Update [2010-6-22 11:43:52 by Oui]: White House summons US general to explain himself
(AP) – An article out this week in “Rollingstone” magazine depicts Gen. Stanley McChrystal as a lone wolf on the outs with many important figures in the Obama administration and unable to convince even some of his own soldiers that his strategy can win the war.
A band of McChrystal’s profane, irreverent aides are quoted mocking Vice President Joe Biden and Richard Holbrooke, the special U.S. representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The profile, titled “The Runaway General” emerged from several weeks of interviews and travel with McChrystal’s tight circle of aides this spring.
It includes a list of administration figures said to back McChrystal, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and puts Biden at the top of a list of those who don’t.
The article claims McChrystal has seized control of the war “by never taking his eye off the real enemy: The wimps in the White House.”
Biden initially opposed McChrystal’s proposal for additional forces last year. He favored a narrower focus on hunting terrorists.
If Eikenberry had the same doubts, McChrystal said he never expressed them until a leaked internal document threw a wild card into the debate over whether to add more troops last November. In the document, Eikenberry said Afghan President Hamid Karzai was not a reliable partner for the counterinsurgency strategy McChrystal was hired to execute.
McChrystal said he felt “betrayed” and accused the ambassador of giving himself cover.
(The Atlantic) – Eikenberry‘s beef with McChrystal goes back to the time when McChrystal was the Pope. The Pope is the head of the Joint Special Operations Command. The nickname goes back to an off-hand remark that Janet Reno made after failing to obtain information from JSOC after the raid at Waco. (JSOC operators were on the ground but did not assist in the raid itself.) She called JSOC the Vatican. And the head of the Vatican is … the Pope.
At some point, I think in 2005, one of McChrystal’s task-forces-that-didn’t-really-exist did something in Afghanistan that angered Eikenberriy, who was in command of the region at the time. The two men exchanged words and built mutual mistrust. They have not worked well together ever since.