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Stanley McChrystal
London Times ^ | 10/4/2009 | staff

Posted on 10/04/2009 7:56:37 AM PDT by Saije

At West Point his classmates compared him to the charismatic renegade played by Steve McQueen in The Great Escape. But General Stanley McChrystal, the coalition commander in Afghanistan, can offer no vanishing trick for the “deteriorating” mission that he has been ordered to rescue. Rather, he has called on politicians and a weary public to make the leap of faith...

McChrystal, who is married and has a (non-military) son, was chosen as the man who would shake things up. He arrived in Kabul last June to declare there were two types of people at headquarters — “martyrs and those that are going home”. Decreeing that troops had to learn to get along with Afghans, he dressed down the commander of a convoy bristling with weapons and speeding through the streets at 60mph: “This is exactly the way you create the ugly Isaf” (International Security Assistance Force, the coalition of American and Nato forces).

He stopped the practice of flying flags at half-mast every time a soldier was killed. “A force that’s fighting a war can’t spend all its time looking back at what the costs have been,” he said. His approach challenged the standard military culture of overwhelming the enemy with superior firepower, sometimes regardless of the consequences. He told his men to think before they shot. In August he angered Germany by apologising for an airstrike on two hijacked Nato fuel trucks. The strike, called in by the German contingent, had killed up to 90 people.

This compassion was a long way from the reputation McChrystal had enjoyed as America’s ruthless “chief terrorist pursuer” in Iraq and Afghanistan, caught up in a scandal over torture and prisoner abuse. His transformation into a “scholar-soldier” is perhaps one of his greatest achievements in a remarkable career.

(Excerpt) Read more at timesonline.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; bhodod; bhogwot; mcchrystal; oef; profile; war
Interesting profile. I wasn't familiar with his special ops background which is discussed in the article. Not sure I agree with banning the flags at half-mast but maybe that's a war zone mindset issue and I wouldn't be able to understand it.
1 posted on 10/04/2009 7:56:38 AM PDT by Saije
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To: Saije

I know nothing of this warrior, but based on recent news, he might want to reconsider his “compassionate combat” ideology.


2 posted on 10/04/2009 8:04:13 AM PDT by TruthBeforeAll (The Top 10 Most Murderous Cities in the US (per capita) Are All Run By Dem Mayors - 2005 Report)
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To: Saije

As I recall, the Steve McQueen character in “The Great Escape” got caught and was sent back to the Cooler.


3 posted on 10/04/2009 8:07:55 AM PDT by rbg81 (DRAIN THE SWAMP!!)
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To: Saije
In August he angered Germany by apologising for an airstrike on two hijacked Nato fuel trucks.

DO NOT BE FOOLED BY THE MSM BLAMING THE GENERAL AND NOT OBAMA.

These Rules of Engagement changes are precisely the ones Obama promised he would implement., so we would no longer be--in his words--"just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous problems there".

4 posted on 10/04/2009 8:09:40 AM PDT by montag813 (During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. -George Orwell)
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To: Saije

For context and further info on Gen. McChrystal, Andy McCarthy provides worthwhile reading too...not sure what has, or is, going on with the general:

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NWQ3Y2U2NjNlYTAyMjI3MTAxZjYyOWZhNTU0Mzg3MzQ=


5 posted on 10/04/2009 8:11:28 AM PDT by SE Mom (Proud mom of an Iraq war combat vet)
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To: Saije
General Stanley McChrystal

has never been in combat !

6 posted on 10/04/2009 8:12:34 AM PDT by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
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To: Saije; Allegra; big'ol_freeper; Lil'freeper; TrueKnightGalahad; blackie; Larry Lucido; Diplomat; ...
Just went over his record at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_A._McChrystal and found while it says he deployed for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, he still wear only the Expert Infantryman Badge, not the Combat Infantryman Badge.

Also his Bronze Star does not have a V.

While he may be “Hell on Wheels” as a Obama’s hand picked General for Afghanistan, I prefer Warrior Generals who have heard a shot fired in anger over political generals when the chips are down.

7 posted on 10/04/2009 8:14:37 AM PDT by Bender2 ("I've got a twisted sense of humor, and everything amuses me." RAH Beyond this Horizon)
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To: Saije
Now, I'm really confused!

Was he made a 4 star General by Obozo? Was that part of the deal for accepting Obozo's new Rules Of Engagement?

"This compassion was a long way from the reputation McChrystal had enjoyed as America’s ruthless “chief terrorist pursuer” in Iraq and Afghanistan, caught up in a scandal over torture and prisoner abuse. His transformation into a “scholar-soldier” is perhaps one of his greatest achievements in a remarkable career."

Becoming a 'scholar-soldier' is a great achievement? - or just something he's doing to please Obozo, his CIC?

8 posted on 10/04/2009 8:21:35 AM PDT by LADY J (Change your thoughts and you change your world. - Norman Vincent Peale)
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To: montag813

Yes, but McCrystal accepted them without even a whimper. When he accepted them Onada and his gang of angry commies knew they had him by the you know what.

No way a successful war can be fought without so-called innocent civilians getting in the way. When you tell soldiers who’re being shot at to think before shooting back you’ve lost the war.

And what was with his running around after the two gasoline tankers were blown up apologizing to everyone in and out of sight for the deaths of “innocent civilian”. I defy the man to explain to me just how he knew they were “innocent”. Oh, what was it these so called “innocents” were doing? They were helping themselves to stolen gasoline. And what was it they were going to do with the stolen gas? I’m sure they had no other intention then to fuel their cook stoves, generators or whatever.

Give me a break! McCrystal has broken faith with American soldiers.


9 posted on 10/04/2009 8:26:51 AM PDT by dools007
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To: dools007
Give me a break! McCrystal has broken faith with American soldiers.

I think it went down this way: Obama and Gates laid down the new ROE. McChrystal said fine but you gotta send lots more troops. Obama screwed him on troops and now McC will be the fall guy. Sound plausible?

10 posted on 10/04/2009 8:32:34 AM PDT by montag813 (During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. -George Orwell)
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To: montag813

Sure does sound plausible because everyone that knew the guy talked about he was a fighter.


11 posted on 10/04/2009 8:34:23 AM PDT by PhiKapMom (Mary Fallin - OK Gov/Coburn - Senate 2010 ! Take Back the House/Senate! Stop ZERO!)
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To: UriĀ’el-2012

General Stanley McChrystal has never been in combat !

From the article:

“He’s lanky, smart, tough, a sneaky stealth soldier,” said a retired officer. “He’s got all the special-ops attributes, plus an intellect.” Much of his 33-year career remains classified, including his command of a Green Beret team in 1979 and 1980, several tours in the elite Rangers and service in the Gulf war of 1991.

Resisting senior officers’ advice that his career would prosper if he got a desk job, he insisted on staying in the field. However, he had seen little combat in his early years: “I missed Panama and Grenada and it bothered me. You always wonder how you’ll do.”

Those two operations were characterised by America’s post-Vietnam “force protection” mentality of using massive firepower and minimising US deaths. A similar approach governed the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, where the riskier jobs were undertaken by US special forces. These became McChrystal’s hunting grounds during 2003, when he was appointed head of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) — a unit whose existence the Pentagon refused to acknowledge for years. It oversaw the clandestine Delta Force and the navy Seals. Although based in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, McChrystal was said to be fond of accompanying his men on commando raids. “I won’t claim I was ever any great help on the missions,” he said, adding that his reason for going was to understand the challenges faced. “I’ve never shot anyone,” he claimed. Yet, according to Newsweek last week, “he has been a very effective killer”.

It was McChrystal, according to former CIA officials, who in 2005 pushed for a secret joint operation in the tribal region of Pakistan, aimed at capturing or killing Ayman alZawahiri, Osama Bin Laden’s deputy. It was cancelled at the last minute by Donald Rumsfeld, the defence secretary, as being too dangerous and based on unreliable intelligence.

However, McChrystal succeeded in an operation against Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Al-Qaeda chief in Iraq. Jordanian agents identified Zarqawi’s clerical adviser, who was tracked to the terrorist’s hideout near Baqubah, north of Baghdad. After several weeks’ observation, the hut was destroyed in an F-16 airstrike. McChrystal, who reportedly made an eyes-on identification of Zarqawi’s body, was personally congratulated by President George W Bush in a telephone call. It was his second coup, after the capture by JSOC forces of Saddam in December 2003.

McChrystal was known as Rumsfeld’s man and a favourite of Dick Cheney,

Looks to me like he has indeed been in combat.
12 posted on 10/04/2009 8:34:28 AM PDT by Zakeet (Central Park Zoo vs. White House -- one has African Lion -- other has lying African)
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To: dools007
When you tell soldiers who’re being shot at to think before shooting back you’ve lost the war.

The war was lost in November 2001, and zero's ROEs have nothing to do with it. His ROEs will increase the COST of defeat, but the war was lost the day Operation Infinite Justice was renamed, lest it anger Allah.

The sad thing is that George W. Bush could have had anything he asked for when he addressed the Congress on September 16, 2001, and he didn't have the imagination or the balls to ask for enough.

Everything else, including the man calling himself "Barack Obama", follows from that.

13 posted on 10/04/2009 8:38:02 AM PDT by Jim Noble (I hope Sarah will start a 2nd party soon)
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To: Bender2
I prefer Warrior Generals who have heard a shot fired in anger

You might want to do a little more research. GEN McChrystal commanded the 75th Ranger Regiment in combat. He also commanded the Joint Special Operations effort focused on High Value Targets in Iraq. He accompanied his operators on raids, including raids that involved close combat. Lots of guys with extensive combat experience who don't have valor awards and the CIB is a matter of meeting a set of specific criteria. Since he was a senior guy when the war started, I don't make much of it.

14 posted on 10/04/2009 8:38:35 AM PDT by centurion316
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To: Bender2

Well, Eisenhower did ok, on balance.


15 posted on 10/04/2009 8:43:10 AM PDT by RobbyS (ECCE HOMO!)
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To: UriĀ’el-2012

Read the article once more...


16 posted on 10/04/2009 8:43:59 AM PDT by Wiz
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To: Bender2

Colin Powell and Weslsy Clark were combat vets. Would you perfer one of them to lead the troops? Being a comabt vet dont make one a good general.It is a plus, but should be the only factor.
McChrystal is trying the “hearts and mind “ thing. Is it a good plan, who knows. Everyother plan seemed to fail. The Ahgans seem to thrive on war and accept it as a naural occurance. Show what could be conceived as weakness is fatal. Give it a shot.
The flag at half mast thing is a non issue. Morn your dead after the war, not durning it. The soliders there know the sacrifices their brother already made.


17 posted on 10/04/2009 8:44:52 AM PDT by Yorlik803 ( Better to die on your feet than live on your knees.)
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To: Zakeet
He has never earned the Combat Infantryman Badge

He wears the Expert Infantryman Badge


18 posted on 10/04/2009 8:50:26 AM PDT by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
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To: Zakeet

A guy—obviously—who doesn’t toot his own horn.


19 posted on 10/04/2009 8:56:33 AM PDT by RobbyS (ECCE HOMO!)
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To: Yorlik803

Read a story where the General went to an meeting with Afghan leaders after the oil tank incident. THEY wanted him to lower the hammer. My guess is that he knows they are a warrior culture.


20 posted on 10/04/2009 8:59:57 AM PDT by RobbyS (ECCE HOMO!)
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To: Saije
Sounds like McChrystal has adapted his Afghanistan war strategy to fit the Community Organizer-in-Chief's soft-headed notion that America is ugly, too powerful, and not liked well enough by its enemies.

Now he's asking for 40,000 more boots on the ground, but says he can live with the decision if Obama tells him no. He also says he "admires" Obama. Admires him? Why? Because he squeezed McChrystal in for a face-to-face meeting that took less time than it takes to finish one hole on one of Obama's frequent golf outings?

Sorry. I don't think McChrystal has the courage of his convictions. He's willingly letting brave men die under ridiculously restrained rules-of-engagement while Obama dithers.

21 posted on 10/04/2009 9:01:35 AM PDT by behzinlea
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To: UriĀ’el-2012
How exactly do you know he hasn't earned the CIB?

He was with elite teams during his career, lots of their actions are classified and you will never see any awards that they received.

22 posted on 10/04/2009 9:04:54 AM PDT by Recon by Fire (Obama is a dude posing as another dude, who is impersonating another dude!)
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To: Recon by Fire
How exactly do you know he hasn't earned the CIB?

He was with elite teams during his career, lots of their actions are classified and you will never see any awards that they received.

Look at his Class A uniform.

He wears the EIB


23 posted on 10/04/2009 9:09:41 AM PDT by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
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To: UriĀ’el-2012

Stanley McCrystal is an embarrassment to the military. He toys with the lives of the men in the field. It is his decision to have his men take off their protective clothing, eliminate air strikes and walk into the Afgani villages without protection. He is the author of the “rules of engagement” that put our brave men at unconscionable risk.

McCrystal is a failure. Our soldiers pay the price for his stupidity. He deserves Obama and vice-versa; our soldiers deserve a leader.

If McCrystal had a speck of the courage of our soldiers he would resign.


24 posted on 10/04/2009 9:21:40 AM PDT by nj patriot (Gore is beyond help.... Snakes in the head.)
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To: nj patriot
Stanley McCrystal is an embarrassment to the military. He toys with the lives of the men in the field. It is his decision to have his men take off their protective clothing, eliminate air strikes and walk into the Afgani villages without protection. He is the author of the “rules of engagement” that put our brave men at unconscionable risk.

The key to this campaign are the ROE.

If you restrict air power and artillery,
you place our brave troops in a meat grinder.

You place them into the 19th century like the British.


25 posted on 10/04/2009 9:36:51 AM PDT by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
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To: UriĀ’el-2012
Many soldiers have earned both, but wear the EIB instead of the CIB.

Do you know where Manassa, Colorado is? That is a few miles as the crow flies from my birthplace.

26 posted on 10/04/2009 9:38:16 AM PDT by Recon by Fire (Obama is a dude posing as another dude, who is impersonating another dude!)
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To: Recon by Fire
Many soldiers have earned both, but wear the EIB instead of the CIB.

Do you know where Manassa, Colorado is? That is a few miles as the crow flies from my birthplace.

Everyone that I have known who have earned the CIB,
mock anyone who wears the EIB.

Many say even if you have earned it is better not to wear the EIB.

It leaves no question that you have never been in combat.

Yes Manassa, Colorado is in the San Luis Valley.

Home of Jack Dempsey "The Manassa Mauler".

There are turquoise mines near there; no?


27 posted on 10/04/2009 9:53:00 AM PDT by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
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To: Jim Noble

Jim—I agree with you on the larger point. I would add that the second mistake Bush made was to not engage the American public in the war. Reminds of the Viet Nam war in many respects. For instance the Bush and Rumsfeld minimalist war nonsense. So much for learning from history.

My son’s a senior NCO. Been in the Army a lot of years. Been in harm’s way four times. He’s been in combat. Been shot at and he’s killed. Many other brave soldiers have done likewise. Militart leadership, politicians and the American public have let our soldiers down.

It’s not all bad. Iraq, IMHO, will ultimately choose the 21st Century vice the 17th Century. And I think It’s still possible to win in Afghanistan. But it will take a lot more than adding 40,000 troops to the ones already there.

The current resident of the WH is ideologically opposed to America triumphing anywhere. And the American public barely remembers 9/ll. McCrystal, IMHO, is a weak soldier who is not willing to stand up for what is right. There are many ways he can get his message out, but apparently the job means more to him than America.


28 posted on 10/05/2009 8:03:16 AM PDT by dools007
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To: montag813

Anything can be made to appear plausible. Frankly, I think McCrystal is just a weak strategic military leader.
Even if there was a quid pro quo—accept ROE restrictions for more soldiers—the restrictions would ultimately negate the increase in troops. All the bad guys have to do is mix women and children among their terrorist murderers and we can’t shoot back.

The last straw for me was McCrystal running around publicly and appologizing for the US attack on the stolen gas tanker truck. Pathetic.


29 posted on 10/05/2009 8:07:52 AM PDT by dools007
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