The only possible explanation for McChrystal’s self-destructive interview with Rolling Stone: pure idiocy

My earlier explanation of Gen. McChrystal’s decision to allow a Rolling Stone reporter to hang out with him and his staff for weeks and record them saying all kinds of improper things for publication was that McChrystal wanted to be fired from his position as the commanding general of a war that he thinks can’t be won. Evidently I was wrong. According to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen and other McChrystal friends and associates as reported in the New York Times, McChrystal is “crushed” and “numbed” by his sudden transition from leader of a 90,000 man army at war in Afghanistan to humiliated out-of-work and soon-to-be-retired general living in his house at Fort McNair in the District of Columbia. Which suggests that McChrystal had no desire to be dismissed, and therefore that he had no notion that the things he and his staff were saying to Michael Hastings of Rolling Stone were obviously improper and would require his being dismissed. Which leaves us with no explanation for the affair other than that McChrystal is staggeringly obtuse and naive. And it’s even worse than that. Remember, as reported by Georgie Anne Geyer, Hastings showed McChrystal the finished draft of the article prior to publication for his okay, and McChrystal okayed it.

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Mark Jaws writes:

One thing I have learned in my 34 years of work as an enlisted man, an officer, and now as a defense contractor now working at the upper echelons of the Pentagon, is that there is usually a considerable differential between what the top brass say about their subordinates and reality. Just because the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says one thing about McChrystal, does not necessarily make it so. I spend a considerable portion of my time at the Pentagon attending meetings and hob-nobbing with the underlings of dignitaries. The hallowed halls of our defense establishment are abuzz with “we are wasting our time in Afghanistan.” Certainly, McChrystal sensed that, and perhaps he wanted out, and this was the only way to achieve it.

Dan R. writes:

I’ve often wondered how the generals can go along with the severe political correctness that now afflicts the military. This story suggests to me a myopic attitude that probably must exist in order to do the job as commanded, and also that the gradually rising enthusiasm for David Petraeus (in 2012) on the part of some conservatives is yet another badly conceived idea.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 03, 2010 07:05 AM | Send

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