SMALL WARS COUNCIL
Go Back   Small Wars Council > Small Wars Participants & Stakeholders > Trigger Puller

Trigger Puller Boots on the ground, steel on target -- the pointy end of the spear.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-24-2010   #41
Entropy
Council Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,457
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SWCAdmin View Post
Did it on purpose?

He is too savvy an operator to have done it by accident. As I mentioned in a rare blog entry.
Everyone makes mistakes and is he the kind of guy that would throw his staff under the bus like that? I'm not buying it.
__________________
Supporting "time-limited, scope limited military actions" for 20 years.
Entropy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2010   #42
Race Bannon
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chatham County, NC
Posts: 1
Default The consequences of management

This war is costing America more and more in terms of not just actual casualties but in disgracing good sharp operational commanders' careers for the sake of appearances. Given the ubiquity and near real time effect of media coverage, candor and frankness amongst inner circles is getting blown out of proportion. These idiotic comparisons between GEN MacArthur / President Truman and GEN McChrystal / President Obama are apples and oranges comparisons. GEN MacArthur outright defied President Truman on the strategy of the Korean war. What occurred with GEN McChrystal was an inner circle bantor of personal opinion and dialogue that is a normal part of organizational behavoir. We all talk behind close doors on who's a "clown" and who's not. If you doubt me ask Vice President Biden. And yes I screen calls and proclaim, "oh god, it's my mother; should I answer this call". Truth be told, these "embeds" are result of the first Gulf war and the media's complaints of being excluded by GEN Schwarzkopf and his staff. Ask him what he said about President George H.W. Bush and then Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney. Recently (2001 or there abouts ) the DOD changed policy to try and accommodate the press and their insatiable thirst for information. GEN McChrystal in effect is a victim of that irony and its a waste because he is a true warrior and a superb operational commander. Technology is not what it was thirty or forty years ago, its in your face and any slip up or sincere insider candor is pounced upon and exploited. People could get away with a lot more back in the day of Korea and Vietnam. The media was just shut out unless you did something like outright challenge the authority of the chief executive officer of a nation. Georges Clemenceau the Prime Minister of France during WWI said, "war is too important to be left to the generals". In this day and age given the pandering and duplicity of our elected officials, war is too important to be left to the politicians.
Race Bannon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2010   #43
tequila
Council Member
 
tequila's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 1,665
Default

Definitely the dumbest thread I've ever read on SWJ.
tequila is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2010   #44
MikeF
Council Member
 
MikeF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Posts: 1,177
Default Back on track

Quote:
Originally Posted by tequila View Post
Definitely the dumbest thread I've ever read on SWJ.
Let's get this thread back on track.

This action was heart over mind, ego over mission. Every charismatic and successful leader is tempted by it.

The seduction of powerful men.

Honestly, when I read the RS article, I was reminded of the loneliness that one feels in a patrol base- the world is on your shoulders, no one back in the big FOB cares, and you're the only one that really understands the fight.

After seven years of continious fighting, I think LTG McC fell into the trap. Period.
MikeF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2010   #45
Greyhawk
Council Member
 
Greyhawk's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Georgia
Posts: 117
Default Three different things...

1. What Gen McChrystal & staff said/did
2. How that was reported
3. How the report was reported by other reporters before it came out

What I've seen in #3 leaves no doubt that verily, we were on the threshold of a great crisis. Most of it is also a bit blown out of proportion (/use of understatement), but that makes for a good story.

What I've seen in #2 - concur with Schmedlap's "show me" request (comments on at least one of the various blog posts here), not quite as much "there" there. Guys joking about how to dismiss reporters asking about the VP? Ironic - they were discussing avoiding a repeat of last fall's press fiasco... As for the rest, comments re: civ counterparts, I guess I'm not shocked by truth, which is what much of the rest of the seemingly shocking statements were... (I acknowledge that in light of Gen McChystal's immediate apology all defense is moot. And bottom line, the CinC needs no excuse to change commanders.)

Number one I can only imagine. I do know that after spending a month with the subjects, #2 was all the reporter got.

All that leaves me truly puzzled, though I'm not offering conspiracy theory explanations or accepting that Gen McChrystal is an inexperienced, babe-in-the-woods gullible bumpkin when it comes to media/reporters. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, but smoky as the whole thing seems I'm not seeing a cigar here.
Greyhawk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2010   #46
Steve the Planner
Council Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Maryland
Posts: 827
Default

Ok, I'll stick my neck in this noose and look around.

1. The Product of Frustration on McC's part: Done With It, Send Me Home If You Don't Like It, whether subliminal or not: Gary Hart--Bimbos? What Bimbos? Follow Me If You Like...

2. When I read the article, I was sort of shocked by the lack of anything shocking in the quotes, but riveted by the War-related content taht I knew would have huge resonance in the US as one of the first big Afghan "news" things that US readers have paid attention to in a while. You guessed it: Karzai Corruption, IEDs, Body Counts and Ulcers no longer make it one the first, second or third pages in the US (sad to say).

3. The US war funding bills cannot tolerate any more turbulence, so the affair had to be ended fast and completely. Ditto for Britain, Germany, France, anon. Support is very thin, and diminishing further every day. The program needs a serious jump start of genuine successes (not just ones paid for through bribes).

4. The talking heads are starting to focus (for the brief half-life this thing might have) on the real issues---Karzais, corruption, and lack of civilian effectiveness. Maybe a little sustained attention to the real issues undermining strategy will be worth McC's jumping into the volcano? (Maybe)
Steve the Planner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2010   #47
William F. Owen
Council Member
 
William F. Owen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: The State of Partachia, at the eastern end of the Mediterranean
Posts: 3,947
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeF View Post
Every charismatic and successful leader is tempted by it.

The seduction of powerful men.
IMO, McChrystal and his staff thought Rolling Stone would make them look cool. Why else? Rolling Stone is POP-culture. Nothing to do with men with guns stuff.
It was pure ego and vanity and it blew up in their faces. - Wow! Who saw that coming.
__________________
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
William F. Owen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2010   #48
M-A Lagrange
Council Member
 
M-A Lagrange's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: In Barsoom, as a fact!
Posts: 976
Default

I do not know if Mc Chrystal did it on purpose or not but it was not the first time.
In France, he publicly insulted the French government and acted as a child.
When you believe you are a god of war: they you go in the wall as Wilf just said.
It looks cool to let your staff say what you think... Yes in private but not with externals. that's all.
No one can afford to have a right hand that does not listen to the brain, what ever it agree with or not.
M-A Lagrange is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2010   #49
JJackson
Council Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 203
Default

I have to admit to a great deal of confusion over this story. The bit I find most strange is - Why Rolling Stone?
As others have commented you do not get to his rank without acquiring a great deal of experience in dealing with the press and you must know the difference between on the record/off the record, attributable/unattributable, back ground etc. In addition this was not one interview on a 'bad' day with one person it was over an extended period with quotes from various sources in his chain of command.
How can it not have been coordinated? If press protocol was this lax then it would have occurred before.
Why Rolling Stone? If the plan was to 'go out' - while showing that things were not working because his political masters would not endorse a plan more to his liking - then Rolling Stone is a very odd choice. If the thinking was 'it's only Rolling Stone' therefore I can get away with a shot across the bow that would be unacceptable in WaPo that is also worryingly naive.
All-in-all for someone who is meant to be a specialist in devising and executing plans - and foreseeing their consequences - the logic behind this one is beyond me.
JJackson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2010   #50
William F. Owen
Council Member
 
William F. Owen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: The State of Partachia, at the eastern end of the Mediterranean
Posts: 3,947
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJackson View Post
As others have commented you do not get to his rank without acquiring a great deal of experience in dealing with the press and you must know the difference between on the record/off the record, attributable/unattributable, back ground etc.
Actually, as concerns dealing with the press, the General and his staff had clearly never dealt with, or even thought about the conditions they apparently encountered. I heard the Journalist talking on the BBC and he says that no one McChrystal's staff set any ground rules at all! - and look what happened.
__________________
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
William F. Owen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2010   #51
MikeF
Council Member
 
MikeF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Posts: 1,177
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
IMO, McChrystal and his staff thought Rolling Stone would make them look cool. Why else? Rolling Stone is POP-culture. Nothing to do with men with guns stuff.
It was pure ego and vanity and it blew up in their faces. - Wow! Who saw that coming.
That's pretty much the thesis of that article and what I was trying to articulate.
MikeF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2010   #52
William F. Owen
Council Member
 
William F. Owen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: The State of Partachia, at the eastern end of the Mediterranean
Posts: 3,947
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeF View Post
Sean Hannidy decided today that he's an expert in small wars. I almost punched a hole in the wall of my apartment.
The bar for being an expert is pretty low based on the media's understanding.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeF View Post
That's pretty much the thesis of that article and what I was trying to articulate.
eyh... I was copying you. I just dumbed it down a little.
__________________
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
William F. Owen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2010   #53
Bullmoose Bailey
Council Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Megalopolis
Posts: 83
Default I admire the General's Nixonian deportment

While the shameful tradition of compromising missions vis-a-vis the press is practically sacramental in The West, I'd like to examine this event in the larger context of historic struggles between IN & SF branches. Applicable or not ?

Seperately, the MSM has done a deplorable job of reporting the actualities of the case. Many important question have not been asked; Is General McChrystal retiring as a GEN or as an LTG ? Is he even retiring? What exactly did he resign from? Is not the assignment of GEN Petraeus to a lesser grade of sorts ? & more about the timing etc. etc......

I'm not surprised that this circumstance will now certainly end up tarnishing military service as a profession through broad application in the press toward implication of demagoguery & disloyalty. Expect more of this if charges are brought against the actual offenders (remember General McChrystal is merely following Nixon's example of taking responsibility), a 15-6 investigation is seated, or anyone involved gives interview and/or runs for elective office.

God Bless America.
Bullmoose Bailey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2010   #54
SWCAdmin
Groundskeeping Dept.
 
SWCAdmin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: DC area pogue.
Posts: 1,841
Default

Re:

Quote:
Originally Posted by SWCAdmin View Post
Did it on purpose?

He is too savvy an operator to have done it by accident. As I mentioned in a rare blog entry.
If this is to be believed, (my emphasis added) .....

Quote:
The editors did a thorough fact-check as evidenced by the lack of dispute over the veracity of the quotes or exchanges. "I haven't heard a word about that and would be shocked if I did," said Bates. They did not, as reported by Politico, show the general and his team the entire article before publication.


"That all stems from Politico misunderstanding my comments on Morning Joe this morning," said Bates. "We never show a story to a source before publication."
....then I retract my Machiavellian speculation.

I'd also clarify that I never meant to infer it was a setup all along with staged conduct back in April, as some of the grander conspiracy theorists have suggested. Rather a shoot-the-moon, eyes open move from the far more recent "go ahead, publish as is" decision. Which now doesn't look like it was a decisionable event. Perhaps just some Team America hubris.
SWCAdmin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2010   #55
jkm_101_fso
Council Member
 
jkm_101_fso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Kabul
Posts: 325
Default

At first I was pretty angry. I'm not much of a political guy, but something didn't smell right.

Then I read the article.

If the things that are being said in there are true, then I think GEN MC must have been fostering that kind of culture in which his aides and staff felt it was OK to say that type of stuff, which in my mind is pretty unprofessional.

You can bet GEN P's staff won't be saying stuff like that to the press.

I was always leery of McChrystal anyway; he was pretty knee-deep in that Tillman cover-up.
__________________
Quote:
Sir, what the hell are we doing?
jkm_101_fso is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2010   #56
slapout9
Council Member
 
slapout9's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 4,809
Default

One of the people and quotes from the article that I thought most interesting was a CIA man named Marc Segman and he said this "We have no vital interest in Afghanistan...we should not be here." May end up being the most important quote in the article a year from now.
slapout9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2010   #57
JarodParker
Council Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: People's Republic of California
Posts: 85
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 91bravojoe View Post
"Closet muslim" Yes, I really saw that. About the President who is waging vigorous war in a Muslim nation.

I apologize for my initial impression that this board did not contain Fox News guzzling jackoffs.
LOL! Just for the record, I was being sarcastic... guess I didn't make it obvious enough. I couldn't resists doing an impression when I saw the names of GlenB and Hannity.

Anyway, I just feel the whole thing was being blown way out of proportion and people were reading too much into the whole situation. I mean, all the speculations about Obama trying scapegoat McChrystal, McChrystal exiting early to avoid blame, Obama trying to keep Petraeus from running in 2012, etc.
I agree with MikeF and WFO about this just being a mistake on the part of the general and his staff. They just got too comfortable and forgot who their audience was... kind of like LTC Jenio's staff and the infamous PPT.
I also remember reading a thread on here a while ago about the relative low number of senior commanders being relieved in these wars as opposed to previous ones. But it looks like the numbers might be trending up during Gates' tenure. Although half seem to be for non-combat performance related issues.
JarodParker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2010   #58
William F. Owen
Council Member
 
William F. Owen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: The State of Partachia, at the eastern end of the Mediterranean
Posts: 3,947
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
"We have no vital interest in Afghanistan...we should not be here." May end up being the most important quote in the article a year from now.
With respect to Mr Segman, this is a question that has been widely asked for some years now. What's the policy? For the UK, we keep being told it's "vital to be in A'Stan" yet we only deploy 10,000 troops - thus, clearly not vital!
__________________
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
William F. Owen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2010   #59
slapout9
Council Member
 
slapout9's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 4,809
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
With respect to Mr Segman, this is a question that has been widely asked for some years now. What's the policy? For the UK, we keep being told it's "vital to be in A'Stan" yet we only deploy 10,000 troops - thus, clearly not vital!
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
slapout9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2010   #60
TheCurmudgeon
Council Member
 
TheCurmudgeon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Woodbridge, VA
Posts: 1,117
Default McChrystal was not the only one in the room ...

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.
__________________
"I can change almost anything ... but I can't change human nature."

Jon Osterman/Dr. Manhattan
---
TheCurmudgeon is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
bin laden, iraq, isis, leadership, mcchrystal, special forces, special opererations, syria

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
"Processing Intelligence Collection: Learning or Not?" Tracker275 Intelligence 2 02-20-2011 11:46 PM
New to S2, need FM 34-20 and collection management info schmoe RFIs & Members' Projects 19 02-07-2009 10:03 PM
Relationship between the political system and causes of war (questions) AmericanPride RFIs & Members' Projects 56 03-30-2008 09:16 PM
Intelligence Collection and Sharing SWJED Intelligence 30 12-03-2007 02:22 AM


All times are GMT. The time now is 12:41 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9. ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Registered Users are solely responsible for their messages.
Operated by, and site design 2005-2009, Small Wars Foundation