I went back to the history books to read about General Douglas Macarthur.
After Dwight Eisenhower, he may have been the most popular general in American history. A heroic leader in World War I and World War II both, and a former superintendent of West Point.
Later, as Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in the Pacific during the Korean War, Macarthur wanted to bomb military targets in China. When President Truman said no – afraid that would bring the Soviet Union into the conflict and trigger nuclear war – Macarthur wrote a letter to the House Speaker, openly disagreeing with the president’s decision.
At which point, Truman fired him for insubordination. In so doing, Truman made his point: In the United States, civilians control the military, not the other way around.
That’s a lesson General Stanley McChrystal seems to have forgotten.
His job is to be in Afghanistan, leading our troops. His job is not to be in London, giving speeches.
If he feels he needs more troops, fine. Make that recommendation to the president. And fight for it. In private. But don’t go public, disagreeing with his commander-in-chief.
President Obama hired General McChrystal. He can fire him, too. And should.
That’s my parting shot for today.