Thursday, June 24, 2010

Chain of Command

The cosmetic removal of McChrystal, who has resigned his command but not his rank, followed by the demotion of Petraeus from CENTCOM to AfPac is, if nothing else, emblematic of the rot in the US foreign policy/war making universe.

It's all just about personalities now, and their usefulness in the media world that controls perception. The NYT takes up the banner of Petraeus once again, the old/new savior whose 'victory' in Iraq can now be mirrored in AfPak.

He could have just flown on a magic carpet from another dimension as far as Alissa J. Rubin and Dexter Filkins are concerned. His responsibility for the failing strategy in Afghanistan than McChrystal is mentioned but then forgotten by the two reporters, a classic piece of NYT doublethink.

But that is one of our reporters most important qualifications, to be able to forget the past, and go with the new narrative. The new narrative revolves around the time-line that Obama set. It is clearly unrealistic, but it is more realistic than the open ended war that is embraced by first McChrystal, and Petraeus.

Obama's choice of the new CENTCOM commander is bound to be amusing. He will have no power of command over Petraeus, and will serve as a pure figurehead. I nominate Gen. Odierno, late of Iraq, who is eminently qualified.

The notion of a chain of command in the US military, as well as that in the civilian leadership is hopelessly compromised. McChrystal's and Obama's theatrics have only accentuated that.


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