US Army officers bristle at rebuke of McChrystal

By Daily Maverick Legacy 9 October 2009

Army officers say White House officials should not have rebuked General Stanley McChrystal, US Afghan commander, on TV for saying a scaled-back war effort would fail. At a convention of army officers in Washington, there was sympathy for McChrystal. The Obama administration is now debating a new strategy for Afghanistan with some officials arguing against more troops, or for a different approach. "It was definitely a hand slap," one Army officer said of national security adviser and retired general James Jones’ statement last week that military officials should pass advice to President Obama through their chain of command. Some senior officers compared McChrystal to Eric Shinseki, the general who warned the Iraq invasion would take several hundred thousand troops to secure the country - advice called "wildly off the mark" by the Pentagon, even though events proved it correct. Soon after, Shinseki was retired and playing golf. For McChrystal, he was "sent to fix Afghanistan – [but] is that to get rid of the Taliban or al-Qaeda?" asked one general. Watch this space for more “I told you so’s”.


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