Are we not worried about this?
This linked article is one I am very curious to know what people think about. I know how I feel.
If you don’t care how I feel, leave now.
Let me get this straight. The man in charge of the 68,000 American men and women putting their lives on the line, as well as the 100,000-strong NATO force in Afghanistan, is in trouble.
He’s in trouble for speaking his mind and telling us, the American people, exactly the truth as he believes it to be.
Basically, he tells us that the half-assed efforts being considered, the ideas of military stalwart Joe Biden to use Special Forces strike teams and unpiloted drones, will lead to an unfavorable result.
We’re being fed two different stories on every front now. The media rants, the government rants when “leaks” lead to even an ounce of unfavorable press. Yet, the second a leak sheds a positive spin on anything governmental, it’s splattered from coast to coast.
An adviser to the administration said: “People aren’t sure whether McChrystal is being naïve or an upstart. To my mind he doesn’t seem ready for this Washington hard-ball and is just speaking his mind too plainly.”
Is that possible? I mean he’s not speaking Joe Biden plain and giving away national defense secret locations, but he’s speaking as the man in charge of all allied ground forces in theater right? Don’t WE want him to speak plainly? Speak the truth where no harm can come to our soldiers? In fact, isn’t he spelling out in pretty plain words what he believes our politicians back home need to do to allow our men and women the best chance to A) survive and B) win?
Then we have this nugget:
He went on to say: “Waiting does not prolong a favorable outcome. This effort will not remain winnable indefinitely, and nor will public support.”
Which, if you read the article, is followed with this:
He will hold at least one more this week, but a decision on how far to follow Gen McChrystal’s recommendation to send 40,000 more US troops will not be made for several weeks.
I completely understand the need to NOT knee-jerk and not overreact, but at the same time lives are being lost with every full rotation of the clock we see. This IS life and death, this IS real. It doesn’t get more real than this. That’s not to even speak to the fact that the war in Afghanistan has been pushed to back page news except when Americans and NATO soldiers are killed. Yes, we have domestic issues that must be resolved, but that should in no way impact the process, speed or timing in which the president of this nation allows the men charged with military action and planning to do their jobs, right?
He added that it was highly unusual for a senior military officer to “pressure the president in public to adopt his strategy.”
This offends me in so many ways. This highly decorated “senior military officer” is the EXACT man I want pressuring ANYONE involved in decision-making, ever. That’s what he does, that’s who he is. If you are stupid or ignorant enough to think you know better — or have the “right plan” — than the man with boots on the ground over there, well, you’re lost.
Finally there is this:
“They want to make sure people know what they asked for if things go wrong,” said Lawrence Korb, a former assistant secretary of defense.
Critics also pointed out that before their Copenhagen encounter Mr. Obama had only met Gen. McChrystal once since his appointment in June.
Here is where I, as a citizen, have some huge issues. Brilliant military men, men tasked with leading this nation’s military, already are recognizing this administration’s desires, and smart people are recognizing this for what it is. They know they don’t or aren’t going to get this government’s backing WITHOUT the public completely aware of the score. Why would they do this? Is political capital so valuable that you’d put lives at risk? Is a political campaign, four years away, that valuable to people in our government? Is it? Is that out of the realm of possibility?
And lastly, how is it possible that the president of the United States has only had time to meet face to face with the commander of allied forces in Afghanistan only once since June? That’s four months. I am not naive enough to think they both don’t have ridiculous schedules, but if the president hadn’t thought the Olympic bid so important he wouldn’t even have been in the same hemisphere to have this meeting, right? If the War on Terror is such a huge priority, why has this not happened sooner? I know that they can “talk” from anyplace on the planet at a moment’s notice — I assume they have before this, but I don’t know. But if they know, and they did, that a face-to-face meeting was as much for perception and support as it was for substance, maybe more so, why didn’t that rate higher on the priority scale?
Here’s the reason this bothers me so much. Spending 10 days in theater was the most eye-opening and rewarding thing I’ve ever done. No, it didn’t make me an expert, not even close, on the war over there. What it did do is explain to me that the soldiers, the privates, the men patrolling hostile territory 24/7, living and dying, are truly bothered by the fact that the media on this side of the ocean was NOT reporting on the war they were fighting. Far from it. The lies and BS we were, are and will be told are often times quite the opposite of the facts in play.