Thursday, June 24, 2010

McChrystal told the truth: The unvarnished truth about President Obama's dysfunctional national security team

The military is finally telling the unvarnished truth about President Obama's dysfunctional national security team.

Oddly, Gen. Stanley McChrystal and his inner circle chose to dish dirt to a reporter for Rolling Stone, a decidedly left-wing publication that portrays the U.S. military negatively and knows as much about counter-insurgency as a 4th grader. The article that brought down the career special-operations soldier throws in the "F-word" several times, not as a quote, but to describe the author's own views.

Not included in the story is an ongoing dispute between the White House and its generals that shows why McChrystal, the top commander in Afghanistan, had grown so frustrated.

The debate centers on when exactly troops will begin leaving Afghanistan. Every time a Pentagon figure, such as Gen. David Petraeus, the overall region commander, testified that Obama's July 2011 withdrawal date does not mean the U.S. is abandoning Afghanistan, there was a White House official saying nearly the opposite.

The result is a badly mangled message to Afghan troops and villagers who think America is going to leave them to the mercies of the Taliban, which shows no mercy. Thus, McChrystal's counter-insurgency strategy of winning over the population cannot possibly succeed as long as the White House undercuts it. This is an administration that eschews using the words war or victory or winning.