Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Afghanistan Metrics, General McChrystal, Budget

July 6, 2010

Last week, two briefings on Afghanistan crossed our desk. The first was from CSIS; the second was from Brookings. Both briefings describe a set of metrics in order to measure progress or non-progress by our forces in Afghanistan, and both briefings are quite complicated. We ask you to draw your own conclusions, but we remain concerned that counter insurgency is a contest of wills, and if we tell the world … and the enemy … that we will be leaving soon, it puts our will into question.

Secondly, AFA President and CEO, Mike Dunn was at a North Carolina AFA state meeting 10 days ago, and a few of the participants had not seen the Rolling Stone piece on General McChrystal. He told them he would send it to all our members. It is a rather long piece, and we urge all of you to read it carefully. Civil-military relations are so important that all of our citizens should be aware of the limitations we put on our military.

Finally, Gen. Dunn wrote over one year ago, expressing concern about our rising budget deficit. Two weeks ago, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mullen, stated that the budget deficit was the "biggest threat to our national security." You can find a short Youtube video of the CJCS. [Note: the reporter is in error when she states: "The current defense budget deficit is the biggest threat …" – instead it's the federal budget deficit.]


Unknown said...

Unfortunately I believe the Gen had to be fired. Not because of what he thought about the president as a person but because of what some military person in the future could construe as permission to take political power. If his remarks had been kept private or between him and the president there would have been no problem. We need to keep civilian control of the military even though bad things like this may happen. I was on active duty and extremely happy to stay out of the politics when Pres. Nixon was in trouble. Too many countries have been taken over by military dictators in crisis times and made the military politicians instead of warriors.

Unknown said...

The correction to the reporters error, that it is not the Defense Budget that is the greatest threat to the US, but rather the Goverment deficit is the threat should not only go out to members of the AFA. The media should make an explanation of the error in every day news commentary. The general public are the ones who get the wrong information and then run with it. This is a task for AFA'S public relations to get the request out to the media.