Barack Obama has an easy choice to make: fire a general who has established a culture of insubordination and indifference toward civilian leaders and partners in government or defer yet again to a general who acquires power like medals every time he outwits or outmaneuvers the White House.
General Stanley McChrystal went over clear lines in the debate about the surge into Afghanistan with freelance comments he made in London. Recently, McChrystal stated that the move into Kandahar would slow and threw into doubt confidence in a July 2011 drawdown start date. He didn’t consult with anyone before a public redesign of US strategy.
And now in this Rolling Stone report, “The Runaway General” (pdf), McChrystal and his team are reported ridiculing Joe Biden, Richard Holbrooke, Jim Jones, just about everyone not in their groove on strategy.
McChrystal has gone over too many lines.
Obama needs to fire him. If he doesn’t, McChrystal’s brand will be validated and the environment of insubordination and unprofessional conduct will be reinforced.
If McChrystal survives his White House encounter, then Obama will be diminished.
That is what this has come to.
— Steve Clemons