Who is the political novice?
It is funny to me to see leaks from the administration trying to undercut GEN McChrystal as being naive about how the Washington game is played. Seriously, is this the mark of an administration that is in charge of itself? Is it good policy to be undercutting your own field commander?
This administration ahs no clue about what to do. Obama said 6 months ago that he had carefully studied the situation and had a plan. Now, not so much.
There is public support by the CJCS, GEN Petraeus and GEN McChrystal for the McChrystal plan. It is fully in line with current thinking about the conduct of COIN.
There is no political will in the admninistration to face reality, so instead they blather and treat foreign policy as if it were Chicago ward politics.
We just saw how sueful Chicago style politics is on the world stage where no one cares about your life story. So, who are the naive ones?
GEN McChrystal is a very savvy general: as a commander, as a warrior, as a professional. His experience in Washington is on par or superior to any of the clowns in the current administration and he has been our most lethal general for years as commander of global SOF forces.
He made the speech he made in London as a way to force the administration to act in public on his plan. He is too savvy to be their fall guy. Whatever the decision is made, it will be the administration’s, and it will be pinned firmly to Obama: once he gets done wasting time on trivial issues.