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
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?
"They brought somebody in to be a hard-nosed realist," said Anthony Cordesman,
a national security analyst with close ties to the Defense Department. "You
brought somebody in to get the job done after eight years of neglect and failure.
You brought somebody in basically to fight his way through the bureaucratic
and organizational barriers."
I do not wish to naively grab the 3rd rail of Goldwater-Nichols II, and God bless
Secretary Clinton for her stability during the Afghanistan review, but are there too many
cooks spoiling that pudding? Now that we have GEN Petraeus back in the frying
pan, the next big question, perhaps even the bigger one, is who will be our
Grabbing at another nugget in all the news, another thing that strikes me here
is that GEN McChrystal reviewed the Rolling Stone article in advance and
You can make much of his limited inside-the-beltway experience, but he is too savvy,
detailed, and just plain brilliant for me to believe this is all a surprise to him
and I can only assume some sort of oddly Machiavellian machinations behind how this
played out. And if there is a point out there, I suspect it is less about
civilian control of the military, and more about civilian control of civilians and
the broader issue of the expeditionary fitness of our executive and legislative
I am sorry Dennis Hopper did not live to see the day when Rolling Stone generated
such a catharsis in the foreign policy apparatus of the United States. Thank
you, GEN McChrystal, for you service. Thanks in advance, GEN Petraeus, for more
to come. Ambassador Crocker -- aren't you a little bored in that
No edits were made above, but please disregard the bit about a Machiavellian
moment. That hinged upon my perception of a "damn the torpedoes" moment from
Politico's now-discredited reporting of GEN McChrystal's pre-publication blessing
of the RS article. I re-canted in
below as that came to light to be fabricated and untrue. Be sure to read
this article to see just what was checked, and how little one could interpret
from that. Also more reaction
here, and lots of places.