Tuesday, June 22, 2010

General McChrystal's Unproffesional Criticisms

General Stanley McChrystal, the man in charge of the war in Afghanistan, is being summoned back to the White House tomorrow for his critical comments he made regarding President Obama and members of his administration in regards to their “help” with the war in an interview with The Rolling Stone magazine set to be released this Friday. Despite McChrystal having voted for Obama, a fact that immediately causes me to doubt his intelligence in regards to picking a Commander in Chief, it would seem that President Obama’s and McChrystal’s relationship has been tenuous from the very beginning.

Their first one-on-one meeting took place in the Oval Office four months after McChrystal got the job of leading the war effort in Afghanistan. The meeting was delayed by the inept Obama administration as General McChrystal sent out his plan for Afghanistan and made a request for 40,000 additional troops to enact it. According to an advisor to General McChrystal, the first meeting with the president was “ a 10-minute photo op. Obama clearly didn't know anything about McChrystal or who he was. Here's the guy who's going to run his … war, but he didn't seem very engaged. The Boss was pretty disappointed." Well, despite that meeting, President Obama did give McChrystal 30,000 troops and most of the support for which his plan called.

McChrystal’s criticism of President Obama, Vice President Biden, Ambassador Eikenberry, National Security Advisor Jim Jones and others might very well be accurate and just in the truthfulness of it (and from the excerpts I have seen, it is indeed apt); however, it is absolutely unconscionable that any member of the United States Armed Forces criticize his civilian chain of command in an official public capacity, let alone doing so in the capacity as the commander of the war in Afghanistan.

One of the reasons our military is held in such high honor and esteem by a vast majority of Americans is the fact that they are willing to sacrifice and do what they are called upon to do by their Commander in Chief, regardless of his political affiliation or reasoning, assuming the orders given are lawful Constitutional ones. If General McChrystal felt so strongly against the advice and orders of the civilian chain of command with which he had to interact, he should have brought those concerns immediately and directly to their attention. If the situation could not be remedied to General McChrystal’s satisfaction, then it was his duty to step down and resign his commission as an officer. As a retired officer and civilian he would enjoy every American’s right to loudly and publicly criticize the administration as he saw fit. Where he was dead wrong was his doing so publicly while still on active duty and in charge of the war.

It is NOT the military’s place to publicly question the civilian chain of command while serving under their orders.  This only serves to break down the chain of command and the civilian authority of our military. Granted that the civilian chain of command of our armed forces from the Commander in Chief all the way down the civilian chain have a duty and obligation to set the overall vision, major goals, and strategic objectives to define victory for the military and should thereby listen to and pay strong heed to their commanders in theatre as to what is necessary to accomplish those objectives. The President should define the major objectives of the war and then let his armed forces achieve those objectives with as little hindrance as possible from civilian second-guessers.

All members of the United States military serve to protect and defend the United States and its Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. It is their duty to follow our elected representatives accordingly. It is these elected representatives that are held accountable by We The People. Criticism of these members in a public domain in an official capacity while serving on active duty is absolutely unacceptable. General McChrystal should be fired by President Obama tomorrow accordingly.


J. Marquis said...

TP, I appreciate your objective and reasonable stance on this issue.

Carlos said...

Agreed. He needs to be canned, without question.

T. Paine said...

Yes, we were constantly warned when I was in the service to NOT criticize our civilian chain of command in public, especially in an official capacity.

General McChrystal knew better and architect of the Afghanistan war or not, he needs to be relieved of duty for public criticizing President Obama. It would have been fine to do so respectfully in private with him, but not in such a public venue.

lisa said...

I am undecided on this being a Rolling Stone Mag Journalist(of all people) was with him for a month I would imagine it would have been difficult to not vent for that amount of time under those circumstances.
I bet all the left wing shows would be lining up to have him on had Bush been the president. You betchya!

S.W. Anderson said...

It takes a lot of integrity, self-discipline and determination to give up a military career over policy disagreements when you've reached the general officer ranks. Getting there takes many years. It is highly competitive, even cutthroat at times, and those who make it have some of the best jobs in the world.

Obviously, McChrystal came up short in the integrity, self-discipline and determination department. But there were ample of signs of that before the latest revelations.

free0352 said...

however, it is absolutely unconscionable that any member of the United States Armed Forces criticize his civilian chain of command

I do it all the time on my blog... just say'n.

T. Paine said...

Free, the difference is that you are not doing it in an official capacity, as your disclaimer states.

free0352 said...

Niether was McChrystal. His only on the record quote was that the time he was asking Obama for 40k troops and only got 30 was painful. Everythingelse was "off the record"

T. Paine said...

Free, while that may be technically true, McChrystal should have known better than to EVER assume anything said within ear-shot of a "Rolling Stone" reporter, particularly if it would embarrass him or the military, is going to be "off the record" as far as they were concerned.