James P. Pinkerton: Why Obama Won't Fire McChrystal





[James P. Pinkerton is a writer and Fox News contributor. He is the editor/founder of the Serious Medicine Strategy blog.]

There’s something about presidents and Army generals with Scots-Irish surnames in wartime. President Abraham Lincoln had trouble with General George McClellan during the Civil War, Harry Truman had trouble with Douglas MacArthur during the Korean War, and now Barack Obama faces trouble with Stanley McChrystal during the Afghan War.

There’s something about presidents and Army generals with Scots-Irish surnames in wartime. President Abraham Lincoln had trouble with General George McClellan during the Civil War, Harry Truman had trouble with Douglas MacArthur during the Korean War, and now Barack Obama faces trouble with Stanley McChrystal during the Afghan War.

My guess is that McChrystal will survive in his post. The words attributed to him and his team in Rolling Stone--he felt “betrayed” by the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan; James Jones, the national security adviser, is a “clown”; and, perhaps most stark of all, he regarded “the wimps in the White House” as an enemy--were pretty strong, bordering on insubordination, and yet his apology was pretty abject.

And Obama really can’t afford to fire McChrystal in 2010, as Lincoln fired McClellan in 1862, and as Truman fired MacArthur in 1951. If the president does fire McChrystal, his administration will then see an enormous blow-up over Afghanistan policy, with critics on both the hawkish right and the dovish left pounding away at the commander in chief in the muddled middle....


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