Patterico's Pontifications

9/22/2009

Will Gen. McChrystal Get the Troops He Needs? Is This a Hint?

Filed under: Obama,War — Patterico @ 7:53 am



Indications are that Gen. McChrystal will resign if he does not get the additional troops he says he needs to win in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, note well this quote from an anonymous Obama administration official, from the Wall Street Journal:

Stan McChrystal is not responsible for assessing how we’re doing against al Qaeda,” said the senior administration official. “He’s not assessing how the Pakistani military is doing in its counterinsurgency campaign. That’s not his job. So Stan’s report is a very important input into this overall strategy, but it’s not the only input.”

Note how the “official” omits the title “General” for the familiar “Stan.” It’s a subtle way of discounting the general’s message. Stanny-boy may have his opinion, but we don’t have to listen to ol’ Stanerino.

73 Responses to “Will Gen. McChrystal Get the Troops He Needs? Is This a Hint?”

  1. Hell, they can run this war just as well from the West Wing. None of these “generals” went to Harvard!

    Kevin Murphy (3c3db0)

  2. ALINSKY RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)

    MikeN

    MJN1957 (d1de05)

  3. and let’s not forget that McChrystal was appointed by Obama just a few short months ago. great job of making sure the whole team is on the same page..

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  4. Referring to him as Stan, as opposed to General, shows the fundamental lack of respect those people have for the military.

    JD (53eae9)

  5. Their entire point is moot if he resigns – they’ll have so much egg on their faces not even a ShamWow will get it off.

    Dmac (a93b13)

  6. The Dem. Congressional leadership should be quick to point out that he worked hard for that title. They could have at least called him “sir”.

    MD in Philly (d4f9fa)

  7. I hope the military and our intelligence agencies keep the pressure on our Hustler and Chief with these leaks that force Obama to actually have to make real decisions instead of empty speeches.

    Look what Obama had to say Sunday about the request for troop levels by McChrystal.

    “The only reason I send a single young man or woman in uniform anywhere in the world is because I think it’s necessary to keep us safe,” the president said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
    Obama on Face the Nation
    Sept. 21,2009


    Well genius, you stated in your Presidential debates just what was necessary in keeping America “safe”:

    every intelligence agency will acknowledge that al Qaeda is the greatest threat against the United States and that Secretary of Defense Gates acknowledged the central front — that the place where we have to deal with these folks is going to be in Afghanistan and in Pakistan.

    No. 3, we’ve got to deal with Pakistan, because al Qaeda and the Taliban have safe havens in Pakistan, across the border in the northwest regions, and although, you know, under George Bush, with the support of Senator McCain, we’ve been giving them $10 billion over the last seven years, they have not done what needs to be done to get rid of those safe havens.


    And until we do, Americans here at home are not going to be safe.


    These are Obama’s words….straight from Mr. Hope and Change’s mouth.

    If Obama is only going to send troops for the reason of “keeping America safe” than he needs to give McCrystal what he has requested since ridding the Afghan/Pakistan theater of jihadist in Obama’s own words is necessary in keeping America safe.

    McCrystal has told Obama what he needs to fulfill the goals that Obama himself stated needed to be accomplished in Keeping America safe.

    The leaks are a strong indication that our Generals are not going to let the Obama administration hang the failure of Afghanistan around their necks or use our troops for their political games.

    Obama needs to back up his campaign and Presidential rhetoric concerning Afghanistan by giving the Generals what they need of suffer the consequences of failure by cutting and running to appease his left wing base.

    Baxter Greene (af5030)

  8. Can’t wait to deploy next year.

    SPC Jack Klompus (c1922b)

  9. Seriously, SPC Jack Klompus, I’ve wondered how it effects a soldier and recruiting if there is a lack of confidence in the Commander in Chief. It’s one thing to be willing to follow a General Petraeus to hell if necessary, it’s another thing to be willing to be sent by someone you don’t respect.

    MD in Philly (d4f9fa)

  10. Well, I feel confident knowing that the President is addressing climate change at the UN today.

    SPC Jack Klompus (c1922b)

  11. It could be that McChrystal got his appointment, and maybe his stars, because he was Stan to people who could give them to him. Like Wesley.

    nk (df76d4)

  12. #

    Referring to him as Stan, as opposed to General, shows the fundamental lack of respect those people have for the military.

    Comment by JD — 9/22/2009 @ 8:16 am

    I wonder if “Senator” Barbara Boxer was available for comment regarding this dis-respect to our military.

    Baxter Greene (af5030)

  13. From what I can see from his resume, he has never been in combat.

    nk (df76d4)

  14. Of course JD is right but it’s a bigger issue than we’re noting. Omitting his rank when being quoted and in this context is either the grossest of deliberate insults or intolerable ignorance and cloddishness from a “senior administration” official.”

    rrpjr (db6921)

  15. Baxter – If there was ever a better example of someone not understanding the military, I have not seen it.

    JD (3065c0)

  16. The Joint Chiefs all agree that more troops are needed to meet our goals in Afghanistan. The problem as I see it is simple. Obama lacks the courage to do the right thing in order to bring the mission to a succession conclusion. he needs to show some figs and make a decision. Either send in the needed troops or bring everyone home.

    Stan Switek (d9d8ce)

  17. Most of this generation of senior generals did not see combat as junior officers. The colonels who are doing the planning, however, were platoon and company commanders in 1991 and in 2003. The closest Petraeus got to combat was being shot by a soldier at Fort Campbell who lost control of his M 16. Bill Frist operated on him.

    The use of “Stan” is an example of contempt similar to the Clinton staffer who refused to speak to General McCaffrey. Clinton, to his credit, was so embarrassed by that fool he made McCaffrey drug czar and relied on him for advice. She said she didn’t speak to military.

    I wonder if Obama will even notice as his administration loses the military.

    Mike K (addb13)

  18. Obama on Face the Nation
    Sept. 21,2009

    BG…You have to realize that those statements became “inoperative” shortly (no more than ten seconds) after they were uttered.
    Standard Obama Proceedure.

    AD - RtR/OS! (5b5739)

  19. Little president man doesn’t know what the best Afghanistan policy is what will help him get his dipshit ass re-elected. Daddy Soros needs to buy him a Magic 8 ball I think.

    Embarrassing.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  20. Note how the “official” omits the title “General” for the familiar “Stan.” It’s a subtle way of discounting the general’s message. Stanny-boy may have his opinion, but we don’t have to listen to ol’ Stanerino.

    Good call, Patterico, but I wouldn’t call it subtle. A blatant show of disrespect, and these people are tools.

    no one you know (7a9144)

  21. Possibly the Big O has not yet internalized the fact that he is no longer campaigning, but now has to do the job. He may be more concerned with keeping the support of anti-war leftists, as other support falls away. He might care more about his agenda than Afghanistan. His presidency is falling apart, but this seems poor triangulation – if he doesn’t support the Afghan war, he loses those who feel that’s the only thing he’s done right so far.

    Or, the consequences of letting the Afghanistan effort sputter and die are somehow otherwise desirable to him. There are scenarios into which that could fit… which seem less farfetched as time goes on.

    It is futile to speculate on Obama’s objectives and motivations, as it becomes continually clearer that his actions don’t often match his words, but it is also obvious they are dissimilar to previous presidents’.

    jodetoad (059c35)

  22. rrpjr is a really wise person. I forwarded a copy of that comment to Better Half, who has yet to utter the phrase “of course JD is right” 😉

    JD (3065c0)

  23. Barbara Senator Boxer had no comment.

    Mitch (890cbf)

  24. I don’t remember our caste of dirty socialist pseudo-journalist propaganda whores ever being terribly curious who leaked memos and such when the president was someone who was actually for real keen on defending American interests.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  25. not responsible for assessing how we’re doing against al Qaeda,” said the senior administration official. “He’s not assessing how the Pakistani military is doing in its counterinsurgency campaign. That’s not his job.

    Lemme see now, generals are not responsible for the conduct of warfare.

    I suppose that leaves the waiters and the like free to take up the slack.

    EW1@Ingram.bz (edc268)

  26. Often, a reporter will slip in omitted words (in this case “[General]”) to correct a quote. Obviously Yochi and Peter didn’t in this case. Perhaps they too noted the omission and left it that way to highlight the disrespect shown by that ‘official’.

    Corwin (ea9428)

  27. From General McChrystal to Stan to…?
    Let’s hope the next thing they call him isn’t “Stannochio.”

    Starling (a4701f)

  28. Very simple really. LBJ dithered in Vietnam to save his “war on poverty.” Obama dithers in Afghanistan to save his war on health care. Spending (wasting) our tax dollars domestically trumps national security every time with these lefties.

    bullwhacker (6412b6)

  29. Comment by Starling — 9/22/2009 @ 10:25 am

    It looks like the next thing they can call him will be Citizen!

    AD - RtR/OS! (5b5739)

  30. Let me see…. You vote for my health care plan without alteration and I will give the general more troops.

    davod (bce08f)

  31. But he supports the troops.

    And don’t you dare question his patriotism.

    RB (fbae5a)

  32. It would be nice if the troops in the ground, you know… the ones getting killed, had the option to resign also. Hey.. if OberAdmiralGeneral Obama does not want to put out the effort to win, why the hell should some poor guy from Kansas take the brunt of that decision?

    Huey (b957d9)

  33. /sarcasm

    Comment by Kevin Murphy — 9/22/2009 @ 8:03 am

    Kevin, I don’t think you needed this because that is exactly what I think Obama and his toadies think.

    GM Roper (85dcd7)

  34. So Barbara Boxer is entitled to get her plus-size skivvies in a bunch when a General refers to her as “Ma’am” but some anonymous leftoid WH spokesgnome is free to refer to the
    4-star ISAF Commander as “Stan” and no one in the West Wing thinks to notice thats a fairly colossal display of disrespect??

    mike d (b28b9d)

  35. Comment by JD — 9/22/2009 @ 10:01 am

    Glad to do my bit, as inadvertent as it may be, for male solidarity.

    rrpjr (34c668)

  36. You only repect people that you CARE about!

    AD - RtR/OS! (5b5739)

  37. Oops…respect..

    AD - RtR/OS! (5b5739)

  38. So the March 27, 2009 Obama Afghanistan speech’s strategy is now declared by Obama as a failure? Isn’t it Obama’s strategy?

    Get’s confusing doesn’t it.

    The naive one is in way over his pay grade. And our troops are dying because of a mistake America made. Ginned up hate does that too you, whip it up, lose your vision, do anything.

    bill-tb (365bd9)

  39. Stan is better than General Betray-Us and the best choice of what O’s staff came up with: Ein-stan McChrystal, McChrystal the Clown, Bone China’n McChrystal, and Stan’s Not Long for Afghanistan.

    The glass is half full, not mostly empty. Or something.

    EBJ (2fd7f7)

  40. If McChrystal resigns, there will be hell to pay. This is what the generals should have done in Vietnam and I think he is thinking about that. David Hackworth went on CBS News in 1972 and told them how screwed up the war was. He was quickly retired and was so angry, he lived in Australia for years after. His book About Face tells the story. Another book Steel My Soldiers’ Hearts tells the story of how he took the worst battalion in Vietnam and made it the best. We need more of these guys and I think McChrystal might be one.

    If McChrystal resigns, Obama will have a near mutiny on his hands in DoD. First the BMD sites in eastern Europe, now this.

    Mike K (addb13)

  41. They really do hate the military.

    N. O'Brain (a4f63e)

  42. They really do hate the military.

    N. O'Brain (a4f63e)

  43. They really do hate the military.

    N. O'Brain (a4f63e)

  44. A resignation by Gen. McChrystal will be oh so popular in the home districts of all of those Blue-Dog Dems that hold the margin of power in the House for the Squeeker.
    I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few party changers come out of a situation like this.

    AD - RtR/OS! (5b5739)

  45. Yep, their contempt for the military is legendary so this should not surprise. And how like people with no accomplishments to diminish those with outstanding accomplishments.

    Peg C. (48175e)

  46. It’s a subtle way of discounting the general’s message.

    I agree, and I don’t like that tactic.

    Of course, no one knows if this unnamed official knows what he’s talking about, either.

    It’s a feature in Washington for “insiders” to pretend to have more knowledge then they have.

    Myron (6a93dd)

  47. #

    Baxter – If there was ever a better example of someone not understanding the military, I have not seen it.

    Comment by JD — 9/22/2009 @ 8:59 am

    You are exactly right.

    Obama has neither the leadership,backbone,intelligence,or credibility to tell any Soldier what he should be doing.

    His indecisive and inept decision making is going to get many of our Soldiers killed while he tries to figure out how to make this whole thing work for him politically.

    It is and always has been about Obama, not America, in Mr. 57 states mind.

    Absolutely stuck on stupid.

    Baxter Greene (af5030)

  48. BG…You have to realize that those statements became “inoperative” shortly (no more than ten seconds) after they were uttered.
    Standard Obama Proceedure.

    Comment by AD – RtR/OS! — 9/22/2009 @ 9:31 am

    Dam#…

    Forgot all about the expiration dates on Obama’s statements and promises.

    “As I have always said…….”
    Is a good sign that Obama is getting ready to lie.

    Baxter Greene (af5030)

  49. My guess is that this, i.e., the anonymous official, is WH NSC adviser Jim Jones, a former general.

    If so, him calling McChyrstal by his first name was probably nothing.

    If it wasn’t Jones, well….

    SteveMG (878f12)

  50. BHO (or Rahm) deliberately got rid of a General who was implementing a counter-insurgency strategy for a General who would….implement a counter-insurgency strategy.

    Ready for some supreme irony? It was very clear BHO wanted the new guy to also implement the Rumsfeld Doctrine – do more with less and smarter. Unfotunately for BHO, reality has bitten. He has his own guy (McChrystal) who philosophically wanted to do as he was bid, yet even he sees what W’s guy, and Petraeus, knew – there is no cheap way to win. BHO himself said Pakistan must also be tamed.

    So, the solution is simple….redefine “victory” and withdraw. These guys are an absolute disgrace. This is a price we pay for not cementing the proper lessons from Vietnam and Gulf War I.

    Ed from SFV (d4f5c2)

  51. I wonder if Obama will even notice as his administration loses the military.

    You’re assuming that he had the military in the first place.

    Dmac (a93b13)

  52. From today’s LA Times:

    The review could result in a scaling back of efforts to reform Afghanistan’s politics and develop its economy. The U.S. could then focus more on hunting down Al Qaeda and its close allies with small special operations teams and armed Predator drones. Such an effort could avert the need for additional troops, officials and experts said.

    It looks like they are going to drop counter-insurgency and go to Rumsfeld-style whack-a-mole missions. Change!

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  53. Nothing could better show that all of the Democrat criticism of the Bush administration’s policies in Iraq and Afghanistan were in bad faith.

    Can I question their patriotism now?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  54. That would be Racist!

    AD - RtR/OS! (5b5739)

  55. I guess I’m also racist for calling Obama a liar, because Obama claimed nearly six months ago that he had concluded a strategy review for Afghanistan.

    Now its being claimed that McChrystal’s report is an “input” to an unformed strategy.

    These people are completely incompetent.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  56. I wonder if Obama will even notice as his administration loses the military.

    You’re assuming that he had the military in the first place.

    Comment by Dmac

    I think they were willing to take orders but they are not getting orders; they are getting musings in the newspaper and no decision while young, highly trained soldiers go out on patrol and get killed.

    This is exactly what the professional military hated about LBJ. That is why a penis is still referred to as a”Johnson” in the military. Vietnam was 40 years ago but the military culture stays around a long time. They don’t forget. I think it was Thomas Ricks who wrote the book about Marine basic training and commented on how dangerous it was to have such a great distance between military and civilian culture in this country.

    There are fewer and fewer politicians with military experience but that may well change. A lot of ex-military guys are running for office next year. I think that trend will continue.

    Mike K (addb13)

  57. I’d like to think that James Webb would be giving them an earful on this, but I fear that he’s basically been neutered, despite his son’s service.

    Dmac (a93b13)

  58. “There are fewer and fewer politicians with military experience but that may well change. A lot of ex-military guys are running for office next year. I think that trend will continue.
    Comment by Mike K — 9/22/2009″

    Perhaps true, but some of the military that get elected are the likes of John Kerry, Jack Mertha, and Jimmy Carter. People who may have been in the military, but never had a military ethos. The large “in the middle” component of the electorate likes the idea of someone with military experience but who is not “pro-military”.

    When people with military experience have been elected, such as George H.W. Bush, (and to a less extent GWB) it has been made a non-issue or as something negative.

    Of course not always true, such as Duncan Hunter and his son, and others I’m sure.

    MD in Philly (d4f9fa)

  59. Webb is busy rehabilitating the Burma junta so he has little time for other matters. I think he is off his rocker.

    Mike K (addb13)

  60. Webb is creepy.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  61. So, what does Obama do if Petraeus and service Chiefs start resigning? Maybe he thinks Truman’s firing of MacArthur was a high point of Truman’s presidency.

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  62. Webb…He wrote a couple good books, and then was corrupted by the DC celebrity culture.
    Now, he’s just another Senatorial Drone.

    AD - RtR/OS! (f05962)

  63. Steve MG at@ 50 — I agree with you. It’s Jones, retired Marine 4 Star. Got no problem talking down to an Army 3 Star, especially one who spent most of his earlier career in Special Ops, something Marines have no real respect for since they all think of themselves as the equivalent of Army and Navy Special Ops guys.

    Shipwreckedcrew (7f73f0)

  64. At tomorrows press conference:

    President Obama: “Yes, you there in the front.”

    Reporter: “Hey, Bar, um Baracky, or “Mr. President” – members of your staff discounted Gen. McChrystal’s report and emphasized his lack of gravatas by calling him by his first name, a rhetorical use of the familiar diminutive. Do you agree with this approach, and if not – why do you tolerate legions of staffers who directly contradict your stated philosophy? Can I call you B.O.?”

    Californio (340867)

  65. I consider usage of a familiar designation as opposed to a military designation highly lacking in — for the life of me, I cannot remember the word after “military” of a 2-word term — one’s own military presence and attitude. Only in private, and to the familiar or around other military familiars, would a flag officer drop military decorum. And never around the media.

    While I may agree some of Army and Navy special ops may well be roughly equivalent to Marine Corps infantry, rank has always meant more than person, even in the hardcore USMC. And a Marine in the flag ranks would never stoop — and still consider himself a Marine.

    Semper Fi, do or die. 1MarDiv-trained.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  66. I’ll defer to you John. But it sure sounds like a superior general officer discounting the input of an inferior general officer. Jones has a reputation for speaking frankly. If it was him, he may have thought his comments were off the record.

    Shipwreckedcrew (7f73f0)

  67. You would think that after all of his Pentagon time, ex-Gen.Jones would know that in DC,
    Nothing…Is…Off…The…Record!

    AD - RtR/OS! (f05962)

  68. Military Bearing, that’s the term. And it’s drilled into the young pups and it’s maintained in the mid-levels. You don’t salute the person, you salute the rank. So, even if you despise the person and you think the person is a total failure, you still salute the person due to the rank the person has. Military Bearing. Far more important than personal opinion. And, by and large, the First Amendment guarantee to free speech does not apply to men and women in uniform.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  69. […] to implement a change of direction in Afghanistan, according to the Long War Journal. Adding to the frustration, according to officials in Kabul and Washington, are White House and Pentagon directives made over the last six weeks that Army Gen. Stanley […]

    General Stanley McChrystal to resign if he doesn’t get more resources for Afghanistan | Fire Andrea Mitchell! (20d20a)

  70. Why doesn’t McChrystal resign NOW. Same applies to EVERYONE in the military. Every single soldier in the military NEEDS to resign. These soldiers need to say NO to giving citizens the poison [soul condemning] swine flu shots and say NO to the NWO fags.

    If people would just seriously WAKE THE HELL UP NOW, the NWO can be DEFEATED. There is STRENGTH in numbers.

    ace (0add15)

  71. another clue, the Washington Post story this morning that claims (and accurately) that McChrystal’s ROEs are getting our guys killed. what better way of undercutting hm than portraying him as incompetent and/or not sufficiently caring about the soldiers under his command?

    yes I know, he is the guy they picked, but that was then and this is now.

    and by the way, I agree, his policies result in more Americans dying than would be the case if they were allowed more leeway in seeking out and killing them enemy.

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  72. John @ 69 — accepting your position, and reading today’s stories about the competing policy positions inside the WH, I’m changing my guess.

    It’s not Jones, IMO, it’s Biden talking on for the record, but not for attribution.

    He’s EXACTLY the kind of guy who thinks he’s smarter than everyone else, he’s always looking at the bigger picture (which is really what the comment undercutting McCrystal is about), and he regularly resorts to this folksy kind of first name attribution to marginalize his subject.

    Shipwreckedcrew (7f73f0)


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