Obama and the General

“National defense is one of the cardinal duties of a statesman.” –John Adams

The troops in Afghanistan could use some leadership from the White House

“Democrats have found someone worth fighting in Afghanistan. His name is Stan McChrystal. The other night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi went after the commander of U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan, ‘with all due respect,’ for supposedly disrespecting the chain of command. Around the Congressional Democratic Caucus, we’re told Members refer to General McChrystal as ‘General MacArthur,’ after the commander in Korea sacked by Harry Truman. White House aides have fanned these flames with recent leaks to the media that ‘officials are challenging’ his assessment asking for more troops. In the last two days, the White House National Security Adviser and the Secretary of Defense have both suggested that the general should keep his mouth shut. President Obama called him in Friday for a talking-to on the tarmac at Copenhagen airport. Though a decorated Army four-star officer, the General’s introduction to Beltway warfare is proving to be brutal. To be fair, Gen. McChrystal couldn’t know that his Commander in Chief would go wobbly so soon on his commitment to him as well as to his own Afghan strategy when he was tapped for the job in April. … Gen. McChrystal’s liberal critics also have very short memories. In 2003, Army Chief of Staff General Eric Shinseki clashed with his superiors by saying many more troops were needed to pacify Iraq. He became a Democratic hero and is now Mr. Obama’s Veterans Secretary. In this case, Gen. McChrystal has become a political target merely for taking at face value Mr. Obama’s order to fight the war properly. … In an interview with Newsweek, Gen. McChrystal said he wouldn’t resign if the President rejects his request for more troops. If he were really trying to dictate policy, he’d have given a different answer. But we don’t think Gen. McChrystal should stay to implement a Biden war plan either. No commander in uniform should ask his soldiers to die for a strategy he doesn’t think is winnable — or for a President who lets his advisers and party blame a general for their own lack of political nerve.” —The Wall Street Journal

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Filed under Patriot Post, Wall Street Journal

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