General McChrystal , also known as The Runaway General, has always been an incredibly disciplined military leader since his early days at West Point in 1976. As we now know General McChrystal gave a scathing, probably career-ending interview to Rolling Stone magazine. The question to be asked is why this highly disciplined and decorated General McChyrstal would have such a horrible lapse of judgment, as it is being called, and place his entire esteemed career in jeopardy in such a seemingly irresponsible way?
General McChrystal is the Commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan and the Commander, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) since June 15, 2009. McChrystal previously, 2003 to 2008, held the position of Commander Joint Special Operations Command and he was credited with the death of a high-ranking leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq. He was also condemned for his part of the cover-up in the Pat Tilman friendly fire situation.
General McChrystaL is a disciplined military man that understands military strategy and it politics. He does not personally make any statement without careful consideration, nor would he allow his staff to make stupid statements, to any type of publication without a well-thought methodology.
McChrystal has been student of discipline starting at West Point and moving onto his Special Forces Officer training at Fort Bragg, N.C. in 1978. By January 2001 he was promoted to brigadier general where in Kuwait he was Commander of the Joint Task Force Kuwait. McChrystal also served as Chief of Staff of Combined Joint Task Force 180, to direct all Operation Enduring Freedom operations in Afghanistan in 2002. By 2003, the beginning of the Iraq war General McChrystal was at the Pentagon as a member of the Joint Staff.
General McChrystal is a strategic disciplined man that as he has said in his own words, “lived by the principles of personal honor and professional integrity” throughout his career and that “what is reflected in this article falls far short of that standard.”
However, Rolling Stone executive editor Eric Bates in an interview with CNN said, “The comments made by McChrystal and other top military aides during the interview were not off-the-cuff remarks. They knew what they were doing when they granted the access.” Bates goes on to say, “The story shows a deep division and war within the administration over strategy in Afghanistan.”
So which story is true? Were the remarks made by McChrystal and his team “off the cuff” and simply out of standard? Or was it a carefully, one might say strategically, engineered opportunity to bring the division over the war in Afghanistan to the front page of the media and onto the minds of the American people?
Whichever one is true, it remains fact that over one thousand brave men and woman of the United States have given their life in Afghanistan for the strategy.