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October 04, 2009

Jones to McChrystal - Shh
Posted by Michael Cohen

Over at the Daily News, I argue that the recent spate of leaks about troop increases for the US mission in Afghanistan represent a "serious breach in civil-military relations." (Well actually I wrote troubling, but for some reason that never showed up in the final edit). Whether it's troubling or serious - it's not good:

No matter what course Obama adopts on Afghanistan, of perhaps greater concern should be assertive members of the military placing inappropriate political pressure on the President to accede to their wishes.

Over the past two decades, the U.S. military has taken on added prominence, power and responsibility in American society. But as this recent incident demonstrates, there is a certain danger in politicizing an institution that is constitutionally mandated to be above politics.

Obama is the only person charged with weighing the various national security implications of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan - not just from a military perspective, but also from a political and national interest viewpoint. He must be allowed to make the decision without worrying about his military commanders airing their opinions in public and pushing them toward their preferred military course.

Today on Meet the Press, National Security Advisor Jim Jones seems to agree:

President Obama's National Security Adviser James L. Jones suggested Sunday that the public campaign being conducted by the U.S. commander in Afghanistan on behalf of his war strategy is complicating the internal White House review now underway, saying that "it is better for military advice to come up through the chain of command."


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saying that "it is better for military advice to come up through the chain of command."

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I think Jones is awfully wrong by suggesting that McChrystal was wrong in his approach to openly discussing that he needed more troops. I didn't hear much about why it took our POTUS so long in speaking with....

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