Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 14 Share on Twitter 2 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 6/24/10

Going Rogue in the Military: The McChrystal Strategy and Original Intent

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   7 comments
Become a Premium Member Would you like to know how many people have read this article? Or how reputable the author is? Simply sign up for a Advocate premium membership and you'll automatically see this data on every article. Plus a lot more, too.
Author 90
Message Lynne Glasner

It was inevitable, as is the outcome of the foolish war in Afghanistan. Regardless of their newly found (though not so recently discovered if anyone had been paying attention) mineral wealth, there is no good ending to the killing fields of Afghanistan. From the retribution that struck the heart of most Americans in that dark place of humanity after 911 to a guerrilla war with factions that shift like the sands in the deserts, this war is more unwinnable than Vietnam - and more complicated in its political alignments, its history, and its geography.

Based on the quoted material in Rolling Stone, this war is falling apart from the middle, which is apparent just from a few on record quotes from McChrystal's aides and underlings: Chief of Operations Major General Bill Mayville: "It's not going to look like a win, smell like a win or taste like a win. This is going to end in an argument." An unnamed senior adviser to the General: "If Americans pulled back and started paying attention to this war, it would become even less popular."

Without saying it, the General has changed his own view of the war, the one in which he counseled the President in recent months, saying he could win it if only the President authorized a troop surge.

But McChrystal is to the military what Palin is to civilian politics: a loose cannon. Despite his past dalliances with truth (e.g., the Pat Tillman case; accusations of abuse of Iraqi detainees) and his involvement with secret CIA operations in which he reported only to Cheney (Seymour Hersh characterized McChrystal's role as an "executive assassination wing" of the military's joint special-operations command - NPR, March 30, 2009), Obama saw him as the go-to guy who could turn the tide.

Problem is that Afghanistan is a landlocked country and there are no tides. The ancient tribes have been warding off their enemies for hundreds of years. As in Vietnam, the other imperialist nations gave up long ago and left the Afghanis to their own devices. In Vietnam, the US withdrawal and end to the fighting coupled with economic aid has transformed the country into a viable trading partner. It's hard to see that as a blueprint for Afghanistan at this point, at least as one that's politically viable.

Say what you will about McChrystal, he's no dummy, and his instinct and training is in strategizing and fighting to win at all costs. The idea that the Rolling Stone interview was some kind of drunken lark or stupid mistake on his part is not credible. This is a man of discipline, a man who conducted Pentagon briefings during the early years of the Iraq War when the Bush Administration was garnering public support. He knows his way around the media; this was no mistake.

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).


Must Read 1   Interesting 1   Valuable 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Lynne Glasner Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Lynne Glasner is a freelance writer/editor based in New York City. She has edited numerous books, fiction and nonfiction, many on political subjects. Her essays have appeared in Commondreams,, and Huffington Post as well as OpEd (more...)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Book Review: Conservatives Without Conscience, by John W. Dean

Crime and Punishment: Scholars Weigh In on the Bush Legacy

Book Review: Unacceptable: The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina

The State of the Union Is Frozen

Luck and the Trifecta of Politics

Going Rogue in the Military: The McChrystal Strategy and Original Intent

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: