I almost feel sorry for General McChrystal. It was his job to "win" the Afghanistan war. Nobody knows what that means. Nobody knows how. He was given 18 months to accomplish the undefined impossible.
And now the cat's out of the bag that he and his people think the civilian leaders who gave them the assignment are less than top-notch. Since I believe that the best people in the Obama Administration, including the President, understand that in Afghanistan they've inherited a deadly conflict with no rational purpose or happy end, I don't blame McChrystal for feeling he'd been pushed out on a limb to take a fall.
At the same time, I hope Obama agrees with James Fallows and fires the unhappy general. The issue here is civilian supremacy over the military. Does the United States still have that? Or are we so enamored of our imperial capacity to impose our will by force around the world that we let generals dictate to Presidents? I hope not. Mistreated military forces sometimes turn on their ostensible commanders; I've been concerned about this ever since President George W fell into the all-war-all-the-time trap.
The project is unraveling before our eyes and politicians -- U.S., U.K., and Afghan -- can't put Humpty-Dumpty together again.