I haven’t read much of Bruce Ackerman, and after persuing this, I can say that I haven’t missed a thing. His basic thesis is that General McChrystal is insubordinate because he disagrees with the Biden Magic Secret Ninja Plan, that the general supports the plan that he created, and that the 66-page report was leaked to the Washington Post. What a ridiculous article.
McChrystal differed with the vice president (who I’m pretty sure is not the commander-in-chief), not the president. What McChrystal said in London was nothing different than what he said in his 66-page report, that a drawdown of troops would lead to mission failure. Why would Ackerman want to muzzle a general from saying something that has already been made public? Also, Ackerman’s claim that McChrystal did not support the Biden option is misleading. According to his own link, McChrystal said that the “narrower” option would not succeed. There’s a difference between concepts. The former (what Ackerman wrote) implies insubordination while the latter is an honest assessment of an alternative plan. Ackerman is basically saying, “How dare the U.S. Commander answer questions!” I remember when the Left approved when generals spoke their mind.
As for the leak of the report, it was going to leak one way or the other. Afghanistan is the “war of necessity”, after all. There is no way such an important document would stay hidden, especially when it’s been sitting on Obama’s desk for weeks with no action taken.
By blaming the general, Ackerman takes a pass on blaming The Big Ditherer for his dithering. The buck is supposed to stop you know where. During the campaign, Obama basically lied to the American people when he said he had a “comprehensive strategy to succeed in Afghanistan.” He had no plan and no clue. He dithered for two months before deciding that a COIN strategy was the way to go. He dithered with McKiernan, then he tasked McChrystal to draft a plan for succeeding. The general did so, and Obama still can’t find his “absolute clarity.” Or his spine.