June 23, 2010

Obama's No-win Situation With McChrystal

When President Obama first came to the Presidency, there were a lot of no-lose situations for the President - no matter what he did there were good outcomes at least possible for him politically.  Not so today.  His polling numbers down, the President was faced with a no-win situation in the form of General McChrystal's Rolling Stone interview/article.

From American Forces Press Service:
WASHINGTON, June 23, 2010 - President Barack Obama today accepted Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal's resignation from his post as the top NATO and U.S. commander in Afghanistan and announced he is nominating Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of U.S. Central Command, to replace him.
If General McChrystal had stayed on the President would look meek in the face of disrespect.  If the President had fired McChrystal he would look vindictive.  That leaves a resignation.  While that's the easiest out of the face-saving problem for President Obama, it brings up a host of other questions - should the President's selected General not be allowed to complete the current mission?  Is a Rolling Stone article more important than strategy?  Did the President orchestrate an excuse to end the Afghanistan mission as soon as possible regardless of how things look in a year's time?

Those questions are not answerable because any answer will seem like an excuse whether it is or not.  Ironically, the resignation may do more harm to the President than the article itself.

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