Question of the Day: Exactly whose war is McChrystal fighting?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The question isn’t whether or not General McChrystal and his high ranking aids should have criticized the President and other national security senior players in public. His remarks, however accurate and commonly held within the military, were entirely inappropriate. He deserves to be fired. The President has no choice but to make an example of him and those of his staff who were unable to keep their opinions to themselves, on the record or not, in the presence of a Rolling Stone reporter.

The question is not even whether or not the General’s comments were accurate and, if so, what their implications might be for our foreign policy and politics.

The question is, given the considerable differences between the General and the President and our civilian national security management, whose war has the General been fighting? The one the President, our elected leader, has instructed him to fight, or the one General McChrystal believes he should be fighting?

The question of the day is, “Who’s in charge?” Has General McChrystal honored his Constitutional obligation to the maximum extent of his abilities, regardless of his personal opinions of the quality and direction of elected decision-making, or has he allowed those personal opinions to affect the course of our military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan?


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