General McChrystal: What will Obama do with 'the runaway general'?
General McChrystal, commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, made derogatory comments about the Obama administration in Rolling Stone magazine's 'The Runaway General.'
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The mea culpa press conference. After Wednesday’s meeting, McChrystal (possibly accompanied by Obama) might make a quick visit to the White House briefing room to read a statement of apology and vow his full support of administration strategy. He could take a few questions, though not too many, lest he dig himself another hole. Obama would slap him on the back and say all is forgiven, and the general would get on his plane to fly back to the relative safety of Kabul.Skip to next paragraph
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A visit to the woodshed. Remember David Stockman? He was President Reagan’s director of the Office of Management and Budget. He, too, gave an inexplicable interview to a magazine – in his case, the Atlantic Monthly – questioning administration policy. Mr. Stockman said Reagan’s supply-side economic approach was something of a sham.
“None of us really understands what’s going on with all these numbers,” Stockman told journalist William Greider.
Stockman was allowed to keep his job but was severely reprimanded by Reagan and other top officials. Stockman himself said he “had been taken to the woodshed” by the president. His influence was permanently damaged, however, and he left the administration years before the end of Reagan’s term.
Golf with McKiernan. It is possible that McChrystal will be relieved of command. After all, that is what happened to his predecessor, Gen. David McKiernan. Last May, Secretary Gates moved aside McKiernan, who had led allied ground forces during the invasion of Iraq, and replaced him with McChrystal. The move was widely interpreted as the replacement of a more traditional commander with one more interested in counterinsurgency techniques.
McKiernan retired from the military shortly thereafter. McChrystal almost certainly would do the same thing if shunted aside.
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