President Obama did the right thing.
General Stanley McChrystal was removed from his position as Commander of the International Assistance Force (ISAF) on June 23, 2010 for violation of the Military Code of Conduct based on his gossipy comments to Rolling Stone. General David Petraeus will replace McChrystal in Afghanistan.
President Obama’s Statement on General McChrystal and Afghanistan
President Obama stated in the above video about the comments made to Rolling Stone by General McChrystal:
“The conduct represented in the recently published article does not meet the standard that should be set by a commanding general. It undermines the civilian control of the military that is at the core of our democratic system. And, it erodes the trust that’s necessary for our team to work together to achieve our objectives in Afghanistan.”
McChrystal needs to brush up on his negotiation, mediation and general diplomatic skills or at least have an aide who can advise him in these areas that he seems lacking based on how he comported himself in the Rolling Stone article, “The Runaway General” by Michael Hastings.
McChrystal may have concerns about his troops, but there is a time and place to get your concerns and suggestions heard by the President.
First suggestion, speak directly to the President if possible in private, not publicly trash him and his team in Rolling Stone magazine.
- Sometimes it is appropriate to raise issues in a public forum.
- Sometimes it is best to raise issues in private.
A General in the Army should have diplomatic skills as well as military strategic skills.
In addition, McChrystal should know that in the military, soldiers must work together as a team. Trashing your civilian COIN (counterinsurgency) teammates in public does not bring about harmony and positive results.
General McChrystal What Were You Thinking When You Made Catty Comments to Rolling Stone’s Hastings About COIN?
What did McChrystal expect would happen by his comments to Hastings for the Rolling Stone article? It is disappointing if McChrystal did not think through the possible repercussions from his chatty negative comments. For someone in his position, McChrystal should understand that what he says, who he says it to and when he says it has profound impact in either a positive or negative way.