Standing Down

Following up on yesterday’s item, it looks like both sides have now stood down in the showdown between Gen. McChrystal, the NATO commander in Afghanistan, and the Obama Administration: McChrystal is no longer threatening to resign, and will be permitted to submit his request for additional troops by the end of the week. The White House had been put in an impossible position on this: the whole point of telling him not to make the request was so they could claim it had never been denied, but once the publicity blew up over McChrystal’s threat, there was no longer any purpose served by refusing to let him make the request. Which now means that if the White House wants to overrule the military command, it has to do so expressly.
UPDATE: Note also that the report says that McChrystal will explain his reasoning to Congress. Which will put the screws to the Administration to say no. It’s always been very rough sledding to argue against a uniformed officer testifying on the Hill.
Meanwhile, Bill Roggio looks at the renewed Pakistani offensive in Waziristan. As usual my expectations for the Pakistani military are pretty low, but it’s better than nothing.

One thought on “Standing Down”

  1. “The whole point of telling him not to make the request was so they could claim it had never been denied.”
    That must be it, right? Does that information have some source, like an insider in the Obama admin or is it just sheer speculation?
    Isn’t it possible that they didn’t want him wasting time making a request for troops when the strategy might change? And by the way, they asked him to delay the request, not withdraw it. The general made a hissy fit, and he is probably a good general, so isn’t it also possible they just let him go on with it rather than force his resignation? Isn’t it possible that rather than ignoring the generals, they are taking seriously the recommendations of the intelligence people? How is that a bad thing?
    This is exactly what you hate about the left, when they characterize national security decisions (and this isn’t even a decision yet) as the product of some domestic political intrigue rather than an honest reevaluation of strategy or a reaction to new information. I willing to give Obama (and any politician) the benefit of that doubt, and I’ll judge them on their decisions and the reasonableness of the reasons for doing so.

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