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Thread: The Runaway General (McChrystal goes MacArthur)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Buffalo, New York

    Default The Runaway General (McChrystal goes MacArthur)

    Stanley McChrystal, Obama's top commander in Afghanistan, has seized control of the war by never taking his eye off the real enemy: The wimps in the White House

    By Michael Hastings
    Jun 22, 2010 10:00 AM EDT

    This article appears in RS 1108/1109 from July 8-22, 2010, on newsstands Friday, June 25.

    'How'd I get screwed into going to this dinner?" demands Gen. Stanley McChrystal. It's a Thursday night in mid-April, and the commander of all U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan is sitting in a four-star suite at the Hôtel Westminster in Paris. He's in France to sell his new war strategy to our NATO allies – to keep up the fiction, in essence, that we actually have allies. Since McChrystal took over a year ago, the Afghan war has become the exclusive property of the United States. Opposition to the war has already toppled the Dutch government, forced the resignation of Germany's president and sparked both Canada and the Netherlands to announce the withdrawal of their 4,500 troops. McChrystal is in Paris to keep the French, who have lost more than 40 soldiers in Afghanistan, from going all wobbly on him.

    "The dinner comes with the position, sir," says his chief of staff, Col. Charlie Flynn.

    McChrystal turns sharply in his chair.

    "Hey, Charlie," he asks, "does this come with the position?"

    McChrystal gives him the middle finger.

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    The general stands and looks around the suite that his traveling staff of 10 has converted into a full-scale operations center. The tables are crowded with silver Panasonic Toughbooks, and blue cables crisscross the hotel's thick carpet, hooked up to satellite dishes to provide encrypted phone and e-mail communications. Dressed in off-the-rack civilian casual – blue tie, button-down shirt, dress slacks – McChrystal is way out of his comfort zone. Paris, as one of his advisers says, is the "most anti-McChrystal city you can imagine." The general hates fancy restaurants, rejecting any place with candles on the tables as too "Gucci." He prefers Bud Light Lime (his favorite beer) to Bordeaux,
    Talladega Nights

    (his favorite movie) to Jean-Luc Godard. Besides, the public eye has never been a place where McChrystal felt comfortable: Before President Obama put him in charge of the war in Afghanistan, he spent five years running the Pentagon's most secretive black ops.

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    "What's the update on the Kandahar bombing?" McChrystal asks Flynn. The city has been rocked by two massive car bombs in the past day alone, calling into question the general's assurances that he can wrest it from the Taliban.

    "We have two KIAs, but that hasn't been confirmed," Flynn says.

    McChrystal takes a final look around the suite. At 55, he is gaunt and lean, not unlike an older version of Christian Bale in Rescue Dawn. His slate-blue eyes have the unsettling ability to drill down when they lock on you. If you've ****ed up or disappointed him, they can destroy your soul without the need for him to raise his voice.

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    "I'd rather have my *** kicked by a roomful of people than go out to this dinner," McChrystal says.

    He pauses a beat.

    "Unfortunately," he adds, "no one in this room could do it."

    With that, he's out the door.

    "Who's he going to dinner with?" I ask one of his aides.

    "Some French minister," the aide tells me. "It's ****ing gay."

    Get more Rolling Stone political coverage.

    The next morning, McChrystal and his team gather to prepare for a speech he is giving at the École Militaire, a French military academy. The general prides himself on being sharper and ballsier than anyone else, but his brashness comes with a price: Although McChrystal has been in charge of the war for only a year, in that short time he has managed to piss off almost everyone with a stake in the conflict. Last fall, during the question-and-answer session following a speech he gave in London, McChrystal dismissed the counterterrorism strategy being advocated by Vice President Joe Biden as "shortsighted," saying it would lead to a state of "Chaos-istan." The remarks earned him a smackdown from the president himself, who summoned the general to a terse private meeting aboard Air Force One. The message to McChrystal seemed clear: Shut the **** up, and keep a lower profile

    Now, flipping through printout cards of his speech in Paris, McChrystal wonders aloud what Biden question he might get today, and how he should respond. "I never know what's going to pop out until I'm up there, that's the problem," he says. Then, unable to help themselves, he and his staff imagine the general dismissing the vice president with a good one-liner.

    "Are you asking about Vice President Biden?" McChrystal says with a laugh. "Who's that?"

    "Biden?" suggests a top adviser. "Did you say: Bite Me?"

    When Barack 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 Chiefs of Staff, he also fired Gen. David McKiernan – then the U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan – and replaced him with a man he didn't know and had met only briefly: Gen. Stanley 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 Gen. Douglas MacArthur at the height of the Korean War.

    Even though he had voted for Obama, McChrystal 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 known as the Tank. According to sources familiar with the meeting, McChrystal 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 McChrystal got the Afghanistan job, and it didn't go much better. "It was a 10-minute photo op," says an adviser to McChrystal. "Obama clearly didn't know anything about him, who he was. Here's the guy who's going to run his ****ing war, but he didn't seem very engaged. The Boss was pretty disappointed."

    Article Pages 2-6 Continues Here

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Buffalo, New York

    Default Re: The Runaway General (McChrystal goes MacArthur)

    This is the article causing a huge political fallout in America...

  3. #3
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    Jun 2005

    Default Re: The Runaway General (McChrystal goes MacArthur)

    What an uncouth little man.
    Fabricati Diem, Pvnc.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Default Re: The Runaway General (McChrystal goes MacArthur)

    There are issues the SF have with the general, but in the end he has helped to bring more exposure to the ineptness of the "chosen ime" and his evil minions the whitehouse.

    "Uncouth?" Gracious me.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default Re: The Runaway General (McChrystal goes MacArthur)

    From the start, McChrystal was determined to place his personal stamp on Afghanistan, to use it as a 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 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 nation's government – a process that even its staunchest advocates admit requires years, if not decades, to achieve. The theory essentially rebrands the military, expanding its authority (and its funding) to encompass the diplomatic and political sides of warfare: Think the Green Berets as an armed Peace Corps. In 2006, after Gen. David Petraeus beta-tested the theory during his "surge" in Iraq, it quickly gained a hardcore following of think-tankers, journalists, military officers and civilian officials. Nicknamed "COINdinistas" for their cultish zeal, this influential cadre believed the doctrine would be the perfect solution for Afghanistan. All they needed was a general with enough charisma and political savvy to implement it.
    This is typical Rolling Stone drivel written by some dopey gonzo journalism (self-promotion and writing style triumph over substance or accuracy) **** who has abso****inglutely no ****ing under****ingstanding of the first ****ing thing to do with effective counterinsurgency military action. Great to read for morons but hardly a useful contribution to any understanding of anything except the journalist's desire for a headhunting scoop.

    The journalist says, disparagingly
    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 nation's government – a process that even its staunchest advocates admit requires years, if not decades, to achieve.
    Yeah, well, Shithead, elements of that process were employed in the Reconstruction period in the South after the American Civil War, with a degree of success.

    The same process was attempted in what is now known as the Vietnam War, and might have succeeded but for the corruption inherent in the SVN administration and military forces and the failure of the foreign, primarily but not by any means exclusively, American military leadership in SVN.

    And one of the biggest problems has been the Western desire for a quick (in a few years at most) resolution and the Asian willingness to go for the long term (decades at a minimum) result.

    But the modern problem is rather more complicated than just different perceptions of time and the political imperatives behind it, and is not readily reducible to clever and wholly ignorant journalistic comments, as illustrated by this well informed and considered analysis: http://smallwarsjournal.com/documents/kilcullen1.pdf
    A rational army would run away.

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