McChrystal's Real Crime: Trying Too Hard in Afghanistan

General wants to win the war at any cost
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2010 7:46 AM CDT
General Stanley A. McChrystal briefs the media after his talks with German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, not seen, at the Defense Ministry in Berlin, April 21, 2010.   (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

(Newser) – Yes, Gen. Stanley McChrystal should lose his job, but not because he bruised Barack Obama’s ego. “The press is turning a story about policy into a story about penises,” writes Peter Beinart on the Daily Beast. Beneath the “fairly mild” cracks McChrystal makes in that Rolling Stone article, you can see the real problem: “McChrystal wants to ‘win’ the war in Afghanistan (whatever that means) no matter what it takes.”

That’s not Obama’s foreign policy—he’s afraid an unlimited commitment in Afghanistan could bankrupt America. The real tension here is "a struggle about whether America is going to adjust to the new limits on its power or pretend that they don’t exist.” Last year, Obama tried to simultaneously promise to win and to retreat. “That strategy looks increasingly absurd.” Obama should use this opportunity to replace McChrystal, Beinart argues, with a general willing to publicly admit we’re leaving Afghanistan, and soon.

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