I have a little different perspective on this latest McCrystal dust-up. McCrystal is not stupid and is certainly savvy enough to understand the implications of a critical “Rolling Stones” article. There are probably underlying and perhaps ulterior motives at work here. Consider, certain officials including the US Vice President has been less than supportive of McCrystal’s strategic approach and have been openly critical of Karzai. Obama himself publicly rebuked Karzai, then in turn embraced him. Obama then announced that US forces will begin a drawdown in July 2012. This is a blunder of monumental strategic importance. Karzai is supposed to be the pillar on which we are hoping to build a functional government. Why undercut him personally and politically. No wonder he has reached out to the Taliban-it’s called survival! On top of that we signal our allies and adversaries we are leaving in a year and a half. Our allies then indicate they plan to phase out their contribution to the effort. There are calls for a re-evaluation of the NATO structure and mission. Why is this happening? Perhaps everyone senses that the US leadership is dysfunctional. Obama is clearly unenthusiastic about US military matters, and appears timid to the point of irrelevance about making the decisions necessary to put a functioning team ala Petraeus/Crocker of Iraq in place to assure victory in Afghanistan. This puts McCrystal, with little or no real presidential support, in a no-win situation. So maybe there is more here than meets the eye.
Jan D. Curran
Naples Neuberg, Germany