Wednesday, June 23, 2010

General McChrystal covers his... flank

Fatheaded hubris is going to take a severe hit in the years to come and Americans are going to want someone to blame it on. I think that they will blame it on whichever poor, helpless, sap wins the White House this year. Self quote - News Links, 9/15/2008
David Seaton's News Links
The McChrystal affair is much simpler than it looks.

I'm sure that McChrystal knew perfectly well what he was doing and that he was only trying to get himself fired for some other reason than not winning the war. I would interpret this whole incident as a clear sign that those who understand these things already consider Afghanistan a lost cause.

I think that this quote from the Rolling Stone article is the key to all of this:
Today, as McChrystal gears up for an offensive in southern Afghanistan, the prospects for any kind of success look bleak. In June, the death toll for U.S. troops passed 1,000, and the number of IEDs has doubled. Spending hundreds of billions of dollars on the fifth-poorest country on earth has failed to win over the civilian population, whose attitude toward U.S. troops ranges from intensely wary to openly hostile. The biggest military operation of the year – a ferocious offensive that began in February to retake the southern town of Marja – continues to drag on, prompting McChrystal himself to refer to it as a "bleeding ulcer." In June, Afghanistan officially outpaced Vietnam as the longest war in American history – and Obama has quietly begun to back away from the deadline he set for withdrawing U.S. troops in July of next year. The president finds himself stuck in something even more insane than a quagmire: a quagmire he knowingly walked into, even though it's precisely the kind of gigantic, mind-numbing, multigenerational nation-building project he explicitly said he didn't want.

Even those who support McChrystal and his strategy of counterinsurgency know that whatever the general manages to accomplish in Afghanistan, it's going to look more like Vietnam than Desert Storm. "It's not going to look like a win, smell like a win or taste like a win," says Maj. Gen. Bill Mayville, who serves as chief of operations for McChrystal. "This is going to end in an argument."
McChrystal didn't want to go down with the ship.

Experts agree that the most difficult military maneuver of all is to organize an orderly retreat from an impossible position. Knowing when the position is hopeless, creating distractions and withdrawing under their cover with the least possible damage to oneself is universally considered the summum of the soldier's art and the mark of an able general.

McChrystal is a brilliant general with a big IQ trapped in a hopeless situation from which he has just been liberated. I find it hard to believe he didn't know exactly what he was doing.

When the war ends it will be Obama who lost it, not McChrystal.

Mission accomplished.

Mark my words, someday apologists writing books about "who lost Afghanistan" will say, "if only Obama had kept McChrystal..."

In 2013 President Huckabee will probably make him Chief of Staff.

Or maybe his vice-president.DS

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