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Mc Chrystal, they felt, was trying to bully Obama, opening him up to charges of being weak on national security unless he did what the general wanted.
It was Obama versus the Pentagon, and the Pentagon was determined to kick the president's ass.
Last fall, with his top general calling for more troops, Obama launched a three-month review to re-evaluate the strategy in Afghanistan.
"I found that time painful," Mc Chrystal tells me in one of several lengthy interviews.
Here's the guy who's going to run his fucking war, but he didn't seem very engaged.
The Boss was pretty disappointed."From the start, Mc Chrystal was determined to place his personal stamp on Afghanistan, to use it as a laboratory for a controversial military strategy known as counterinsurgency.
The tables are crowded with silver Panasonic Toughbooks, and blue cables crisscross the hotel's thick carpet, hooked up to satellite dishes to provide encrypted phone and e-mail communications."The idea that we are going to spend a trillion dollars to reshape the culture of the Islamic world is utter nonsense.In the end, however, Mc Chrystal got almost exactly what he wanted.All they needed was a general with enough charisma and political savvy to implement it.As Mc Chrystal leaned on Obama to ramp up the war, he did it with the same fearlessness he used to track down terrorists in Iraq: Figure out how your enemy operates, be faster and more ruthless than everybody else, then take the fuckers out.
Since Mc Chrystal took over a year ago, the Afghan war has become the exclusive property of the United States.