As we wait for Obama to announce the fate of General Stanley McChrystal, it’s worth
casting your mind back to John C. Hulsman’s article in this magazine last week. Hulsman
called the situation absolutely right — whilst other commentators (on both sides of the Atlantic) were excitable about the ‘mineral strike’ in Afghanistan, Hulsman spotted that it was in fact just
spin — the opening move in a power struggle between Obama and the generals.
Now that power stuggle is in full swing and McChrystal has handed Obama a vicious catch 22: if the President sacks him, it looks as if he is pursuing a personal vendetta at the expense of the
suffering soldiers in Afghanistan.
If he doesn’t sack him, he has effectively ceded control to the generals. If only McChrystal’s strategy in Afghanistan was this effective.