In confiding to Rolling Stone their unflattering opinions of the military acumen of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, National Security Adviser Gen. James Jones, Dick Holbrooke and Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, Gen. Stanley McChrystal and his staff were guilty of colossal stupidity.
And President Obama had cause to cashier them. Yet his decision to fire McChrystal may prove both unwise and costly.
For McChrystal, unlike Gen. MacArthur, never challenged the war policy—he is carrying it out—and Barack Obama is no Harry Truman.
Moreover, the war strategy Obama is pursuing is the McChrystal Plan, devised by the general and being implemented by the general in Marja and Kandahar, perhaps the decisive campaign of the war.
Should that plan now fail, full responsibility falls on Obama.
He has made the Afghan war his war in a way it never was before.
If the McChrystal strategy fails, critics will charge Obama with causing the defeat by firing the best fighting general in the Army out of pique over some officers-club remarks that bruised the egos of West Wing warriors.