The most important issue at hand in the furor over Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s acerbic comments in Rolling Stone is the central one in a democracy: civilian control over the military.
As upset as certain military officers have been with the Obama White House—as much as they like McChrystal’s can-do spirit—this was a seriously can’t-do moment. No one can quite believe that McChyrstal would be so stupid as to give this interview, which McChrystal himself this morning conceded in a statement was “bad judgment.” One retired but informed military source I reached speculates that McChrystal will offer his resignation and President Obama is likely to accept it. I can’t independently confirm this, but it sure sounds right to me. The only caveat is that Obama operates on his own timetable, not the media’s. He will take his time and make a decision based on what he thinks is best for the overall effort in Afghanistan. He won’t sack his commanding general unless he—with Defense Secretary Bob Gates’s advice—thinks he is now more a liability than an asset to the war effort, which McChrystal himself described as a “bleeding ulcer.”
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