Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who angered President Obama by criticizing administration officials in a Rolling Stone interview, has been relieved of his duties as commander of the Afghan war. Will replacing McChrystal damage the war effort — or give the president an opportunity to replace McChrystal with a more effective team player? (Watch a Russia Today report about the Afghanistan war's future)
Letting McChrystal go will set back the war: Gen. Stanley McChrystal "was hired — and his predecessor fired — by Obama precisely because 'new thinking' was needed for the war in Afghanistan," says Azia Poonawalla in BeliefNet. McChrystal is "the" expert on counterinsurgency, the architect of the U.S. "shift away from killing bad guys to protecting civilians," and the strategist behind the surge. Removing him now would be a major step backward.
"Obama should not fire McChrystal — here’s why"
Replacing McChrystal will help us win: The general should go, says Byron York in The Examiner. Not because he showed disrespect for the commander-in-chief, although that's a firing offense. The bigger problem is that the general's "devotion to unreasonably restrictive rules of engagement [is] resulting in the unnecessary deaths of American and coalition forces." To win, we need a new commander committed to annihilating the enemy.
"McChrystal’s real offense"
McChrystal is the wrong man for Obama's war: McChrystal isn't committed to doing the job Obama hired him to do, says Peter Beinart in The Daily Beast. This "single-minded general" is committed to "winning the war in Afghanistan (whatever that means) no matter what it takes," but Obama's policy is to stabilize Afghanistan and get out, so we don't go bankrupt trying to save Kabul. Obama must replace McChrystal to retake control of his own foreign policy.
"Gen. McChrystal's firing offense"
Update 1:40 p.m.: General David Petraeus will replace McChrystal, according to White House officials.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The real reason conservatives should be outraged that police killed a white youth
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Even critics of the euro didn't see this coming
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why the West should accept ISIS as a sovereign nation
- 8 ways you're probably overspending without even realizing it
- The secret to handling pressure like astronauts, Navy SEALs, and samurai
- The essential techniques that every home cook should know
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- 6 constitutional amendments that just missed the cut
Subscribe to the Week