Thoughts on McChrystal and Petraeus

I've read through the Rolling Stone interview and though there is little that is directly attributable to GEN McChrystal - most of it is his aides - President Obama made the right call. It is painfully obvious that the General has little or no respect for his civilian counterparts and his criticisms of administration policy should have been in private and behind closed doors.

That this was done in public was why he had to go. It is a shame, but that is the way it works.

Had President Obama refused his resignation - as many on the right hoped for - it would have been catastrophic. The damage to the President publicly would have been irreparable as it would have appeared that he will tolerate insubordination and would have given greater weight to those who accuse the President of chronic indecision - myself included.

As for GEN Petraeus being named as GEN McChrystal's replacement, I don't see a problem. Some are complaining that it is a demotion, but that is absurd. He's still a full General, I doubt very much the title carries matters at all to him. Most importantly, GEN Petraeus is the most qualified person to take the reigns in Afghanistan. He quite literally wrote the book on COIN and - I hope - possesses the necessary diplomatic skills to bring the civilian authorities into the fold. GEN Petraeus is now the indispensable man and should he succeed will go down as one of the greatest generals in US history.

Now, were it me making the calls I would also sack Eikenberry and Holbrooke. GEN Petraeus and SOS Clinton would then recommend who they think should be the lead on the ground diplomatically. Unfortunately that won't happen. It should, but it won't. Still, I think the President got it right militarily. GEN McChrystal had to go and the only man to replace him is GEN Petraeus.