Obama 'furious' at McChrystal - for telling the truth

Evidently, Obama's criticism of George Bush that he failed to listen to his generals on Iraq doesn't apply to him. Does his vast military experience gives him special insight into defense matters that Bush never had? Or is the president of the United States a monumental hypocrite?

That's the conclusion we can draw from this article by Alex Spillious in The Telegraph:

According to sources close to the administration, Gen McChrystal shocked and angered presidential advisers with the bluntness of a speech given in London last week.

The next day he was summoned to an awkward 25-minute face-to-face meeting on board Air Force One on the tarmac in Copenhagen, where the president had arrived to tout Chicago's unsuccessful Olympic bid.

Gen James Jones, the national security adviser, yesterday did little to allay the impression the meeting had been awkward.

Asked if the president had told the general to tone down his remarks, he told CBS: "I wasn't there so I can't answer that question. But it was an opportunity for them to get to know each other a little bit better. I am sure they exchanged direct views."

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."

In London, Gen McChrystal, who heads the 68,000 US troops in Afghanistan as well as the 100,000 Nato forces, flatly rejected proposals to switch to a strategy more reliant on drone missile strikes and special forces operations against al-Qaeda.

He told the Institute of International and Strategic Studies that the formula, which is favoured by Vice-President Joe Biden, would lead to "Chaos-istan".

When asked whether he would support it, he said: "The short answer is: No."

Just how bad is the situation in our government with regard to the debate about what to do in Afghanistan? The president's national security team believes that Joe Biden has the right approach.

This administration has dithered for 9 months about what to do in Afghanistan. They sent McChrystal there to ascertain what was needed to stabilize the country so that our troops could start coming home. McChrystal has now finished that analysis and told them many things they prefer not to hear - including the need for a massive number of troops to battle a growing insurgency - growing while they have been twiddling their thumbs for months.

And now they're angry that their hand picked commanding general, frustrated beyond measure with the slow pace of decision making (I would call it a lack of decision making), tries to goose his superiors by highlighting their incompetence.

Insubordinate? I think McChrystal has crossed the Rubicon and has decided that if the administration won't give him what he thinks he needs to WIN, he will resign anyway. I also think that there may be a method to the administration's delay; that when Afghanistan goes south, they can blame McChrystal for the failure. It wouldn't be the first time a president tried to blame a general for his own failure. And McChrystal might see the writing on the wall and is acting accordingly.

The Obama administration is making a pitiful spectacle of itself over Afghanistan. And does anyone out there see any evidence whatsoever that President Barack Obama is acting like a Commander in Chief rather than a politician who strives to split the difference on everything - including America's national security?