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  1. 22 Jun '10 19:36 / 2 edits
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37847841/ns/us_news-military/

    "When Barak Obama entered the Oval Office, he immediately set out to deliver on his most important campaign promise on foreign policy: to refocus the war in Afghanistan on what led us to invade in the first place. "I want the American people to understand," he announced in March 2009. "We have a clear and focused goal: to disrupt, dismantle and defeat Al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan." He ordered another 21,000 troops to Kabul, the largest increase since the war began in 2001. Taking the advice of both the Pentagon and the Joint Cheifs of Staff, he also fired General David McChrystal -- then the US and NATO commander in Afghanistan -- and replace him with a man he did not know and had met only briefly. General Stanely McChrystal. It was the first time a top general had been relieved from duty during wartime in more than 50 years, since Harry Truman fired General Douglas McCarthur at the height of the Korean War. Even though he had voted for Obama, McCrystal and his new commander in chief failed from the outset to connect. The general first encountered Obama a week after he took office, when the President met with a dozen senior military officials in a room at the Pentagon knonw as the Tank. According to scources familiar with the meeting, McCrystal thought Obama looked "uncomfortable and intimidated" by the roomful of military brass. Their first one-on-one meeting took place in the Oval Office four months later, after McCrystal got the Afghanistan job, and it did not go much better. "It was a 10-minute phot op," says an advisor to McCrystal. "Obama clearly did not know anything about him, who he was. Here is the guy who is going to run his Fu**ing war, but he did not seem very engaged. The Boss was pretty disappointed."

    "From the start, McChrystal was determined to place his personal stamp on Afghanistan, to use it as as laboratory for a controversial military strategy known as counterinsurgency. COIN, as the theory is known, is the new gospel of the Pentagon brass, a doctrine that attempts to square the military's preference for high tech violence with the demands of fighting a protracted wars in failed states. COIN calls for sending huge numbers of ground troops to not only destroy the enemy, but to live among the civilian population and slowly rebuild, or build from scratch, another nations government -- a process that even its staunchest advocates admit requires years, if not decades, to achieve.......After arriving in Afghanistan last June, the general counducted his own policy review, ordered up by Defense Secretary Robert Gates. The now infamous report was leaked to the press, and its conclusion was dire. If we did not send another 40,000 troops -- swelling the number of US forces in Afghanistan by nearly half -- we were in danger of "mission failure". The White House was furious. McCrystal, they felt, was trying to bully Obama, opening him up to charges of being weak on national security issues he did what the general wanted. It was Obama versus the Pentagon, and the Pentagon was determined to kick the president's arse."

    "Last fall, with his top general calling for more troops, Obama launched a 3 month review to re-evaluate the stategy in Afghanistan. "I found that time painful," McCrystal tells me in one of several lengthy interveiws. "I was selling an unsellable position." For the general, it was a crash course in Beltway politics -- a battle that pitted him against experienced Washington insiders like Vice President Biden, who argued that a prolonged counterinsurgency campaign in Afghanistan would plunge America into a military quagmire without weakening international terrorists networks. "The entire COIN strategy is a fraud perpetuated on the American people," says Douglas Macgregor, a retired colonel and leading critic of COIN who attended West Point with McCrystal. "The idea that we are going to spend a trillion dollars to reshape the culture of the Islamic world is utter nonsenes." In the end, however, McCrystal got almost exactly what he wanted. On December 1rst, in a speech at West Point, the president laid out all the resons why fighting the war in Afghanistan is a bad idea; It's expensive, we are in an economic crisis, a decade long commitment would sap American power. Al Qaeda has shifted its base of operations to Pakistan. Then, without ever using the words "victory" or "win", Obama announced that he would send another 30,000 troops to Afghanistan, almost as many as McCrystal had requested. The president had thrown his weight, however, hesitantly, behind the counterinsurgency crowd."

    ....."The Presidentt finds himself stuck in something even more insane than a quagmire, a quagmire he knowingly walked into, enen though it is precisely the kind of gigantic, mind-numbning, multigenerational nation-building project he explicitly said he did not want."

    ______________________________________________________


    So here we go again. Where is the leadership? Where is the vision? What is the mission? If President Obama is sold on COIN, then McCrystal is his man. However, if he is not, why is he still in charge in Afghanistan? Then again, how can you keep a man in such a position that has such a loose tongue and apparent lack of respect for the Presidents abililty to be commander in cheif?
  2. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    22 Jun '10 19:46
    Originally posted by whodey
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37847841/ns/us_news-military/

    "When Barak Obama entered the Oval Office, he immediately set out to deliver on his most important campaign promise on foreign policy: to refocus the war in Afghanistan on what led us to invade in the first place. "I want the American people to understand," he announced in March 2009. "We have a ...[text shortened]... respect for the Presidents abililty to be commander in cheif?
    The full Rolling Stone article with many direct quotes criticizing Obama and virtually everybody in the administration who has anything to do with Afghanistan is here: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390/119236

    I don't see how Obama has any other choice but to fire McChrystal and absorb the political heat. Afghanistan continues to be a self-inflicted wound on this President.
  3. 22 Jun '10 19:57 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    The full Rolling Stone article with many direct quotes criticizing Obama and virtually everybody in the administration who has anything to do with Afghanistan is here: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390/119236

    I don't see how Obama has any other choice but to fire McChrystal and absorb the political heat. Afghanistan continues to be a self-inflicted wound on this President.
    Agreed.

    Perhaps before Obama decided to fire the former general in charge he should have at least known a little more about the man he was so eager to replace him with.

    So what in your opinion should be done? Do you favor COIN? Immediate withdraw? What?
  4. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    22 Jun '10 20:20
    Originally posted by whodey
    Agreed.

    Perhaps before Obama decided to fire the former general in charge he should have at least known a little more about the man he was so eager to replace him with.

    So what in your opinion should be done? Do you favor COIN? Immediate withdraw? What?
    COIN is colonial nation building; the Soviets tried it in the 80s. Didn't work so well.

    A rapid, orderly withdrawal is my preference. Afghanistan will descend into even more chaos than it is in presently, but Afghanistan has always been chaotic. We've occupied it for almost 10 years without changing that reality with only a lot of dead people to show for our hubris.
  5. Standard member adam warlock
    Baby Gauss
    22 Jun '10 20:26
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Afghanistan has always been chaotic.
    Always?
  6. Standard member joneschr
    Some guy
    22 Jun '10 20:40
    A total outsider, but it strikes me that the whole "COIN" concept has been way overbought, and that, if there's anyone who is a good counter-insurgency general, it's not Stanley McChrystal. The whole point of counter insurgency is to woo the population and sway them to your side, gradually over time. Guys that make as many enemies as McChrystal seems to be doing, don't exactly exemplify that concept.

    And that's why he should be fired - not because he's bashing Obama, but because he's not acting in accordance to his mission.

    McChrystal seems to me like an outstanding leader. But he shouldn't be top of the food chain. Sort of reminds me of Patton. Brilliant leader, but outspoken, and he needs an Eisenhower to keep him on a leash. And that shouldn't be Obama. He should be demoted so that he's still a significant force in Afghanistan, but not the figurehead.
  7. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    22 Jun '10 21:04
    Originally posted by joneschr
    A total outsider, but it strikes me that the whole "COIN" concept has been way overbought, and that, if there's anyone who is a good counter-insurgency general, it's not Stanley McChrystal. The whole point of counter insurgency is to woo the population and sway them to your side, gradually over time. Guys that make as many enemies as McChrystal seems to b ...[text shortened]... emoted so that he's still a significant force in Afghanistan, but not the figurehead.
    I disagree; the last thing you want in your chain of command is an insubordinate officer with a big mouth. He should be dismissed.
  8. 22 Jun '10 21:13
    Originally posted by joneschr
    A total outsider, but it strikes me that the whole "COIN" concept has been way overbought, and that, if there's anyone who is a good counter-insurgency general, it's not Stanley McChrystal. The whole point of counter insurgency is to woo the population and sway them to your side, gradually over time. Guys that make as many enemies as McChrystal seems to b ...[text shortened]... emoted so that he's still a significant force in Afghanistan, but not the figurehead.
    Comparing McCrystal to Patton? LOL.

    First of all, as Maurauder has pointed out historically COIN does not work. Having said that, general Patton was an astute historian and used histories lessons to "guide" him and would NEVER have gone for COIN. In addition, as Maurauder has pointed out the general has a big mouth. Perhaps this is all he has in common with Patton. Nevertheless, General Patton was relieved in large measure of his command although he returned to the fight later. If nothing else, McCrystal should be removed temporarily. Do you think general Eisenhauer would have put up with McCrystal? I think not.
  9. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    22 Jun '10 21:22 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by whodey
    Comparing McCrystal to Patton? LOL.

    First of all, as Maurauder has pointed out historically COIN does not work. Having said that, general Patton was an astute historian and used histories lessons to "guide" him and would NEVER have gone for COIN. In addition, as Maurauder has pointed out the general has a big mouth. Perhaps this is all he has in common ...[text shortened]... temporarily. Do you think general Eisenhauer would have put up with McCrystal? I think not.
    Patton was an Anglo supremicist who would have rolled over insurgents with his tanks until they couldn't oppose him any more.

    Patton was at a "Welcome Club" of American GIs, in Knutsford, England in mid-April 1944. Patton was asked by the organizers to give a speech, he agreed to as long as there were no reporters or press of any sort. The organizers promised him this, and he went. At this speech he said, "that the British and the American are two people separated by a common language. Since it is evident destiny of the British and Americans rule the world, the better we know each other the better job we will do."

    http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/wwii/articles/twogeneral.aspx
  10. 23 Jun '10 02:26
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Patton was an Anglo supremicist who would have rolled over insurgents with his tanks until they couldn't oppose him any more.

    Patton was at a "Welcome Club" of American GIs, in Knutsford, England in mid-April 1944. Patton was asked by the organizers to give a speech, he agreed to as long as there were no reporters or press of any sort. The organ ...[text shortened]... job we will do."

    http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/wwii/articles/twogeneral.aspx
    What makes you think that Patton disdained the Russians based upon race?
  11. 23 Jun '10 02:31 / 4 edits
    From what it sounds like, Obama is going to fire McCrystal tonight. If he does then where will our fearless leader lead us to next? My guess it will be more of the same. His generals will ask for more troops and he will appease them by giving them a percentage of what they ask for. How then is a war "winable" if this is the pattern to be expected? In fact, what would "winning" look like? Perhaps the next general will not belittle the president and refer to him his "Bohemian general" publically, but the fact remains that politics supercede military needs. Obama simply does not have the political will for what needs to be done to win militarily. After all, it would mean invading Pakistan. At the same time, he wants to look as though he is "tough" on terror so he will remain in Afghanistan.

    Edit: As a bonus I suppose he gets to waste trillions more of tax payers dollars even though they are fighting an unwinable war.
  12. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    23 Jun '10 02:36
    Originally posted by whodey
    What makes you think that Patton disdained the Russians based upon race?
    "The difficulty in understanding the Russian is that we do not take cognizance of the fact that he is not a European, but an Asiatic, and therefore thinks deviously. We can no more understand a Russian than a Chinese or a Japanese, and from what I have seen of them, I have no particular desire to understand them except to ascertain how much lead or iron it takes to kill them. In addition to his other amiable characteristics, the Russian has no regard for human life and they are all out sons-of-bitches, barbarians, and chronic drunks." ~~George C. Patton
  13. 23 Jun '10 04:37 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by whodey
    From what it sounds like, Obama is going to fire McCrystal tonight. If he does then where will our fearless leader lead us to next? My guess it will be more of the same. His generals will ask for more troops and he will appease them by giving them a percentage of what they ask for. How then is a war "winable" if this is the pattern to be expected? In fac trillions more of tax payers dollars even though they are fighting an unwinable war.
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2010/06/22/national/w101954D43.DTL

    US general in Afghan war at risk of losing his job

    By ANNE GEARAN and JENNIFER LOVEN, Associated Press Writers
    June 22, 2010 07:24 PM

    Tuesday, June 22, 2010

    ...

    Gen. Stanley McChrystal is prepared to submit his resignation at a meeting with Obama on Wednesday at the White House, two military officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

    Obama summoned McChrystal to explain disparaging comments about his commander in chief and Obama's top aides. The meeting was a last-ditch moment for the general once considered the war's brightest hope.

    ...

    As support for the general drained in Washington, the showdown was set to take place in two parts — as part of Obama's regular monthly war meeting, in which McChrystal usually participates by videoconference, and a separate discussion with Obama in the Oval Office.

    ...
  14. 23 Jun '10 11:20 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by zeeblebot
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2010/06/22/national/w101954D43.DTL

    US general in Afghan war at risk of losing his job

    By ANNE GEARAN and JENNIFER LOVEN, Associated Press Writers
    June 22, 2010 07:24 PM

    Tuesday, June 22, 2010

    ...

    Gen. Stanley McChrystal is prepared to submit his resignation at a meeting with Obama on Wednesda ticipates by videoconference, and a separate discussion with Obama in the Oval Office.

    ...
    I just saw Senator McCain comment on the issue. You know, it is Mr. "I want to occupy the Middle East forever". Anyhow, he thinks that this is a "critical" time in the war so the US can win so it would, therefore, be a bad time to get rid of the general. My question is, win what? Capture what? Kill what? Why don't they just come out and say that they wish to occupy Afghanistan indefinately?

    As for myself, I think the inablity to fire this guy would be yet another indication of Obama's lack of leadership. No doubt, he has been billed "indispensable" by those around him so he may keep him on the job. LOL.
  15. 23 Jun '10 11:59
    What is Obama hoping to gain by staying in Afghanistan, anyway? (other than votes)