Foreign Policy Blogs

McChrystal Out, Petraeus In

Afghanistan is so boring to cover. Sometimes I just sit at my desk screaming in my head ‘SOMETHING HAPPEN ALREADY!!!’

So Gen. McChrystal is now a goner and Gen. Petraeus is back to save the day yet again. Anyway you cut it, this is a sad situation that can only make a difficult situation even worse. Gen. Petraeus is obviously a capable leader and he fits in well with the counterinsurgency strategy which we are smack in the middle of implementing, but this whole incident reaks of an overall policy in dissarray. The three month review process by the Obama administration, culminating the announcement of a troop surge with a definite time limit, created fissures that have obviously not been filled. Vice President Biden, Envoy Richard Holbrooke, and Ambassador Eikenberry, all targets of Gen. McChrystal and his aides in the Rolling Stones article, in one way or another voiced reservations about Gen. McChrystal’s plan for the Afghan war effort, with Biden and Eikenberry being outright opposition. Gen. Petraeus is adeft at Washington DC politics as he is at counterinsurgency and we can only hope that he and Obama’s civilian team can finally get on the same page. The only winners in this embarrassing incident are the Taliban.

I’ll have some more comments on the Rolling Stone article, McChrystal, Obama, Petraeus in a little bit.