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by Sharon Rondeau

Does Obama have any kind of plan for winning in Afghanistan?

(Jun. 24, 2010) — General Stanley McChrystal was the “first officer appointed” by Obama just slightly over one year ago to replace Gen. David McKiernan, who had been  Commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)  and Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A).  McKiernan was Commander for one year, almost exactly the same amount of time as McChrystal.

McKiernan was reportedly asked to resign so that Obama could begin “a new strategy” in Afghanistan after almost eight years of U.S. presence there since shortly after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.  McKiernan had requested more troops which were eventually granted after he was dismissed.

Just two months after assuming the position, in August 2009, McChrystal reportedly told his superiors, “Failure to gain the initiative and reverse insurgent momentum in the near term… risks an outcome where defeating the insurgency is no longer possible. Additional resources are required.”

However, it was also reported that McChrystal advocated movement “away from conventional military planning towards modern, asymmetric warfare.”  He was expected to bring “fresh eyes” to the deteriorating conditions in Afghanistan.

It has been reported that McChrystal did not embrace the strategy of counterinsurgency aided by “full military partnership with civilian government allies” which included the State Department.

Last year, Obama “made McChrystal wait before the general was invited aboard Air Force One en route to Copenhagen.

One commentator opined that McChrystal was not so much the problem as Obama himself, stating, “In the end, Obama adopted what is beginning to look like a bad compromise. He approved most of the additional troops that McChrystal sought, but attached the July, 2011 deadline for beginning withdrawals.”  Perhaps Obama’s decision to send more troops yet maintain his plan to start bringing them home a year later created strained communications between McChrystal and him.  Originally, Defense Secretary Robert Gates seemed to indicate that McChrystal’s interview with Rolling Stone was not sufficient grounds upon which to fire him.

Some reports say that Obama dismissed McChrystal following their meeting today, while others say that McChrystal offered his resignation last night.  A Reuters report states both, but begins with “Obama Fires McChrystal, names Petraeus.” In a statement following the meeting at the White House, McChrystal said he resigned.

An investigation into the death of Pat Tillman revealed that McChrystal had stated that Tillman had died due to enemy fire rather than “friendly fire.”  An article written before McChrystal was confirmed by the Senate for the command of NATO forces in Afghanistan stated that McChrystal would not necessarily have an easy confirmation due to the incident.  Mary Tillman, Pat Tillman’s widow, reportedly wrote in her book, “It is imperative that Lt. Gen. McChrystal be scrutinized carefully during the Senate hearings.”

The author of another book about Tillman’s death stated that McChrystal should not have been considered for promotion due to the incident.  No charges were brought against McChrystal.

Of McChrystal’s current situation, yesterday Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely (Ret.) made the following statement on his website:

Afghanistan has been a major debacle based on an errant strategy since early 2002 when General Tommy Franks and the Bush administration decided to convert the war there from an unconventional to a conventional plan. They fell into a trap and erred with a strategy of counter-insurgency warfare, i.e. nation building, before the enemy is defeated.

Our currently top military leader in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal and his predecessors fell into the trap as well. And now we are in unwinnable situation.

Gen. McChrystal, as well as the troops, are in a total state of frustration. Rolling Stone magazine is an interesting media venue for McChrystal to vent his frustrations. If I were McChrystal and knew I was going to be fired, I would announce my resignation before being embarrassed by a White House photo-op. And I would state emphatically why I am retiring.

Added to the mess is incompetent political and diplomatic leadership.

Nine years. No victory, no clear winnable strategy.

According to a report in DEBKAfile, the eight-plus-year-old war in Afghanistan will end soon without a U.S. victory due to five major factors, including the acquisition by the Taliban from “an unknown party” of missiles capable of bringing down helicopters and other “low-flying aircraft.”  Also, according to DEBKA, an offensive scheduled to take place in Kandahar was postponed indefinitely, and with that delay, “the bottom is about to drop out of Obama’s overall war strategy.”

Did McChrystal grant the interview to Rolling Stone to highlight Obama’s weaknesses?  And could it be true that Obama is “more interested in a photo opportunity” than in discussing a winning strategy with a new commanding general?  Just ten days ago, McChrystal had stated, “Violence is up, and I think violence will continue to rise, particularly over the summer months.”

Did Obama just make a huge mistake?

With disagreements and divisions between Joe Biden and Robert Gates on Afghanistan strategy, was McChrystal seeking to be relieved of his duties?

Obama has stated that McChrystal’s comments to Rolling Stone magazine “undermined civilian control of the military.”  But what about Obama?  Has he not undermined the military by refusing to prove that he is constitutionally qualified to serve as “Commander-in-Chief”? A decorated Army physician is facing court martial over Obama’s unwillingness or inability to produce documentation that he is a “natural born Citizen.”  What kind of Commander-in-Chief would allow such a thing to happen to one of his soldiers?

The fawning mainstream media has stated that with the choice of Gen. David Petraeus to assume McChrystal’s post, he chose a “a popular and press-savvy military leader.”  Is that what is needed right now:  a “popular” and “press-savvy” leader?  What about someone who can win in Afghanistan?  Are military promotions purely political?

What type of leadership would follow the orders of a usurper to the presidency?  Are they protecting their own positions and income by denying discovery to Lt. Col. Lakin?  Are they upholding the oath they took to uphold the Constitution of the United States and to protect against all enemies, foreign and domestic, when the person giving the orders could be foreign-born with foreign allegiances?  How could any general or officer operate under such conditions?

What has happened to our once proud military?

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  1. I submit we should not underestimate the power of the individual to survive, as such, is this General another in a long line that seek only to make sure s/he survive the change of the guard under the ‘new international order’ ???

    Like others that firmly stand for Liberty and Freedom under the U.S. Constitution, I seek to ‘see the best’ in the military ‘top-brass’; however, IF any of them are deserving of the respect and loyalties of the legal U.S. citizens, would they NOT have, at minimum, spoken out against…versus….empowered the usurpation.

    This is NOT about Blue or Red or Purple, nor is there ANY gray in these matters! It is NOT in any way plausible or believable the ENTIRE USA Government, Military and News-Media do NOT comprehend the serious DANGERS of empowering a VIRTUAL UNKNOWN to be POTUS. Thus there is only one conclusion, to these the CORRUPTED, Obama and his Usurpation is A KNOWN [entity].

    For the people of the USA to have allowed this…Is tantamount to the slothful procrastinating at the sound of His trumpet.

  2. Yes Sharon, a way out.

    Picture McChystal in your mind, seeing his dilemma prior to Rolling Stone
    interviews, sitting on th edge of his chair, chin resting on fist, wondering in his mind…………….WHAT WOULD JOHN KERRY DO?


      Omg! I don’t know whether to pity or fear the person who asks him/herself that question.

  3. McChrystal isn’t the man that most people seem to think he is. I don’t expect anything good to come from him or because of him.

    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.
    Mrs. Rondeau replies: It now looks as if the liberals are devouring each other.

    1. Yep. I’m thinking that the rats are jumping the sinking ship. They helped aid and abet this fraud against the USA and now, seeing that it’s all about to be exposed, they’re getting out. They don’t want to be standing in front of the fan when the poo hits it.

  4. I have found that almost without exception, senior military officers not only maintain a firm grasp of the strategic circumstances at play around them but the direction of the political winds, as well. It would seem absolutely preposterous to me for Gen. McChrystal to knowingly allow the Rolling Stone interview to proceed without having first thought through all of the possible repercussions. Though I have nothing upon which to base my assumption, I suspect that Gen. McChrystal must have an ulterior motive for his actions these past few days, including allowing himself to be sacked. I suspect that we have not heard the end from the General. It is my fervent hope and prayer that General McChrystal really will a) join forces with LTC Lakin, as James said, b) come out in full support of LTC Lakin, or c) initiate a legal action of his own questioning obama’s authority to fire him and demand full accountability from the chain of command for its actions, or lack thereof.

    1. michaelsr, I think McChrystal’s just a victim of his own poor judgment and there is no ulterior motive. The only exception I’d make at this point is that, perhaps, he didn’t want to end up killed in Afganistan, expected to fight with his hands tied behind his back as our soldiers are doing there now, and used the Rolling Stoner interview to get himself canned. The man’s a flaming liberal, so much so that, like all flaming liberals, didn’t want his staff to learn of any dissenting news. He’s most likely in favor of the giant strides toward socialism that the man he helped place in the White House has been making.

      Everyone needs to remember that the enemy of your enemy is not always your friend. In other words, just because McChrystal and his staff said some unfavorable things about Oilbama and his administration, that does not mean that they’re Constitutionalists and that they’re on the side of what’s right.

      1. Yeah. It’s happened to me before, many times, but not this time. I had reservations about McChrystal because I don’t believe talking to the media is the way for a General to deal with his grievances or his disappointments with the CIC and the CIC’s administration. I tried to picture a good conservative like Col Allen West doing the same thing but I couldn’t conjure up the image. That McChrystal not only talked to an interviewer from the uber-liberal rag, Rolling Stoned, but even let the Rolling Stoner follow him and his aides around for several weeks spoke volumes to me about who McChrystal is. That his aides felt comfortable enough to make wise cracks to the interviewer in front of their General also says much about him.

  5. Mrs. Rondeau:

    Excellent question you pose at the end of your article.

    To me it seems even more od that the General was sacked even before the newsstand date of the magazine tomorrow. This entire affair is strange from a timing standpoint since the General flew back from Afghanistan, “met” with Obama who got his “kick-a**” photo-op to show his Superman-like toughness, and was out the door after 20 minutes or so when the newsstand date of the mag is tomorrow.

    I would think there were some obviously intentional leaking(s) of the article’s contents pre-spun in Obama’s favor, and I do not think it was unintentional. Keep in mind that this may just be another manufactured “crisis” that allows the CIC (Chief IslamoCommunist) to not only damage the American prestige (and troop morale) more, but also help in the destruction of our society and our country.

    Do I trust Obama??? Why should I … why should anyone with any sense after his almost continuous plethora of lies???

    1. No four star is this stupid, he wanted out. I am betting on spin of a crisis to make Obama look more conservative. Obama the leader of our victorious troops in Afghanistan. McChrystal gets out of a loser, Obama looks more presidential. The real chump is the Rolling Stone. They are doing Obama’s PR work, and McChrystal played them.

  6. I don’t think this whole issue is a diversionary hoax at all. I believe General McChrystal finally realized what a big mistake he had made by voting for Obama on 11/04/2008 and has the integrity to have been candid with the Rolling Stone reporter knowing full well what the repercussions would be.

    We’ll soon find out if I’m right about General McChrystal’s integrity.

  7. If General McChrystal has the integrity I believe he has he will retire from active duty asap and immediately thereafter relate his assessment of Obama et al in a press conference/tv interview.

    Otherwise what has happened to our once proud military, at least the highest-ranked members thereof, is Political Correctness.

  8. This might sound a little outrageous but I would like to ask has anyone considered this whole issue of McChrystal and Obama to be a hoax? Just another political diversion to shift focus away from other more compelling issues. I’m not sure, but it does seem odd that a military officer of McChrystal’s caliber would lower down his guard to a Rolling Stone reporter of all people and set himself like this. McChrystal had to have known that there would be repercussions for the things he has said. Just wondering.
    Mrs. Rondeau replies: That is what I am wondering, too. Perhaps he felt he could never win and this was a way to get out.