The McChrystal Dustup

Posted June 22nd, 2010 by Iron Mike

In May 2009,  LTG Stan McChrystal met BHO Jr. in the Oval Office.  Both men had taken oaths to “uphold, support, and defend”.  One of them has always taken his oath seriously.  The other never will. Today there is a dust-up.

Hunted & Killed

New presidents get to appoint new generals.  Nobody could be more qualified than Stan McChrystal – who had led the Special Ops unit that hunted down and killed Iraqi terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.  With Senate approval in June 2009 he got his 4th star and command of NATO units in Afghanistan.  His next task was to make a plan to win. 

His plan called for 60,000 troops, – he reluctantly settled for 40,000.  After months of consulting war wizards like Hillary and the Village Idiot,  Obama announced he would send 30,000.  Half measures bespeak the man. 

McChrystal had to work with the new US Ambassador to Afghanistan, retired Army 3-star-Karl W. Eikenberry.  These two could not be more different.

McChrystal is a direct-action guy, having served in and commanded Airborne, Ranger, and Special Ops units.  He has always volunteered to be the pointy end of the spear.  He is blunt, direct, non-political, and you can believe what he tells you.  Fighting men consider it an honor to be selected to serve with Stan McChrystal, and they will die for him.

Eikenberry has always been a staff weenie – a political soldier who avoids front-line and dirty duty, and is thusly scorned by the fighting part of the force.  He has Master’s degrees in Asian Studies from Harvard, and Political Science from Stanford.  Political types like working for Eikenberry, knowing instinctively he will reward them for riding his coattails and for being his political eyes and ears.

You will remember that McChrystal had to wait months while Obama played “military strategist” – eventually deciding on the 30,000 number and announcing a pull-out date in a West Point speech where cynical cadets were filmed nodding off.

In Afghanistan, McChrystal is surrounded by problems, and it now seems a few back-stabbing allies.  With Obama’s lip service to winning so completely obvious, the Taliban and al Qaeda have come down out of the mountains with renewed vigor, and with new weaponry supplied by Russia, China, Iran, and Pakistan’s ISI.  Formerly friendly tribal chiefs [aka warlords] are once again playing it safe, and even President Karzai has been keeping his options – and his escape hatch – open.  Eikenberry’s puppies leak a document critical of Karzai – and McChrystal is blind-sided again.

Enter the magazine Rolling Stone.  They send a crew to follow McChrystal around – and eventually print a multi-page spread.  In it they quote McChrystal and various aids making unflattering comments about Obama, Biden, Clinton, and Eikenberry.  And of course the leak the story to the media in advance of it going on sale. 

McChrystal must first apologize, and is summarily recalled to the Oval Office for a presidential ass chewing.  OK, he was disrespectful.  But the same pResident who couldn’t bother talking to BP President Tony Hayward for 57 days – suddenly recalls McChrystal overnight?  Maybe Stan should have just spilled some oil?


McChrystal is in a no-win situation.  Ground combat in Afghanistan, with wimpy NATO “allies” and a corruption ridden Afghan “government” will turn McChrystal’s last tour of duty into a replay of General Gromov’s exit in February 1989.  That exit led to the fall of the old USSR, and the rise of the very Taliban we fight today, and to the sheltering of UBL and his al Qaeda training camps in the 1990s.  McChrystal understands every inch of this.  Obama doesn’t care.

Prelude to Firing

If Obama is foolish or prideful enough to demand McChrystal’s resignation – as is his legal right, – he sets up a replay of the MacArthur-Truman saga of 1951.  That firing paved the way for the election of Eisenhower in 1952.  This will be foremost in Obama’s mind, with the midterms just 132 days away.  Nothing like firing a competent and successful war fighter to show you’re fundamentally a wuss on terrorism!

If you don’t recall,  Matthew Ridgeway who took over for MacArthur, fought the Korean War to a bloody standstill which ended in the unfinished “Truce” which lasts to this very day.  Parts of the replay are already underway, because McChrystal wants to win, and like Truman, – Obama doesn’t care about anything that far away.  Watch for fireworks, and face-saving.

   /s/  Iron Mike
   Old Soldier, – Still Good for Parts!

3 Responses to “The McChrystal Dustup”

  1. Tom Gilroy

    McChrystal is a warrior general, unhappy with the ROE, unhappy with the civilians running the war, unhappy with the number of fighting boots on the ground and most of all unhappy with the no win situation that he has been dealt by the thug in chief who is more concerned about time limits than a real winning strategy. Maybe Stan wants to be shown the door rather that be forever remembered as the Matt Ridgeway of Afghanistan.

  2. Reaganite Republican

    Outstanding coverage… thus linked:

    Thanks for your insights~

  3. Stanley McChrystal: Past, Present and Future, by Ron Jones

    […] sin of insubordination." While those on the right say, "It's really Obama's fault! McChrystal was blindsided by a dirty commie journalist who trumped up his remarks! Besides, he only expressed what we're all […]