"A sketchbook is a secret thing, a collection of unfinished and often times abandoned ideas never intended for public consumption—at least not in their current state. It’s a private space for honing one’s craft and workshopping, separating good ideas from those best left unexplored." -Brian Heater at The Daily Cross Hatch.

23 June 2010

Slowing Down and The McChrystal Thing


I'm working on a bunch of very time consuming stuff at the moment, so the blog here will experience a little slow-down.

In news not related to anything maritime- the military/int'l affairs blogosphere and news-o-sphere in general is abuzz with the best President v. General showdown since Truman fired MacArthur. In my humble opinion, I think McChrystal shot himself in the foot on purpose. Realistically, we don't have the ability to "nation build" or stabilize Afghanistan in any meaningful way. The war is not going to end well, and if you were in charge...would you rather shoulder the blame for eternity (at least in Beltway logic) or (keep in mind you're a hardcore Ranger) go out getting fired by a Democrat president? Which is more face saving and as the kids these days say, which would give you more swag? Especially with the troops. Seriously, would you want to be the last man in the room, holding the bag when the lights go out? (I think that last sentence is my record for multiple metaphors in one sentence.)

You and I both know that McChrystal didn't design military policy in Afghanistan from the beginning, and truth be told I really wonder if he was always a believer in the COIN thing, or was it just foisted upon him? He's got an SF tab right above the Ranger one on his uniform- but which means more to him? And what's his conception of what "SF" means anyways? To his credit, he did implement a COIN strategy in Afghanistan (which is very unpopular with a lot of the troops- protecting the population as your number one concern always decreases the safety of the warfighter) in a very complex, ambiguous and difficult geo-socio-political environment.

Regardless, he's getting called on the carpet today and he's probably going to get the sack. President Obama wants to wind down in Afghanistan- so does it really matter? If my ass-u-mption is right, I can hardly blame him. I wouldn't want McChrystal's job if you paid me a million bucks and paid off my student loans on top of it. Good luck General, you did as well as anyone could.
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