Firing Stanley McChrystal

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on June 24, 2010

I am sorry to see General McChrystal go. I think it might have been possible to keep him after having the President deliver an appropriate tongue-lashing to both the General, and the rest of the national security staff, reminding them that victory in Afghanistan is too important to allow it to be sidetracked by petty bickering amongst national security principals. Still, if the firing had to take place, I am glad that General David Petraeus has been brought back to take command of the situation in Afghanistan. If anyone can do the job there, it is Petraeus, and I agree with Rich Lowry that at the end of the day, it is probably safe to say that President Obama handled the situation as well as he possibly could.

Of course, it is worth noting that in asking Petraeus to lead the warfighting effort in Afghanistan, President Obama is placing his trust in someone whom he once treated like this:

One hopes that in private, there was some expression of regret for the disrespect shown to the General. One hopes as well that the comments of Senator Obama notwithstanding, President Obama has at least admitted in private that he was wrong in the statements he made doubting the surge. We know, of course, that neither the President nor the Vice President will ever admit to error in public concerning the misjudgments that they issued about the expected efficacy of the surge.

Relatedly, it is worth noting that certain people would rather have their childish bouts of name-calling concerning General Petraeus slide down the memory hole, than to apologize for their behavior.

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