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Opinion

Opinion

U.S. military leaders should know when to ‘mind their tongues’

June 26, 2010

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The Toronto Star on U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, June 23:

If a corrupt Afghan government and a resilient Taliban insurgency weren’t headaches enough for U.S. President Barack Obama, he now has to worry about “friendly fire” from his own top commander in Afghanistan.

Gen. Stanley McChrystal has just disparaged his commander-in-chief and a raft of senior U.S. officials in an incendiary Rolling Stone magazine profile entitled, fittingly, “The Runaway General.”

That’s a problem not only for the U.S. but also for Canada, because McChrystal commands all 142,000 allied troops in Afghanistan. The prospect of a U.S. war effort at war with itself will demoralize Afghans, unsettle allies and embolden foes, at a time when unity of purpose is essential.

In McChrystal’s eyes, Obama looked “uncomfortable and intimidated” at a meeting with his generals, Rolling Stone reports. He also faulted Obama for leaving him “selling an unsellable position” as the president pondered his request for more troops.

Of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, McChrystal quipped: “Who’s that?”

He slammed U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry for covering “his flank for the history books” because he criticized McChrystal in a cable that was leaked. “Now if we fail, they can say, ’I told you so.”’

And of Afghan Special Representative Richard Holbrooke, he said: “Oh, not another e-mail from Holbrooke. I don’t even want to open it.”...

Soldiers often diss their political masters behind their backs. That’s life. But most have the common sense and discipline to mind their tongues when they should. McChrystal and his aides witlessly carpet-bombed the White House when they should have held their fire.

Online: http://www.thestar.com

Comments

grammaddy 4 years, 4 months ago

Glad he's gone! Petraeus will "git-r-done"!

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kansasredlegs 4 years, 4 months ago

Nice to see an actual General in charge of troops speak the truth and not wait until the retirement checks start coming in to speak his mind. He's correct, Obama is not a leader of men or warriors, Joe Biden is not a leader of men or warriors, the intellectual Richard Holbrooke is not leader of men or warriors. I salute General McChrystal for his teticular fortitude to tell the truth when the result of forced retirement is clear.

Gen. Petraeus is a leader. He's a warrior's warrior, he accepted his demotion from running Central Command to oversee Afghanistan like the true professional soldier he is. Now, if we can just keep Obama, Biden and Holbrooke at bay long enough for Gen. Petraeus to make a difference.

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