Jun 23 2010
Major Update: It seems McChrystal may have succeeded in ensuring his successor is capable, and will now be free to throw is public support for more action from Team Obama. – end update
Today the mythical leader created by the liberal news media meets the tough-as-nails military leader who hunts down the most dangerous people in the world. Also today the nation will learn (again) if running a campaign and being a community organizer is anywhere near sufficient experience to deal with America’s top concerns as President. Finally, President Obama is going to have to demonstrate leadership, or else.
Either way, the officials said, there will be a shakeup in the command because of the indiscipline among McChrystal’s staff captured byÂ Rolling Stone.
Apparently McChrystal is a bit of a loose cannon and does not suffer fools well (many of us cannot). But he is not stupid or reckless, he is Â a strategist. He knew what would happen when the Rolling Stone muck hit the fan. His efforts to win in Afghanistan have been undermined by the politicians involved and Obama’s stupid retreat deadline. McChrsytal sees that the military alone cannot win Afghanistan as long as the political side is inept and feckless. Counter insurgency relies on a successful economic and political arm after the military clears and area of terrorist thugs. It ain’t happening.
I think McChrystal has become so disillusioned with political leaders Â – ones he once supported so blindly – he is staging the mother of all protest exits. People think he is pushing President Obama to double his efforts. I doubt it, but if he is tenacious as his reputation indicates I guess it is possible.
But what I really think is happening is McChrystal is testing Obama and making his decision on how to end this media storm he ignited. If this blows up in President Obama’s face, that will cripple him on all fronts. There will be no subject area left where Obama has not failed. And he is up against a true leader this morning. But more importantly, Obama will have to push to win or quit. If he keeps the status quo the howls from left, right and center will explode. No one wants people dying in a half assed cause.
I predict Obama fails the test and McChrystal resigns and begins unloading his frustrations publicly. I have no clue what a community organizer does in a situation like this. Neither does the community organizer.
Update: John McCain, not surprisingly, understands what leadership is required:
“If the president fires McChrystal, we need a new ambassador and we need an entire new team over there. But most importantly, we need the president to say what Secretary Clinton and Secretary Gates have both said but what the president refuses to say: Our withdrawal in the middle of 2011 will be conditions based. It’s got to be conditions based and he’s got to say it.”
Obama should pay attention, but I am sure he is trying to figure out how to community organize a success here.