Petraeus in Charge?

Word on the street is that Gen. Stanley McChrystal is out and Petraeus is in.

UPDATE: Obama relieves McChrystal of command; Gen. David Petraeus replaces him as top Afghan commander

This whole Rolling Stone debacle is, well, a debacle. I know that McChrystal has a lot of detractors, but the game plan doesn’t look overly brilliant to begin with, so I wonder how much real difference we’ll see with Petraeus in charge.


  1. Libertarian and frequent sneering critic of the “Obamanation”; I have to acknowledge I’m in lock step with Obama on this one. For any commander to be spewing off the cuff opinions, or to allow his subordinates to do so in front of any media people, let alone a left of center rag like RS is completely unprofessional, back door insubordination, and just plain stupid. Beyond the comments themselves, several of which I agree with, this whole situation seriously called into question McChrystals judgment and political savvy in dealing with the media, who after all are a de facto participant in any conflicts nowadays. WTF was he thinking?! Managing the media training should be a requirement for all senior NCOs and Officers.
    The continued policy split (perceived or real) between the DoS, embodied by Amb Holbrooke and the US and/or Coalition military in the Stan does not bode well for our continued efforts there. As does our continued support for a weak deeply flawed Afghani Administration, that is rife with corruption and not supported by much, if not most of the Pashto population. No matter how well we or our allies do in clearing and securing the Afghani hinterland/s, in the end there are not enough western troops to cover everything. We’ll have to rely on Afghani security forces (police and military) who are all too frequently worthless, due to their unwillingness to commit thoroughly to the concept of a national government (or at least Karzai’s), or their being penetrated to an alarming degree by the Taliban, or all of the above. Besides their inability to reliably hold territory in a fashion acceptable to the Coalition and the Afghani people, they’re equally valueless in participating in coalition ops due to the rampant penetration of most Afghani units. As soon as the Afghanis find out the particulars of the mission, it’s hop on the cell phone and drop a dime time. That’s not just hearsay, I saw it in action on multiple ops when I was there in ‘06/’07. If we are ever going to be successful in the Stan, I said it then, and I’ll repeat it now, we seriously need to subvert their women folk and youth, who have the least buy in to the current 15th century mind set that says it’s OK to beat the bitch, hit the tea boy in the *** when you feel the need, and steal anything that’s not owned by a fellow tribal member, or is just of lesser social and political status than yourself. While I respect Afghani’s aren’t us, and we shouldn’t force them to be so, squeezing their miscreant guts out if necessary, to make them stop the mid evil BS should be a rigorously enforced policy for all coalition forces. Ouch!!! Fell off my soap box and skinned my shin 

    1. Flanker’s right.

      If you disagree with the policy, you don’t cock off about it to the media. And McChrystal knew the score- it’s not like he’d never heard of generals in the past being fired by the CinC for doing the same thing.

      The one man on Earth who has the most influence on fulfilling the CinC’s vision is going to publicly be unenthusiastic about it? Yeah, no- don’t even go back. Have your staff pack your sh!t and send it to you.

      Btw I expect he’ll have the contract for his memoir by the end of July.

      1. I agree, however, this does make Obama looked thin-skinned. Ironically, it is probably the first meaningful conversation he ever had with McChrystal who described their only other meeting as a “10-minute-photo-op.”

  2. What a cluster f*ck. It sure appears that this is the first time Obama has put a minute’s thought into Afghanistan in months.

    Everything Flanker said and plunging morale due to bad ROE’s (or bad commanders interpreting the ROE’s). Not sure if Petraeus can pull a rabbit out of this hat. I bet he gets whatever he wants from Gates and Obama or he will quickly follow McChrystal into retirement.

    1. Doubtful that he gets a blank check from Obama. All of this detracts from Obama’s ability to spend more on his social programs.

  3. Yea, McCrystal screwed the pooch, alright. He should’a kept his mouth shut….Or should he have?

    It looks like the dude gets to retire at 55 on 3/4 pay ($15,000 a MONTH) and probably demand $100,000 per speaking engagement!!

    Now who’s the loud-mouth clone of general Patton?

  4. Let’s recall that Petraeus’ 1987 PhD Thesis, titled “The American military and the lessons of Vietnam: a study of military influence and the use of force in the post-Vietnam era”, stated;

    “Vietnam planted doubts in many military minds about the ability of US forces to conduct successful large-scale counterinsurgencies. These misgivings do not in all cases spring from doubts about the capabilities of American troops and units per se; even in Vietnam, military leaders recall US units never lost a battle.”

    (emphasis added)

    So then, Lang Vei — which was annihilated by a company of NVA PT-76 Light Tanks — didn’t happen?;

    …and NVA sappers didn’t destroy 9 aircraft on the ground in Da Nang, on July 1, 1967?;

    …the 1st Bn, 7th Cav didn’t suffer 155 KIAs and 124 WIAs — effectively totally destroying them — atLZ Albany in the Battle of Ia Drang, on November 14-18?;

    …and what about FSB Mary Ann, on March 28, 1971?;

    …and FSB Ripcord, on July 1-23, 1970?;

    …and all the rest;

    To scoff the TRUTH behind outcome of these battles is an insult to the lives were lost fighting them — but not NEARLY as much as this Olive Drab Politician being allowed to advance in rank to Four Stars.

  5. Gotta love that new independent (of the military and contractors) report out yesterday, on the capability of Afghan Security Forces. 27 billion down the drain since 2002, and they are still woefully inadequate to perform ops by themselves!!! The ANP (Afghan National Police) Training Program I provided PSD for (see post above) was rife with the cynical view “you can rent an Afghani but you can’t buy ’em” because of ANP units and individual police to disintigrate, run away, or subvert to the “dark side” without constant hand holding and/or leadership by coalition personel.

    My favorite portion of Monday’s report? Gotta be the part where an ANP unit in Baghlan Province was rated CM1 (top readiness and capable of totally indepedent ops) by it’s trainers, yet when the report invetigators asked to visit the province in February 2010, they were told it was unsecure and overrun with insurgents!!! And that the ANP had withered away to the point it barely functioned!!! WTF!!!

    I hate to admit it, but maybe Bidon was right when he suggested an smaller effort more akin to our initial US led routing of the Taliban and Al Quaida, with logistical and fire support from us. Afghanis in charge seems to be a formula for them to revert to their cultural and social norm.

  6. Can anyone even say it’s important to be in Afghanistan any longer? The economy isn’t recovering, the market is going to tank again, the oil in the gulf keeps gushing, government debt keeps expanding, our borders are undefended, and we are now approaching 9 years in that rat hole. We’re not even going after the same guys we went there to get, and we aren’t any closer to accomplishing what it was we set out to accomplish.

  7. McChrystal honestly should have just kept his comments on his twitter account and not a major media publication, my guess is that when he went to meet with Obama, he didn’t apologize, because it’s not like Stan is doing a terrible job, he just doesn’t like it, if he apologized Obama probably would have done what Truman did with MacArthur

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