General McChrystal is no longer in charge in Afghanistan, and I assume on his way out of the military completely.
While I stand by my earlier “idiot” comment, one has to wonder exactly why he allowed this to happen. Surely it had to be purposeful. He knew what he said, and he should have known anyone from the Rolling Stone would have no sympathy for him. Being a career military man, he had to know that those comments, once made public, would end his career. He must have surely known his staff’s opinions, even if he “didn’t hear them”–you can’t work that closely with a group of people and not hear some of this when they think you’re out of range.
A lot of people think he was “falling on his sword” in order to protect his troops. It makes as much sense as any other explanation, but I find it difficult to believe that he couldn’t have gotten the word out in a way that would have been less detrimental to him and his staff (who I assume are also toast).
One thing for certain–if he is indeed out of the military, he would be free to really speak his mind. It would be interesting to hear what he has to say.
It’s also going to be interesting to see what effect this has on the conduct of the war, and if General Petraeus can pull off the Big O’ strategy, such as it is. I doubt it, but maybe he can save it. It would be a plus.