"In a speech in London on Thursday, Gen. Stanley McChrystal publicly intervened in the debate over Afghanistan. Vice President Biden has suggested that we focus on fighting al-Qaeda and refrain from using our troops to prop up the government of President Hamid Karzai. But when this strategic option was raised at his presentation, McChrystal said it was a formula for "Chaos-istan." When asked whether he would support it, he said, "The short answer is: No."
As commanding general in Afghanistan, McChrystal has no business making such public pronouncements. Under law, he doesn't have the right to attend the National Security Council as it decides our strategy. To the contrary, the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986 explicitly names the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as the National Security Council's exclusive military adviser. If the president wanted McChrystal's advice, he was perfectly free to ask him to accompany Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, when the council held its first meeting on Afghanistan this week.
But Obama did not extend the invitation, even though McChrystal was leaving Kabul and could have gone to Washington easily. Instead, Obama asked the general to report to the council via a brief teleconference." Bruce Ackerman
I will make a prediction. If McChrystal does not learn to subordinate himself to something other than his vision of what is right and true, he is going to get fired.
MacArthur was a lot smarter man than McChrystal and yet he suffered the ignominy of relief for cause even though he had not "gone public" against national policy. There should be a lesson in that.
Truman asked George Marshall, then Secretary of State to look at the collection of communications that Truman had received from MacArthur. Marshall sat up all night in a room at the White House reading these. In the morning he told Truman that he should have fired MacArthur six months previously. The issue was a subtle disrespect and thinly veiled defiance that permeated these messages. MacArthur was fired and returned to the United States to seek the Republican nomination for president in 1952. He lost that fight to Eisenhower and spent the rest of his long life brooding in the Waldorf Towers.
I judge McChrystal to be a monkish type. He would have made an admirable Templar or Hospitaller brother. He does not seem to suffer frm the disease of egocentric obsession so common in both civil and military life. His boss, Petraeus, is different; he is more the Byzantine general type. I am told that he has already laid out a plan for his post retirement political life. Well, why not? As a retired officer he would have every right to do so.
McChrystal, on the other hand, is more of a problem. From all I have heard from those who know him, he is a good man, a "good and faithful tiger." I doubt if he realizes the potential damage that he is beginning to inflict on our constitutional arrangements.
He was not invited to the White House to represent "the other side" in the present deliberations on Afghanistan because there is no "other side." Admiral Mullen,for good or ill, is the president/commander in chief's military adviser. McChrystal is merely a subordinate, one of many.
McChrystal was summoned from England to a 25 minute meeting with the president aboard Air Force 1. He showed up in field uniform? He owns a set of Greens (Class A uniform). He wore it in London to the IISS meeting. The man does not seem to know his place. pl