‘War is bigger than any one, man or woman - private or general’
by our special cor in New York
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.
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
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