June 22, 2010

He's got to go

In my undergraduate, inactive enlisted puke opinion General McChrystal is largely right. However that can be said with the benefit of hindsight of McArthur as well and he (quite rightly) got sacked.

I can empathize with McChrystals frustration, but we frequently elect presidents who do not have a great deal of military experience, and ALL presidents face a steep learning curve when they assume the office as NO ONE is versed in everything and the bipolar levels of extreme delegation and hands on engagement necessary is startling to even the most experienced executives ( a group Obama is not a member of). It is the duty of the Military to serve the elected executive.

I am no fan of the current President but he IS  the President. He is the CinC, and a one of this nations soldiers does not air this sort of laundry unless one first resigns, or retires.

A friend once asked if I thought it would have been better to let McArthur slide given that the 6-10 million who might die in a war with china would be dwarfed by the 60-80 million who died in the late 50s and early 60s and the real possibility of ending the Cold War early. 
Of course not.
To allow that sort of insubordination is to open the way for a Caesar, something the founders greatly (and rightly) feared. We are fortunate to have an officer corps that is overwhelmingly professional, whose allegiance is to the nation and its Constitution, and who consider it a point of honor that they are guardians and not threats to our republic. This sort of talk can erode that quickly as happened in Rome and all to many times in our sister republics to the south. Occasionally this occurred for patriotic and principled reasons, but those good intentions almost always paved a short road to Hell.

Obama needs to fire McChrystal. It gives me no pleasure to say this but this situation is bigger than either of these men.

UPDATE: More here. Jerry Pournelle has some thoughts here and here CDR Salamander points out the short term  ramifications of NOT firing McChrystal.

Both the CINC and McChrystal will have lost face in a public manner and will be looked at as weaker; McChrystal will have more enemies in the Administration’s National Security Structure; McChrystal has shown support for your only significant Democrat rival, SECSTATE Clinton. Worst part again is the CINC will also lose face to much of the world - especially with our enemies. In most of their cultures, a General Officer saying such things would be shot or have an unfortunate helicopter accident. They will not view keeping McChrystal on as a signal that President Obama is a firm leader.
Read the whole thing. Seriously, do it now.

Note that as a bonus, if he fires McChrystal, Obama actually gets to be genuinely decisive.

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