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HISTORICAL QUOTE OF THE WEEK - "Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other." ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Thursday, June 24, 2010

PATRAEUS IN MCCHRYSTAL OUT, BUT WAS IT RIGHT

First replacing General Stanley McChrystal with General David Patreaus is the best possible outcome IF the need for replacing McChrystal was really necessary. Patreaeus is likely our top commander and one of the best in our Nations history but so is McChrystal. So Patraeus in command in Afghanistan is not a bad move, but was it right?

As a Constitutional conservative I understand the remarks made by McChrystal in the Rolling Stone article were very inappropriate in the Constitutional chain of command. Griping is a natural tendency in the military among each other especially when faced with ridiculous rules of engagement as McChrystal has had to follow in the Afghan theatre. But allowing it to become public through a magazine article was a major mistake.

As disciplined as McChrystal is I cannot help but believe that he used the opportunity knowing it placed his career in jeopardy in order to let the American people know how the rules of engagement put forth by the Obama administration are endangering our troops in ways that are unnecessary. McChrystal has a long reputation of looking out for his troops above all else.

So this move may have been intentional to bring attention to the problem knowing it would mean his resignation. But was accepting that resignation a wise move by Barack Obama. Obama is notorious for being extremely thin skinned when criticized and McChrystals comments were obviously critical of Obama and the policy in Afghanistan.

But shaking up a command during a war is extremely dangerous and risky. Patraeus does offer the quickest and easiest change in keeping strong leadership and command continuity, but still a very risky move during a war.

One of the most telling aspects questioning whether this was a sound move or not was the reaction by the enemy, the Taliban. When they learned of the article and Obama's reaction to it they immediately released a statement calling for the resignation of General McChrystal. It seems to me that when the enemy is calling for a commanders resignation they are signaling their fear of that commander.

While McChrystal's comments were out of line, were they truly worth shaking up the command and appeasing the enemy? Should McChrystal instead receive a Presidential reprimand rather than accepting his resignation? Did Obama place his hurt feelings before the troops and the country?

Patreaus will succeed and lead us to victory as he did in Iraq, but replacing McChrystal at this juncture because of Presidential hurt feelings and major the chip on the Obama shoulder was over reaction to a wrong move by McChrystal. If Obama had reacted as quickly and decisively to the oil spill as he has to his hurt feelings the Gulf region would not be in the shape it is now!

Ken Taylor

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