The all-encompassing Gen. Stanley McChrystal flap is one of those train wrecks you could see coming from hundreds of miles away, kind of like the idea that Bill Clinton might have sex in the Oval Office. Anyone, unless or until it actually happens, in the chattering classes is going to be chattering away non-stop for the next few days over whether President Obama should fire the "going rogue" general, when they're not rehashing Harry Truman and Douglas McArthur.
It's a shame, because personally, I could a flying you-know-what over whether or not we change the general.
We need to change the policy, regardless of who is in charge, either on the ground or in the White House.
But facts on the ground, as history has proven, offer little deterrent to a military determined to stay the course. Even those closest to McChrystal know that the rising anti-war sentiment at home doesn’t begin to reflect how deeply (bleep)ed up things are in Afghanistan. “If Americans pulled back and started paying attention to this war, it would become even less popular,” a senior adviser to McChrystal says. Such realism, however, doesn’t prevent advocates of counterinsurgency from dreaming big: Instead of beginning to withdraw troops next year, as Obama promised, the military hopes to ramp up its counterinsurgency campaign even further. “There’s a possibility we could ask for another surge of U.S. forces next summer if we see success here,” a senior military official in Kabul tells me.
The surge isn't working -- it's time to wind this war down, whether the commander is Gen. Patton or Col. Klink.