Afghanistan - Strategy (C.O.I.N.) Vs. Tactics
The 'no-no' line

And Who Thought This Would Be A Good Idea?

The news this morning is that General McChrystal has both issued a preemptory apology for a forthcoming article/interview in Rolling Stone Magazine, and that he has been recalled from Afghanistan -- apparently because of what is being reported may be in that interview. 

Anyone who has done any reading on the situation in Afghanistan would be understanding of frustration with Eikenberry (see link on recall above), much less frustration with the administration, on the part of McChrystal and staff.  That said, it seems a tad bit unwise to let loose on everyone in an interview while still in the middle of the fight.  In point of fact, if the interview is even half of what is being belled in advance, then the fecal matter will be hitting the rotary impeller at warp speed.  Even if it is not, expect to see this used to savage not just McChrystal but all military efforts.  In fact, I will bet right now that his career is over, regardless of the content as politics will rule the day and there are many in political circles that want his scalp.

Which brings me to my final point on judgment and possible lack thereof.  Who thought doing a frank and/or candid political interview with Rolling Stone while you are in the middle of the fight was a good idea?  I can empathize with the frustration of not being given what you asked for and needed to do the job, or in finding yourself being attacked by the person who is supposed to be helping you and instead is doing everything they can openly or otherwise to block you, and in not seeing your ideas translated out and done as you desire.  Yet, you don't do something like this unless either you are already gone (and even then it's not a good idea because of collateral damage), or all is already lost.  So, was this just incredibly poor judgment on someones part in agreeing to the interview, or are other things in play?

I will withhold judgment until the article is out and some other facts are in evidence.  Yet, I will be very honest in saying that my respect for Gen. McChrystal and his judgment (and of the staff who thought this interview a good idea) has already been diminished.  


UPDATE:  You really need to go read Greyhawk, and note Grim's comments here as well.  The boss makes some good points here as well.