Obama has a big problem with the military. Even when Bush was still in office I noticed and commented on the proclivity of our generals to be issuing public statements that were less than in perfect agreement with presidential policy, but now under Obama the rift is open and quite hostile. You do not hear the phrase “Commander in Chief” as often as you did when Bush was president, and the military certainly does not act as if that title applied to Barack Obama.
The Obama Administration has made it more than plain that sending more troops to Afghanistan is not in the cards but Admiral Mullen is making statements to Congress that more troops will be required in the immediate future and now the military leaks the McChrystal report, supposedly made in confidence to Obama, in which he says that unless more troops are forthcoming at once the effort in Afghanistan “will likely fail.”
Of course Petraeus is silent. His mode is always to maintain a low profile and let others do the dirty work for him. A friend of mine in the military refers to his type as “high speed, low drag” types.
To me this is disloyalty bordering on treason. After not being reprimanded for his irresponsible statements about combat forces remaining in Iraq beyond the terms of the agreement signed off upon by his Commander in Chief, McChrystal now feels emboldened to make public statements designed to coerce the President into positions desired by the military, regardless of the political and/or diplomatic consequences.
McChrystal, his commander Petraeus, and Mullen need to be reacquainted with the principle that, in this nation's structure of governance, civilian government is in charge of the military. At the risk of sounding alarmist, the more these generals are allowed to speak publicly in terms which are at variance with the stated policy of their civilian authority, the closer we come to military takeover of our government. This needs to be nipped in the bud.