a right to his personal political views. They are his, and his alone. When they disagree with the orders and policy he is instructed to carry out, his choices are clear. Instead, he chose to let those personal views, and disdain for those elected and appointed officials who disagreed with him, shape the tenor of his discourse with his seniors, and most inexcusably, his juniors. He has failed at the very basics of leadership that Captain Miller explains so frankly to his young soldier."
"So, the Commander in Chief has little choice but to accept General McChrystal's resignation, should that late story be confirmed. If the President were not to do so, he risks the skewing of the civilian-military relationship that is a cornerstone of our personal and collective liberties, much as Truman would have done in failing to discipline General MacArthur in Korea six decades ago. The situation with General McChrystal leaves President Obama with another, very dicey problem. Who will be putting hands in the air to command in a theater where the strategy and policy have been so publicly discredited by a senior General Officer? And whomever is chosen, what will be the effect of a new commander dropping onto the scene just before a key offensive that may determine the long-term success of the US effort in Afghanistan?"
-- USNI Blog
McChrystal Denies Offering to Resign - MSNBC
President to Decide McChrystal's Future After Critical Comments - VOA
Obama Holds off Making Decision on McChrystal - Washington Post
Obama Calls McChrystal on Carpet over Interview - Washington Times
Gen. McChrystal's Job Hangs in the Balance - Los Angeles Times
Obama to Confront General McChrystal - Reuters
General Faces Unease Among His Own Troops, Too - New York Times
Afghan Leaders Voice Strong Support for McChrystal - Associated Press
Can Obama Afford a Dismissal? - Washington Post
Fire McChrystal? A New Test for Obama - USA Today
McChrystal Woven into Obama's Afghanistan Strategy - Los Angeles Times
In Afghanistan a New Breed of Commander Stepped In - New York Times
A Hard-driving, Unyielding Commander - Los Angeles Times
Spec Ops Officers Shocked by McChrystal Comments - Army Times
McChrystal Comments Mirror 'Attitudes About Best Approach' - VOA
The President and His General - New York Times
Gen. McChrystal's Fate - Washington Post
Judging McChrystal's War - New York Times
The Other Truman Doctrine - New York Times
An Increasingly Politicized Military - Los Angeles Times
What Would Lincoln Do? - New York Times
Should the 'Runaway General' Be Fired? - New York Times multiple opinion piece with Kori Schake, Hoover Institution; Julian E. Zelizer, professor of history and public affairs; James Morin, Truman National Security Project; Robert Haddick, Small Wars Journal; and Nathaniel Fick, Center for a New American Security.
Military Blogs Ask: Should He Stay or Go? - New York Times
Gates Has a Long, Loooong Record of Firing Generals - Danger Room
General Stanley McChrystal - USNI Blog
The Seduction of Powerful Men - USNI Blog
The Replacements: 5 McChrystal Successors - The Daily Beast
Should McChrystal be Fired? Pundits Weigh In - CBS News
Kerry on McChrystal Flap: Stop the 'Feeding Frenzy' - State Politics
MacArthur Territory - Bernard Finel
Michael Yon's Criticism of McChrystal Deemed Prophetic - Michael Yon
McChrystal will Get a Red Card - Robert Haddick, Small Wars Journal
The Rolling Stone Article: Why Should I Care? - Schmedlap
Rolling Stone - Andrew Exum, Abu Muqaqwama
General McChrystal on the Rocks - Bill Roggio, Long War Journal
Too Rolling Stoned - Mudville Gazette
Stan the Man - Blackfive
McChrystal Aides Shocked, 'Heartbroken' After Mag Profile - Danger Room
The No-No Line - Blackfive
Journalist Surprised By Reaction To His Profile Of Gen. Stanley McChrystal - NPR
Stanley, Homework! - Kings of War
How Not to Handle the Press... - Wings Over Iraq
"Insular backgrounds, whether in special operations or conventional forces, encourage tone-deafness. Applause lines in the testosterone driven subculture of combat units are not likely to play well on CNN. Senior commanders have to move easily between these two worlds, delivering a consistent message to very different audiences."
"When I encourage young officers to go to grad school, I tell them to stay away from military people. Have lunch with the lesbian anarchists, attend the environmentalists' weekly emergency teach-ins, and try to see the world through different eyes. That skill will come in handy later on in life."
"It's a bit premature to pass judgment on General McCrystal's situation. However, it's important to distinguish between our long-term interests and goals and those currently entrusted to carry out those goals. While we have long term interests in stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan, everybody in uniform is replaceable."
-- Paul Yingling via e-mail
"Having escalated the import of injudicious offhand remarks, Obama may feel obliged to relieve the general. His replacement then would be either the respected Corps Commander in Afghanistan, LtGen David Rodriquez, or the Joint Forces Commander, General James Mattis, who is a legend among the troops. LtGen John Allen, deputy to General Petraeus, also has a fine track record. While these are qualified replacements and it does look grim for McChrystal, he should not be relieved. Our enemies would gloat about such headlines, while Afghan President Karzai, who has leapt to McChrystal's defense, would feel rebuffed. After all, Obama has chosen to ignore Karzai's erratic remarks. Although I believe the current counterinsurgency strategy is too ambitious for our budget and too restrictive for our troops in the long term, McChrystal is confident he can stop the momentum of Afghan insurgents in the short term. That is the first order of business in this war. Our field commander should be judged on what happens in the field. We only have one commander at a time; Obama chose McChrystal, so let him do his best."
-- Bing West via e-mail
"I read with concern the profile piece on Gen. Stanley McChrystal in the upcoming edition of 'Rolling Stone' magazine. I believe that Gen. McChrystal made a significant mistake and exercised poor judgment in this case. We are fighting a war against al Qaeda and its extremist allies, who directly threaten the United States, Afghanistan, and our friends and allies around the world. Going forward, we must pursue this mission with a unity of purpose. Our troops and coalition partners are making extraordinary sacrifices on behalf of our security, and our singular focus must be on supporting them and succeeding in Afghanistan without such distractions. Gen. McChrystal has apologized to me and is similarly reaching out to others named in this article to apologize to them as well. I have recalled Gen. McChrystal to Washington to discuss this in person."
-- SECDEF Robert Gates
Even some of McChrystal's staunchest backers in Afghanistan said the derisive comments the general and his staff made about the Obama administration to a Rolling Stone reporter leave him open to dismissal.
"I say this as someone who admired and respects Stan McChrystal enormously. The country doesn't know how much good he's done. But this is a firing offense," said Eliot A. Cohen, who served as a counselor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in the latter days of the Bush administration.
This is clearly a firing offense," said Peter Feaver, a former official in the Bush White House and strong backer of a fully resourced counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan.
But relieving McChrystal of his command on the eve of a major offensive in Kandahar, which White House and Pentagon officials have said is the most critical of the war, would be a major blow to the war effort, said military experts.
"My advice is to call him back to Washington, publicly chastise him and then make it clear that there is something greater at stake here," said Nathaniel Fick, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and is now chief executive of the Center for a New American Security.
-- Washington Post
"We'll have to wait for Wednesday to see if McChrystal keeps his command. My guess is he'll stay, because now the White House knows that a chastened McChrystal isn't going to say anything else outside of his lane to any reporter. McChrystal's apology, emailed to me and other reporters well before the Rolling Stone story dropped, suggests that he wasn't trying to walk away from his command in a blaze of arrogance. But it's on him to repair his relationship with his colleagues and his bosses."
"You know, all that said — Yesterday, Gates passed over Gen. James Mattis for Marine Corps commandant. If Obama wants to cashier McChrystal but not overhaul the entire strategy, Mattis is an option. Whether he'd do it is another thing, since he's the outgoing commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command, so taking over ISAF will technically be a step down. But Mattis will otherwise retire from the Marines, so maybe he wouldn't see it that way."
-- Spencer Ackerman
"Obviously the war's not going well, nor is it apparently where General McChrystal himself thought it would be at this stage of things," says Andrew Bacevich, a professor of international relations at Boston University and a retired Army colonel. "But what stands out is the egregious lapse in professional conduct -- not only on the part of McChrystal, but on the part of his subordinates."
"What this reveals," he adds, "is a command climate where expressions of contempt for senior civilian officials are permissible."
'While "frustrations" in such a difficult and deteriorating environment may be "understandable," Mr. Bacevich says, the comments nevertheless represent "unprofessional behavior that is completely intolerable."
"If that is so, is it time to sack McChrystal? The Afghanistan commander, who has apologized for his comments and his own "poor judgment," has been summoned to the White House to explain himself to President Obama Wednesday."
"Yet while some Afghanistan analysts quickly concluded that Mr. Obama must fire McChrystal over his "insubordination," just as President Truman did to Gen. Douglas MacArthur in 1951 over Korean war policy, Bacevich says now is not the time."
-- Christian Science Monitor
McChrystal Scandal May Complicate U.S.-Afghan Strategy - Washington Post
Defense Secretary's Statement on McChrystal - Wall Street Journal
U.S. General in Afghan War at Tisk of Losing Job - Associated Press
Gates: General McChrystal Made Big Mistake - Reuters
McChrystal's PR Man Resigns - MSNBC
NATO Confident in McChrystal Despite U.S. Article - Reuters
Factbox: Reaction to Gen. McChrystal Controversy - Reuters
U.S. General McChrystal Recalled Amid Rolling Stone Gaffe - BBC News.The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan has been summoned to Washington, US media report, in the wake of a magazine article that mocked senior Obama administration officials and diplomats. Gen Stanley McChrystal has apologised for the article in Rolling Stone. In the article, Gen McChrystal said he felt betrayed by U.S. ambassador to Kabul Karl Eikenberry. The general's aides mock Vice-President Joe Biden and say Gen McChrystal was "disappointed" in President Obama...
More at BBC News.
Also See (Update 1):
Gen. Stanley McChrystal Summoned to Washington - Washington Post
Top Afghan Commander Summoned to Washington - Associated Press
NATO Setbacks as U.S. Summons Commander - Agence France-Presse
McChrystal on Defensive for Remarks - Wall Street Journal
ISAF: Magazine Profile Captures Unguarded Moments - Los Angeles Times
Aides to U.S. General In Afghanistan Slam Obama - Reuters
McChrystal Apologizes for Insulting Obama Team - Washington Independent
Latest McChrystal Developments - CNN News
Rolling Stone Story a Sign of Frustration? - Christian Science Monitor
Gen. McChrystal Recalled to Washington - Foreign Policy
McChrystal Issues Mea Culpa - Foreign Policy
Don't Blame McChrystal, Blame Obama - Washington Post
The McChrystal I Know - Time
General McChrystal Clearly in Four-Star Trouble - CBS News
A Couple of Points about McChrystal - National Review
Should He Go? - National Review
Military Dissent Should Be Private - National Review
McChrystal's Media Woes - Contentions
Re: McChrystal's Media Woes - Contentions
Top Afghanistan General Questions Civilian Leaders - Politico
Firing McChrystal: Weighing the Risks - Abu Muqawama
McChrystal and the Afghan Drawdown - World Politics Review
What the Heck Was McChrystal Thinking? - The Atlantic
Rolling Stone McChrystal Article Understates Backbiting - Washington Post
McChrystal Finds Few Defenders Among Senators - Washington Post
Gen. McCrystal Must Go - Washington Post
Runaway General - ABC News
Fire Gen. Stanley McChrystal? Not Yet - New York Daily News
Obama and McChrystal Haven't Spoken - The Atlantic
'Everybody in Uniform is Replaceable' - Danger Room
Why Obama Won't Fire McChrystal - FOX News
Good-Bye McChrystal, Hello Mattis? - Foreign Policy
Advanced Petard Hoistmanship - Forward Movement
Is McChrystal Going to Fallon his Sword? - Zenpundit
What's Important About This? - Captain's Journal
Four Reasons Why Obama HAS to Fire Stan McChrystal - Democracy Arsenal
Afghan Follies: Obama versus McChrystal - Huffington Post
It is hard to believe that President Obama and his staff will be able to continue to work with McChrystal after the revelation of the Rolling Stone affair. President Obama will have to defend his commander-in-chief powers under Article II of the Constitution and that will almost certainly require McChrystal's swift retirement. To allow McChrystal to apologize and stay on would set a bad precedent, send the wrong signal regarding civil-military relations to the rest of the military, and would cause great uproar among Obama's civilian staff.
Who will replace McChrystal? For the sake of continuity in the midst of the critical Kandahar operation, the elevation of LTG David Rodriguez would seem logical. Regrettably, the contemptuous attitude toward Obama and the White House staff apparently extends throughout McChrystal's staff. As a McChrystal deputy, Rodriguez may be suspect. In any case, several staff officers will also have to go, with a broad investigation likely to follow. Thus someone from the outside may be necessary. Probably not Gen. James Mattis -- Defense Secretary Robert Gates apparently passed him over for Commandant of the Marine Corps so Gates could hardly support him for ISAF. My guess would be someone currently working on the Joint Staff or on Gates's personal staff, someone already well known to Gates and Admiral Michael Mullen (which, ironically, is how McChrystal and Rodriguez got to Afghanistan).
Finally, how did this fiasco with Rolling Stone magazine happen? Field commanders and their staff officers talk to the media in order to get their stories out. In the case of McChrystal and the Afghanistan campaign, the need to do so has lately been even more urgent than usual. McChrystal and his staff were seeking to "add time to the Washington clock." They hoped to get their message out to media audience segments that would soon be putting the most pressure on the Obama administration to terminate the campaign. The theory was that delivering their message -- through a channel like Rolling Stone -- would short-circuit, at least for a time, growing political pressure against the war. Unfortunately for McChrystal and certain members of his staff, the inflammatory bits of the article apparently show a commander and staff frustrated and exhausted by an intractable task -- the very opposite of the message they intended to send.
Obama, Gates, Mullen, and Gen. David Petraeus will get an opportunity to make a decisive shake-up. But counterinsurgency is all about inspiring confidence in the cause among the many actors inside the host nation, not to mention the soldiers and Marines who are ordered out on patrol every day. What remains of that confidence after the shake-up remains to be seen.
"I am pleased to announce that I have recommended to the President that Gen. James F. Amos be nominated as the next commandant of the United States Marine Corps. Gen. Amos' combat experience includes command of a Marine aircraft wing and a Marine expeditionary force during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He went on to lead the Marines' Combat Development Command and serve as deputy commandant for combat development and integration. If nominated and confirmed, Gen. Amos will be the first aviator to attain this post.
"I am also recommending that Lt. Gen. Joseph F. Dunford be promoted to replace Gen. Amos as assistant commandant. Lt. Gen. Dunford is currently the commander of I MEF and U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Command, with responsibility for all Marines serving in the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters.
"Gen. James Conway will complete his term as commandant this fall and retire from the Marine Corps after four decades of outstanding service. On behalf of the American people, I want to thank Gen. Conway for his faithful and selfless service that included tours as a battalion commander in Operation Desert Storm, a Marine expeditionary force commander in Iraq, and director of operations for the Joint Staff. We will properly recognize Gen. Conway's extraordinary service at an appropriate time.
"I came to these leadership decisions after a thorough process that considered several outstanding candidates. I am convinced that Gen. Amos and Lt. Gen. Dunford are the right team to lead the U.S. Marine Corps at this time, especially as it balances the capabilities needed to support current operations, its unique maritime heritage and its future role defending America."
Gates Recommends Amos, Dunford Lead Marine Corps - North County Times
Gates Announces Choice for Marine Corps Chief - Associated Press
General James F. Amos - USMC Official Biography
General James F. Amos - Wikipedia
Lieutenant General Joseph F. Dunford - USMC Official Biography
Lieutenant General Joseph F. Dunford - Wikipedia
A Battle Against the Odds - Mark Moyar, Wall Street Journal book review.On Sept. 11, 2006, exactly five years after 9/11, the Washington Post divulged a classified U.S. intelligence report under the headline, "Anbar Is Lost Politically, Marine Analyst Says." According to an anonymous American source, the report said that "we haven't been defeated militarily but we have been defeated politically—and that's where wars are won and lost."It is true that the situation in Anbar Province, a hotbed of Sunni Muslim resistance in western Iraq, was dire at the time. Three years earlier the Americans had arrived intent on winning over the population through democratic governance and economic development. But most local civilians—out of support for Sunni insurgents or fear of them—had rejected U.S. requests to serve in the government or participate in development projects. American units ended up spending most of their time battling swarms of guerrillas.In A Chance in Hell, Jim Michaels, a military reporter for USA Today, deftly explains how the so-called Anbar Awakening emerged from this seemingly hopeless set of circumstances, saving the troubled province and the rest of Sunni Iraq. Whereas many accounts of the Awakening have portrayed it as an American creation, Mr. Michaels shows that it was largely the handiwork of Iraqis, particularly a local leader named Abdul Sattar Abu Risha. Mr. Michaels details how Sattar, a sheik of a minor tribe, formed a robust tribal alliance against al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) before striking a deal with the Americans...
More at The Wall Street Journal.
More at ABC News.
More at The Los Angeles Times.
More at The New York Daily News.
More at the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and Voice of America.
Report of the Secretary-General - United Nations
Time for the Deconstruction of Field Manual 3-24 - Colonel Gian P. GentileThe principles of population-centric counterinsurgency (COIN) have become transcendent in the U.S. Army and other parts of the greater Defense Establishment. Concepts such as population security, nationbuilding, and living among the people to win their hearts and minds were first injected into the Army with the publication of the vaunted Field Manual (FM) 3--24, Counterinsurgency, in December 2006. Unfortunately, the Army was so busy fighting two wars that the new doctrine was written and implemented and came to dominate how the Army thinks about war without a serious professional and public debate over its efficacy, practicality, and utility...
Constructing the Legacy of Field Manual 3-24 - Dr. John A. NaglIn late 2005, then--Lieutenant General David Petraeus was appointed to lead the Army's Combined Arms Command at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. After two high-profile tours in Iraq, the posting to Fort Leavenworth was no one's idea of a promotion; the dominant local industry is prisons. But to his credit, General Petraeus recognized that this supposedly backwater assignment presented an opportunity to help revamp the Army's vision of and approach to the wars that it was struggling with in Iraq and Afghanistan. He called on his old West Point classmate, Dr. Conrad Crane, to take charge of a writing team that within just over a year produced Field Manual (FM) 3--24, Counterinsurgency, in conjunction with a U.S. Marine Corps team under the direction of Lieutenant General James Mattis...
Freeing the Army from the Counterinsurgency Straightjacket - Colonel Gian P. GentileIn October 2006, while in command of a cavalry squadron in northwest Baghdad, I received an email with an attached document from my division commander, then--Major General James D. Thurman. General Thurman sent the email to all of the division's brigade and battalion commanders asking for input on the important document attached, which was a draft of Field Manual (FM) 3--24, Counterinsurgency. Over the next couple of weeks, I tried to read the draft manual closely and provide comments to the commanding general. Alas, though, like probably most of the other commanders, I was so busy carrying out a population-centric counterinsurgency (COIN) campaign on the ground in west Baghdad that I never found time to get to it. While anecdotal, my experience suggests a microcosm of the U.S. Army. The Army has been so busy since FM 3--24 came out 4 years ago that it has been unable to have a Service-wide dialogue on the manual...
Learning and Adapting to Win - Dr. John A. NaglAdmiral Mullen highlights Clausewitz's dictum that war is not essentially "about death and destruction" but is fundamentally an instrument of policy designed to achieve political aims. It is this understanding of war that must drive how military strategy and doctrine are developed, and the metric against which they must be judged. The counterinsurgency field manual must therefore be evaluated against its record in assisting in the accomplishment of national objectives...
H/T to redactor, Robert Jordan Prescott and Dave Maxwell.
More at The Los Angeles Times.
More at The Washington Post.
Crazy! I mean like so many positive waves maybe we can't lose!
There's no booze, there's no broads, there's no action!
That's another thing - don't fool around with the women. Their husbands carry guns. And don't forget, the penalty for looting is death.
Loot what? There's nothing here to loot!
God almighty, you guys smell like you fell into a dung heap!
Kinda makes ya homesick, don't it?
These engines are the fastest in any tanks in the European Theater of Operations, forwards or backwards. You see, man, we like to feel we can get out of trouble, quicker than we got into it.
Coulda been in the States playing ping-pong; volleyball... Plenty of broads... Who the hell needs all this? Gonna get my knife & get the hell outta here. Eaaa, lousy equipment! Now I gotta lift up this CANNON; carry it all the way to the front line someplace. Damned thing is heavier that Kelsey's burgers!
Sit down on this bench. I want you to have a drink.
Under the Geneva Convention...
This isn't Geneva...
I'm going to Battalion to see if I can get some dirty movies...