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Thread: The McCrystal collection (catch all)

  1. #61
    Council Member Uboat509's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCurmudgeon View Post
    I read the article. I will set aside GEN McChystal's ability to determine what to say and not to say for a moment and ask why his staff allowed this? The statements were not just his - they were often in the presence of and even encouraged by his staff. I find it hard to believe that none of those officers understood the ramifications of allowing a reporter unfetter access to a private drinking party at a public pub in Paris (which is probably not a good idea in the first place) or encouraging the "bit me" comment from the General in the presence of the reporter. If it was not intentional or at least the result of a very high level of frustration, it certainly reflects a level of group-think that is scary. I believe it was Patton who said "If everyone in the room is thinking like me than someone is not thinking." Certainly looks as if that might have been a philosophy GEN McChystal and his staff did not believe in.
    This sort of reminds me of guys I knew who got caught cheating by their wives/girlfriends. Invariably, it wasn't some brilliant detective work by the woman, it was just escalating levels of stupid by the man. As someone watching from the outside, I was shocked that he was being so stupid and careless about the whole thing and it was pretty obvious that he was going to get caught. When he finally did get caught, he was shocked. In many cases, the wife/girlfriend assumed that he was trying to get caught because she could not see how it was that he could be so stupid, but the truth was that he became comfortable and complacent and never realized, until it was too late, that he was being that stupid. I think that is kind of like what happened here. LTG McCrystal was something of a rock star and he felt comfortable and safe, maybe even untouchable. His staff probably fed off of that and then boom, Rolling Stone, reality and a very unpleasant meeting with the CIC just brings it all down.
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  2. #62
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Anyone see this?

    Reporter Michael Hastings explains the backstory to the piece that upended a general—and maybe even a war.

    How much time did you spend with McChrystal over the month?
    Another strange journalistic twist. The Icelandic volcano happens, and so my two-day trip turned into this month-long journey following General McChrystal and his staff around from Paris to Berlin to Kabul to Kandahar and then back to Washington, D.C. I wasn’t with him at every moment, obviously, but fairly regularly over that period of time.

    One of the most vivid scenes in the stories comes when you are out with the general, his wife, and his team for a night on the town in Paris. His team is entirely forthright with you, did that surprise you?
    Well, they were getting hammered, I don’t know at that moment if they were being the most forthright. Of course it was surprising. A lot of the reporting that is getting most of the attention happened right away in the first few days in Paris. So I was surprised—because they didn’t know me.

    http://www.newsweek.com/2010/06/22/r...interview.html
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  3. #63
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    America is being told the same thing and I agree IF it is vital than why be conservative on troops.....unless it is not vital at all
    You seem to assume that more is better.
    That assumption is not carved in stone.
    More troops = more trucks = more trouble.
    More troops would furthermore support a strategy that intends to beat the TB directly instead of enabling the contra-TB 'Afghans' to hold their own ground.

  4. #64
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    Sorry if you thought my post was stupid. It just struck me as a General who had enough of being this administrations administrator in afghanistan. With a combination of bad situations, roe that hinder success and pressure from all sides ( not to mention a probable lapse in judgment by being too familiar with a journalist who makes his money by writing controversial things ) he and his staff blew off steam and probably thought, Screw it, Ill say whatever I think because this ship is sinking and I might as well tell you how feel.

    I could be wrong, it just seems that a guy who has a history of spats with Obama just didnt care anylonger.

  5. #65
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    Isn't McChrystal the man that terminated Michael Yons embedding with 5/2 Stryker BCT in April 2010?

    Does not that suggest that he and his team are extremely sensitive about their media image?

    Does not the Rolling Stone article suggest that the real opinions of McChrystal and Co. about the war have some similarities to Yon's?

  6. #66
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walrus View Post
    Isn't McChrystal the man that terminated Michael Yons embedding with 5/2 Stryker BCT in April 2010?
    On that note, this piece is "interesting"...
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  7. #67
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    You seem to assume that more is better.
    That assumption is not carved in stone.
    More troops = more trucks = more trouble.
    More troops would furthermore support a strategy that intends to beat the TB directly instead of enabling the contra-TB 'Afghans' to hold their own ground.
    Yes, that is a good point. More as in "Operation Jawbreaker" small US footprint but alot of Air Power if needed to support a lot of Afghan troops(Northern Alliance) on the ground. Point being we would give them what ever they need to succeed, not just dribble resource out based on some strange formula.

  8. #68
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    Default Ex-British Army Chief of Staff adds

    The actual title was 'McChrystal forgot that he was not calling all the shots – Barack Obama was':http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/news...Obama-was.html

    Which ends with:
    So Petraeus has a huge responsibility and opportunity. He needs support and he needs allies, and in the British generals, Nick Parker in Kabul and Nick Carter in Kandahar, he has two of our best. Petraeus understands the British well enough to know that we will not let him down.
    davidbfpo

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    The only other thing that really points to the Generals not caring what was said in the article is that he was allowed to fact check it according to several sources. Don't you think he might have thought a minute if he intended or wanted to keep his post ?

  10. #70
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zealot66 View Post
    The only other thing that really points to the Generals not caring what was said in the article is that he was allowed to fact check it according to several sources. Don't you think he might have thought a minute if he intended or wanted to keep his post ?
    From what I read, while the article was fact checked, the full version was not provided for approval.
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  11. #71
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    From what I read, RS does apparently never request approval. They simply print what they see fit.

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    Its hard to determine which sources are right but it looks like the ROE are going to be loosened up. Perhaps, McChrystal's departure may be a good thing. I abhor Civilian control of ROE. I know thats a can of worms but you cant run a war based on hacks in washington who dont know anything of soldiering and really have a contempt of the very machine they control. I may not sound like the brightest apple in the bunch but this is definitely a very important historical marker for the Longest War for the United States.

  13. #73
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    A member of McChrystal's team who was present for a celebration of McChrystal's 33rd wedding anniversary at a Paris bar said it was "clearly off the record." Aides "made it very clear to Michael 'This is private time. These are guys who don't get to see their wives a lot. This is us together. If you stay, you have to understand this is off-the-record,' " according to this source. In the story, the team members are portrayed as drinking heavily.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...l?hpid=topnews
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  14. #74
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    A member of McChrystal's team who was present for a celebration of McChrystal's 33rd wedding anniversary at a Paris bar said it was "clearly off the record."
    Just to clarify, "off the record" has NO MEANING. All it means is "please do not repeat this." It is unenforceable. It is not a promise or a contract. It is merely an agreement that exists for a split second.
    I get told stuff "off the record" all the time. Some of it dynamite, - but I'm playing the long game and don't want to burn bridges, people or trust.
    ANYTHING McChrystal and his staff said was "on the record."
    It is almost unbelievable that they did know this.
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  15. #75
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    OK, In get it . McChrystal and some people of his staff were/are naive people.

    Now isn't this a devastating assessment?

    Why were they allowed to rise that high with such a defect?
    Why wasn't this defect identified sooner?
    Why weren't they removed?

    Naivety is among the worse traits for high ranking officers, after all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    OK, In get it . McChrystal and some people of his staff were/are naive people.

    Now isn't this a devastating assessment?

    Why were they allowed to rise that high with such a defect?
    Why wasn't this defect identified sooner?
    Why weren't they removed?

    Naivety is among the worse traits for high ranking officers, after all.
    It's amazing the kind of stuff you hear when you gain access to otherwise closed groups.

    What amazed me most was that they went out on the town in Paris and behaved like brand new 2nd Lieutenants. Maybe its not naiveté that's the problem, maybe they have just grown up.

  17. #77
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Maybe its not naiveté that's the problem, maybe they have just grown up.
    ...not...?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    ...not...?
    Yes, thank you, not grown up.

  19. #79
    Council Member Umar Al-Mokhtār's Avatar
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    Default "The team members are portrayed as drinking heavily..."

    So? I guess we need to have a sharper clarification of what exactly constitutes "heavily." Because "heavily" in the Marine Corps usually means few walked out under their own power.

    Plus that "scandalous" tidbit probably surprises no one here on SWJ who has served. But it certainly makes great copy for an audience consisting of those primarily in, or fans of, the rock and roll industry, who we all know are preeminent exemplars of temperance, moderation, and sobriety.
    "What is best in life?" "To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women."

  20. #80
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Umar Al-Mokhtār View Post
    Plus that "scandalous" tidbit probably surprises no one here on SWJ who has served. But it certainly makes great copy for an audience consisting of those primarily in, or fans of, the rock and roll industry, who we all know are preeminent exemplars of temperance, moderation, and sobriety.
    Actually I think the drinking is pretty immaterial. It's really irrelevant. The bit that leaves me open mouthed is why "Rolling Stone" and why anyone ever thought the guy could be trusted?
    It makes as much sense as getting into a sleeping bag with a rattle-snake and being surprise you got bit.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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