Off to New York for Wednesday’s broadcast followed by an appearance on Sean Hannity’s Great American Panel.
Given that tomorrow will be one of the most consequential days of the Obama Presidency, there will plenty to talk about on both programs.
Eliot Cohen has made the strongest case against General McChrystal in the pages of the Wall Street Journal. The strongest case for retaining the general was made by Brookings’ Michael O’Hanlon and CFR’s Max Boot on my program Tuesday: Replacing the general causes dislocation to the unfolding offenses in Afghanistan and to the adoption and success of the COIN strategy.
Professor Cohen’s argument is open to fair minded disagreement. Reasonable people can conclude, and many have, that the comments in the article are just not at the level where a dismissal is warranted. Everyone can read them, and no one can point to any line uttered by the general that challenges the president’s strategy or undermines confidence in McChrystal’s willingness to implement it.
By contrast, it seems indisputable that changing commanders will in fact disrupt the war fighting effort, no matter how quickly a change occurs or how competent the new general. There is a major offensive in the offing and one already underway. It is true that no one man is inispensable to any effort, but neither should unnecessary obstacles be thrown in the path towards success. The president can rise above this –and the vice president can help him do so– or he can continue to display the very thin skin that his marked his first 18 months in office.