Do we, or do we not still maintain the most capable military on the planet?
I would maintain that we do. I would also suggest that prudent and judicious use of that might requires judgment beyond what became apparent from the article which appeared in the rolling stone magazine. General McChrystal failed not only the president, but the American people by allowing the writer of that article to “tag along” and expose weakness that could be exploited by our enemies.
Further, the policies in place that provide better protections for the enemy than our own soldiers with flawed rules of engagement quite frankly make my blood boil. Those rules have cost this country precious treasure, and prove that we have a level of weakness in our resolve to complete missions quickly and efficiently. McChrystal, (not at all a person who should be denied respect) has made some errors in the operation of the war in Afghanistan, and perhaps in his approach on how to handle the president.
If the article has any truth to it, the writer deserves some credit for bringing at least ONE important point to light.
“He also set a manic pace for his staff, becoming legendary for sleeping four hours a night, running seven miles each morning, and eating one meal a day. (In the month I spend around the general, I witness him eating only once. ) It’s a kind of superhuman narrative that has built up around him, a staple in almost every media profile, as if the ability to go without sleep and food translates into the possibility of a man single handedly winning the war.”
Ignoring the creative license taken on narrative about superhuman abilities etc., the fact that McChrystal slept or ate very little as a REGULAR part of his daily routine should give cause to be concerned about his mental well being. The obviously gaunt general may well have been (literally) starving his ability to make common sense decisions in the theater of battle by limiting both regenerative process and proper nourishment.
Bad decisions are all too easily made by folks who eat and sleep properly, the possibility of making mistakes must surely increase with the lack of proper rest and nutrition. And assuming this regimen has been his standard for some time, it may shed light on why a highly decorated general could possibly make the most serious error of voting for the most damaging president who has ever taken the oath of office; Barack H Obama.
Maybe its all a part of a great plan..
Perhaps we have no business being in Afghanistan after all. The left in our country would suggest war is NEVER an answer, even as they would be run over with the tanks of an invading horde. Then there are some in the Libertarian contingent, who would suggest we create more enemies by defending our interests, and the fight for freedom abroad by inserting ourselves into other countries conflicts. I would argue we have reasons to defend others, and sometimes ourselves by doing so.
The question we must ask at some point however, is “do we benefit more by rewarding those who would kill us, and punishing or ignoring those who are, or would be our friends?”
The war we wage in Afghanistan is presumably one which would result in a stable “democracy” that would help us provide some stability in the region. The reason for our war in Afghanistan also presumes that Democracy is compatible with the Islamic culture and political castes that Islam has developed. Our goals and the beliefs of the population do not work well together.
Somehow the incompatibility remains largely ignored, as were the failed policies of a general who is now being replaced, in a land so far away that it can be forgotten soon enough… until the next horrible event spawns from the minds of those who inhabit it, or the religious insanity that rules it.