Celebrity Generals

Let’s consider for a moment the fates of two men who took unique paths in military life and whose careers were once intertwined: Gen. David Petraeus, now our Afghan War commander, and his former subordinate, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, our former Afghan War commander before he became the first general since Douglas MacArthur to be axed … Continue reading “Celebrity Generals”

Code of Military Justice

Gen. Stan McChrystal, United States Army, will leave active service with four stars instead of three because of a special waiver bestowed on him by President Barack Obama. One is supposed to hold four-star rank for three years before one can retire at that pay grade, something McChrystal obviously didn’t do, but Obama made nice … Continue reading “Code of Military Justice”

The Dark Legacy of Gen. McChrystal

Gen. Stanley McChrystal might have left town through the back door with his four stars barely intact, his 35-year career in the Army humiliatingly cut short by a lack of judgment with a counterculture magazine. But in reality, he got off easy. As a four-star popular with his peers, McChrystal will have professional options most … Continue reading “The Dark Legacy of Gen. McChrystal”

McChrystal Probe of Afghan Killings Excluded Key Eyewitnesses

The follow-up investigation of a botched Special Operations Forces (SOF) raid in Gardez Feb. 12 that killed two government officials and three women, ordered by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal April 5, was ostensibly aimed at reconciling divergent Afghan and U.S. accounts of what happened during and after the raid. That implied that the U.S. investigators … Continue reading “McChrystal Probe of Afghan Killings Excluded Key Eyewitnesses”

The Second Coming of Petraeus

With the justified firing of Gen. Stanley McChrystal and his replacement with Iraq water-walker David Petraeus, it’s as if people are hoping for a second coming of Jesus in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the replacement may be similar to the second coming of the water-walking Joe Gibbs as coach of the Washington Redskins. Although McChrystal’s derisive comments … Continue reading “The Second Coming of Petraeus”

After McChrystal: What Now?

Nearly a week after the abrupt demise of Washington’s top commander in Afghanistan, U.S. strategy for reversing the flood of bad news that has been recently pouring out of that strife-torn country remains as unclear as ever. Led by Sen. John McCain and many of the same neoconservatives who championed the war in Iraq, hawks … Continue reading “After McChrystal: What Now?”

What, Me McWorry?

Now we know why “King David” Petraeus fainted like a girl at his Senate testimony [.pdf] two weeks ago. Armed Services Committee chairman Carl Levin put Petraeus on the ropes by asking if his allegiance to President Obama’s withdrawal timeline for Afghanistan reflected his “best personal professional judgment.” Petraeus rope-a-doped his way out of that … Continue reading “What, Me McWorry?”

The President Chooses the Guru

Much of the time, our wars may hardly exist for us, but in the age of celebrity, our generals do – exactly because they become celebrities. When Barack Obama picked Stanley McChrystal as his Afghan war commander, the general was greeted by the media as little short of a savior. He was, we were told, … Continue reading “The President Chooses the Guru”

McChrystal’s Challenge

All Washington is atwitter over a Rolling Stone profile of Gen. Stanley McChrystal in which the thuggish commander of US forces in Afghanistan and his snarky juvenile-sounding aides (who call themselves “Team America”) deride Vice President Joe Biden – “Joe Bite Me” – special envoy Richard Holbrooke (“‘Oh, not another e-mail from Holbrooke,’ he groans. … Continue reading “McChrystal’s Challenge”

McChrystal Strategy Shifts to Raids – and Wali Karzai

Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s team once talked openly about the need to remove Ahmed Wali Karzai, Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s brother and the most powerful man in Kandahar, from power. Last October, as reports of Wali Karzai’s role in the opium trade were circulating, McChrystal’s intelligence chief Gen. Michael T. Flynn said, “If we are going … Continue reading “McChrystal Strategy Shifts to Raids – and Wali Karzai”