Jun 23 2010

Petraeus And McChrystal

Published by at 10:49 pm under All General Discussions

Now that Obama has pulled in General “Betray Us” to save liberalism I must note the obvious. Petraeus and McChrystal are both experts at the art of special operations strategies. They know how to feint and distract while forcing the enemy to take the actions required for their own victory.

They both work together on many levels from SoCom to Special Forces. It is interesting to see one fall on the sword so the other, who was the bane of liberals like Obama, riding in like the white knight.

Dots, just simple little dots.

Update: More dots, as the Petraeus’ and McChrystal’s political allies swing into action to force Team Obama to get things right:

Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said the controversy surrounding the Rolling Stone profile of McChrystal revealed problems beyond the comments of McChrystal and his team.

“The civilian side, in my view, is completely dysfunctional,” said Graham.

Lieberman said the magazine article “revealed what we have known, that there is not the kind of unity in Afghanistan between our civilian and military leadership” that is necessary.

The real reason for the blow up? Fix the civilian mess that was blocking progress. Checkmate.

17 responses so far

17 Responses to “Petraeus And McChrystal”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Free To Prosper, AJ Strata. AJ Strata said: new: Petraeus And McChrystal http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/13637 [...]

  2. StephMcguinn says:

    Hey AJ- Glad to see Petraeus come back? Sent you a message on Facebook about swapping posts. Just sending you a reminder. Or would you like me to email you?

  3. Terrye says:

    I don’t think McChrystal just fell on his sword. After that article in the Rolling Stone, he was going to be fired. He could either offer his resignation, or be fired without offering it.

    What you have here is yet more evidence of Obama’s poor leadership. He let this situation get so bad that we are reading about the dissension in a left wing magazine, and he did not address it until he was forced to. A pattern is emerging.

  4. CatoRenasci says:

    I think the appointment of Petraeus actually works in Obama’s favor: it quiets the right and it takes Petraeus out of the running for 2012 — unless, of course, Obama does something very stupid with respect to the war itself, and Petraeus resigns and hits the campaign trail. Unlikely.

  5. AJStrata says:

    Steph,

    Will try and get back to you. The day-job weeds are out of control.

  6. WWS says:

    Now it can be told: The story about voting for Obama was no lie, McChrystal was a hard core lib. That’s probably why Obama trusted him more than anyone else in the military, certainly more than Petraus. (up until now, when he needs Petraus to salvage things)

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/06/the-night-beat-obama-borrows-the-military-back/58635/

    To me, that says that someone’s judgment is fundamentally flawed at the deepest and most personal level. It certainly explains why he thought he could do anything and get away with it – all libs I’ve ever met do.

    And no wonder he instituted the ridiculous current ROE. Good riddance to him – getting rid of him may be the last chance we have left to salvage the disaster this war is becoming.

  7. WWS says:

    Cato, consider this: Obama has borrowed against the future to pay the present, once again. Obama’s plan rests on a withdrawal beginning July 2011. But with this move, he is now too invested in Petraus to change commanders again if Petraus refuses to implement. (And he can do this by simply threatening to resign)

    With this move, Obama just ceded total command and control for the Afghanistan theatre to Petraus – which I do think was a very good move, of course. But I wonder if Obama realizes just how much he now is a captive to whatever Petraus tells him must be done. I’m sure Petraus knows; that’s the only condition someone like him would have gone in their under.

    In his bid to shore up civilian control of the military, Obama has just surrendered it.

  8. WWS,

    Marc Ambinder called it exactly right, IMO, when he also said this on his blog:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/06/the-night-beat-obama-borrows-the-military-back/58635/

    BOTTOM LINE: At the intersection of politics and policy, here’s a way to understand today’s decision: the President had no choice. Going back to the opening days of the Clinton presidency, Democrats have maintained an uneasy relationship with uniformed military officers and have tolerated the type of dissension and rank insubordination that would never be tolerated by a Republican White House. Clinton was rolled by Colin Powell on gays in the military and the Balkans, which, putting aside the policy merits of those decisions, was not right. Indeed, one of the few good things Donald Rumsfeld did when he came in was to re-establish the principle of civilian control of the military, even if he took it too far by ignoring military advice in the lead-up to Iraq. Had Obama allowed McChrystal to stay in place, it would have sent the message to the military that such behavior was permissible and would have fatally undermined his authority and credibility as CINC. Again, McChrystal left him with no choice. Obama had to “borrow” his Army back.
    .
    .
    However Obama got to this decision — whether it was from the highest principles or the crassest “save my own behind reasons — he made the right one.
    .
    Civilian control of the military pre-dates the American Constitution and goes back to when General George Washington was approached to back a coup aganst the Continental Congress by a group of disatisfied Continental Army officers looking for back pay.
    .
    Washington broke up the coup attempt and followed the example of Republican Roman General Lucius (Titus) Quinctius Cincinnatus by turning down the power of a dictator and returning to his farm.
    .
    And Washington did it not just in 1783, when he retired as General of the Army and broke up the military coup. He did it again after eight years as president.
    .
    This is why there is a Society of the Cincinnati today.
    .
    See:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Society_of_the_Cincinnati
    .
    Back to McChrystal, I find this background from Ambinder on General McChrystal and the dysfunction of Afghan policy making very interesting:
    .
    .
    More about McChrystal: Why was his nickname “The Pope?” The Pope is a nickname that special operations forces and their admirers bestow on the commander of JSOC because Janet Reno once complained about the futility of trying to pry information out of JSOC units. They were like the Vatican, she grumbled, to which people responded, “Hell yeah.” Hence the name. People who served under mcChrystal when he was CJSOC still call him the Pope. The current Pope, by right, is McRaven. But he’s just a weeny Navy guy, or so tease the Army guys, half seriously. One of the reasons the name stuck was because JSOC was unleashed by the Bush administration. McChrystal knows where the bodies are buried. I do not mean this metaphorically. He literally knows. He knows because he buried them.
    .
    .
    And:
    .
    .
    Even more about McChrystal: now it can be told. The story about him voting for Obama is not contrived. He is a political liberal. He is a social liberal. He banned Fox News from the television sets in his headquarters. Yes, really. This puts to rest another false rumor: that McChrystal deliberately precipitated his firing because he wants to run for President.
    .
    .
    I also agree with Marc Ambinder here:
    .
    .
    An apt response to President Obama from the military side: your words, Mr. President, are well-taken, but please, please apply this standard to your civilians too. We all want to win the war. That means that the President needs to figure out the dysfunctions in the relationships among the senior civilians on the ground — he needs a Ryan Crocker-like diplomat who has credibility with Hamid Karzai. Making these changes is on the President, not on Petraeus.

  9. AJ,

    Obama chose the right replacement despite bad-mouthing Petreus years ago.

    Obama stood up, did the right thing, he did it fast and he sacrificed the political interests of the Move-on.org part of his Leftist base to do it.

    Which is in sharp contrast to the BP oil spill, which has been remarkable for its lack of executive energy even compared to Pres. Bush and hurricane Katrina.

    That is why I think this quick replacement of McChrystal with Petreus has Sec Defense Gates finger prints all over it. Ex-CIA Director and current Defense Secretary Gates is the most skilled inside power broker in Washington DC and is the chief reason Bush 43 didn’t strike Iran’s terrorist or nuclear facilities after Rumsfeld self-destructed as Defense Secretary.

    Gates as Sec Def has fired the chief of Staff of the USAF, the General commanding DC area VA hospitals for poor performance and forced into retirement several USAF generals who screwed up nuclear weapons security.

    Sacking McChrystal for Petreus would be a very smart move because it puts in a real war hero who has the political “gravitas” to extend the surge past 2011, if necessary in order to win.

    Especially if we get a Republican Congress in 2010.

    If that is indeed the case, I have Pres. Obama pegged as a complete empty suit who cannot make a decision, unless the Federal bureacracy has made it for him already.

    The tipoff was Pres. Obama’s failure to waive the Jones Act concerning the BP oil spill.

    That inaction has shown the entire federal bureaucracy that process is more important than results, and led directly to both the Coast Guard enforcing the letter of the law on life vests on oil spill collection barges, and the US Fish & Wildlife Service’s enforcing the letter of the law about dredging of bottom muck to construct protective berms.

    Every federal bureaucrat will spend all their time enforcing the letter of the law for the duration of this administration, regardless of how silly that makes them look.

    They know they must have a perfect record on paper to avoid discipline.

    That is the “command climate,” to borrow a military concept, Obama has established with the Federal Bureaucracy.

    I have critized Bush 43 here for demonstrating, through inaction, what happens when the country’s Chief Executive lacks energy (in terms of the comments by either Hamilton or Madison in the Federalist paper debates that what the country most needs in a President is “Energy in the Executive”).

    Obama is making Bush 43 look like Teddy Roosevelt, when it comes to “Energy in the Executive”.

  10. stevevvs says:

    Trent,

    You mentioned Hamilton. He was quite the double edged sward. In the Federalist Papers he sounded quite different than in real life. In real life he wanted a Permanent Presidency, someone who would serve for life. He was also a mercantilist, loved deficit spending, and big government in general. I’ve read several books with bits on him, but the most complete book on Hamilton is this one:

    http://www.amazon.com/Hamiltons-Curse-Jeffersons-Revolution-Americans/dp/0307382850/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1277389427&sr=1-1

    I loved Jefferson, and Hamilton was his arch enemy.

    I liked the Rolling Stone McChrystal interview. It mad me think how correct Diana West and Andrew McCarthy have been on McChrystal, COIN, and this whole Afghan mess in general.

    Very hot here, hope it’s cooler where you are. Enjoy the day.

  11. AJ,

    The latest from CNN from count ‘em two different “Pentagon sources.”

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/06/24/mcchrystal.gates.support/index.html?hpt=T1

    begin paras 4 & 5

    Gates was initially furious about the article, but said McChrystal had to stay in command because the war is at such a critical point, a second source — who also asked not to be named on internal administration discussions — told CNN.
    .
    and
    .
    But as it became clear the White House didn’t feel same way and the issue was not going to fade, Gates shifted his position and agreed that keeping the general would be an untenable distraction.
    .
    Gates is now out to cover his tracks, IMO.
    .
    This is classic octopus ink spin.
    .
    Put out so many plausible stories that the real one is lost in the noise.

  12. WWS says:

    Trent, the Society of the Cincinnati is something I’m aware of – I have the credentials to join, if I choose to pursue it. My mother’s in the DAR and the direct male line of our Revolutionary ancestor (actually there were more than one) died out some time ago.

    There really hasn’t been any American war that some member of my family hasn’t been a part of. (one of them’s buried at Spotsylvania, not far from AJ) Before he donated it to a museum (a good move although I hated to see it go) my grandfather still had an old Kentucky Long Rifle carried by an ancestor named Hardin Safford (love that name) in the French and Indian war. I’m 6’2″, and with the stock on the floor I could just barely rest my chin on the end of the barrel. Helluva gun!

  13. Neo says:

    If Petraeus resigns around the end of the year, Afghanistan is lost.

  14. TGSG says:

    I have a feeling that the O’man was sure and truly pissed that he had to revert to Petraeus on this. Just seems more like someone told him to do it than he was the instigator of the decision.

  15. CatoRenasci says:

    WWS – The Society of the Cincinnati is not a male equivalent of the DAR – which would be the Sons of the American Revolution. It is a hereditary society, Cincinnati memberships pass only in the direct male line (primogeniture – eldest son only) of the original members, all of whom were officers during the Revolution. Unless your last male direct line ancestor held a Cincinnati membership which died out, and the Society would permit you to revive, you are very unlikely to qualify.

    My family, like yours, has had members fighting in all of America’s wars at least as far back as Bacon’s Rebellion (my mother was ultimately descended from Col. Peter Beverly), and something like 6 ancestors fought in either the Virginia militia or the Continental Line (including a couple of officers) during the Revolution.

  16. crosspatch says:

    I saw a great line on a video today:

    “I can see November from my house.”

    I think that is a GREAT line we should repeat to these idiots any time we see one of them.