Thursday, June 24, 2010

First Post

I have no idea whether or not this blog will be something I contribute to regularly or not. It's possible that I'll fall in love with the idea and write daily, but it's equally possible that I'll never make a second post. I'll just have to see where this experiment takes me.

I don't plan on posting unless I have something in particular to say (that is, I won't post something weekly for the sake of posting something). I'll break that rule here, as I would like this first post to say something of substance.

Earlier today, President Obama fired General McChrystal. It seems unfortunate that a General who is held in such high esteem by his troops should be fired over comments made mostly by his staff, but I suppose he should be held accountable for the atmosphere he inspires. The President needs a General he can trust.

An interesting feature of McChrystal's departure is that he was one of (if not the only) American diplomats who still had a good relationship with President Karzai. To be honest, I'm not convinced that this was a good thing. While it certainly helps to have a general with the trust of the local president, Karzai has increasingly become an obstacle to American success. His government is noted for its corruption, and his re-election was somewhere between controversial and illegitimate. I read in an article (I forget where, probably either Time Magazine, The New York Times, or the Washington Post; I hope the author will forgive the poor citation) that Karzai's priorities go in this order: Family, Tribe, Nation. Hardly the list you'd expect from a president, and it shows in his protection of his brother. While we certainly need his cooperation to succeed, I'm not sure we need him to like us (us being America). Perhaps General Petraeus will be better able to work with Karzai.

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