Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 15 August 2010





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

‘War is bigger than any one, man or woman - private or general’

Discipline takes top priority and is even more important when it comes to the military establishment of a country. The best example is from the United States which sacked a 55-year-old General with three decades of experience. General Stanley A. McChrystal, an Army veteran with three decades of experience in military was sacked by the US President Barack Obama recently.

Agency reports said the reason was due to an article titled “The Runaway General,” by Michael Hastings that appeared in the Rolling Stone magazine on June 22. President Obama said that the critical remarks of the General in the article displayed a conduct that doesn’t live up to the standards for a command-level officer.

Commenting on his decision, President Obama made a bold statement - that “War is bigger than any one man or woman, whether a private, a general or a president”. This is a good eye-opener for all to maintain discipline and order in the military.

The article contained a number of jabs by McChrystal and his staff aimed not only at President Barack Obama but also at Vice President Joe Biden, special envoy Richard Holbrooke, Karl Eikenberry, the ambassador to Afghanistan and others. McChrystal, in the article, described his first meeting with President Obama as disappointing and said that Obama was unprepared for the meeting and National Security Adviser Jim Jones is described by a McChrystal aide as a “clown” stuck in 1985.

Other aides joked about Biden’s last name as sounding like “Bite me.”

President Obama had said bluntly that Gen. McChrystal’s scornful remarks about administration officials represent a conduct that “undermines the civilian control of the military that is at the core of our democratic system.”

He ousted the commander after a face-to-face meeting in the Oval Office and named Gen. David Petraeus, the Central Command chief, as the Commander in Afghanistan who was also McChrystal’s direct chief. Obama gave several grace notes about McChrystal and his service after their Oval Office meeting, saying that he made the decision to sack him “with considerable regret.”

In a statement expressing praise for McChrystal, President Obama said he did not make the decision over any disagreement in policy or “out of any sense of personal insult.” He said, “War is bigger than anyone man or woman, whether a private, a general or a president.”

“It was a mistake reflecting poor judgment and should never have happened,” Gen McChrystal said in a statement apologising for his action though no sympathetic view was given.

Gen. Petraeus has had overarching responsibility for the wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq as head of Central Command. He vacated the Central Command post after his confirmation.

He is the nation’s best-known military man at present, having risen to prominence as the commander who turned around the Iraq war in 2007, applying a counter-insurgency strategy that has been adapted for Afghanistan.


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