Today is D-Day for General Stanley McChrystal. Catching up on the overnight and early morning news, I noticed two very interesting takes from one source – ABC.
First off, here’s what George Stephanopoulos has to say:
All of my reporting indicates President Obama truly hasn’t made up his mind, but my bet is Obama will follow Lincoln’s lead and keep McChrystal for now.
Officials tell me the decision really will be made in the room. If McChrystal can convince the President that the article hasn’t crippled his ability to fight the war, he’ll stay.
And now for Jake Tapper:
During his round of phone calls to top officials of the Obama administration whom he and his team disparaged to a Rolling Stone reporter, Gen. Stanley McChrystal said, “I’ve compromised the mission,” a senior administration source tells ABC News.
Whether he did so irrevocably is at the top of the agenda in his Oval Office meeting with President Obama this morning. The president will press him as to what he was thinking and whether he still has the ability to serve as commander of 100,000 US troops in Afghanistan after making remarks about the president and his national security team that the general could use to justifiably fire any of his underlings if they were made about him.
So the question will be if crippling the mission is the equivalent of compromising it.
I’m torn on if Obama should fire McChyrstal or not. I can see the “Obama is above that” argument, and frankly I think it would be a big jab against the former Commander in Chief, George Bush, who fired people for disagreeing with him (see Eric Shinseki).
On the other hand, this isn’t the first time McChrystal has done this. It’s the third time now that I can remember, and these repeat infractions make McChrystal look like a rogue general, who is incapable of respecting the military chain of command and his superiors.
I’m kind of expecting Obama to keep McChrystal on, but make him issue a strong apology to the nation and (more importantly) the troops. I also expect Petraeus will have a more hands-on role over McChrystal now, meaning if this happens again then it will also look bad on Petraeus. That would work as a good muzzle for the rogue general.