Why General McChrystal Should Stay

Justin Morse, Staff Writer

A Rolling Stone article about General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of coalition forces in Afghanistan, has unleashed a firestorm of criticism directed towards the general. In the article a freelance reporter writes about a series of comments made by Gen. McChrystal and his top aids that has the White House furious. Gen. McChrystal and his aids made disparaging comments towards President Obama, Vice-President Biden, Ambassador Eikenberry, and National Security Advisor Gen. Jones among others. One aid called a meeting with a French minister in Paris as “f****n gay”, and another aid called Gen. Jones a “clown…stuck in 1985”.

These comments and others made by Gen. McChrystal criticizing Obama and Biden have the general in the hot seat. There is a lot of speculation that Obama will fire Gen. McChrystal for the comments. I think that would be a huge mistake in the middle of a difficult war. Allowing a reporter to get quotes like the ones in the article was a huge mistake by Gen. McChrystal. He had nothing to gain and a lot to lose by allowing this kind of access into his inner circle. President Obama, who is meeting with Gen. McChrystal on June 23rd, should let him know that the comments are unacceptable and can never happen again. The removal of a great general who understands counter-insurgency as well as anyone in the U.S. military is not the answer. The war is in a precarious state, and continuity of leadership is a necessity for success. New leadership in Afghanistan could disrupt the relationships and strategy that McChrystal has been working on for a year. McChrystal is a fine general that understands the big picture, and is trying to turn around the war in Afghanistan. President Obama outlined the strategy Gen. McChyrstal is implementing in Afghanistan during his speech at West Point in December. Obama should allow his top general the opportunity to carry out that strategy because it is probably our last chance to succeed in what is now the longest war in American history.

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