Advancing a Free Society

McChrystal deserves another chance

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

General Stanley McChrystal is in hot water for a profile of him in the coming issue of Rolling Stone. That it's titled "The Runaway General" gives a pretty good indication of the slant of the article, which also describes the Marja offensive as "doomed."

I certainly agree with Peter's post -- McChrystal didn't do himself any favors and his staff sure didn't serve him well allowing the reporter to hear their rough talk. He says numerous impolitic things, including evidently telling the reporter he voted for President Obama (it's practically an article of faith in the American military to keep one's votes to one's self), and laughing when a staffer says something demeaning about Vice President Joe Biden.

But McChrystal also didn't commit treason, which is what the political backlash makes it sound like. He didn't disobey an order. He didn't go outside his chain of command to undercut the president.  He didn't say he knew better than his elected leadership what needed to be done.  He didn't even criticize the president other than to say he'd looked uncomfortable the first time he met the military leadership. This is not "his MacArthur moment," as commentators are suggesting.

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