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In response to the question posed in a recent online Stars and Stripes article, “What do you think? Should Obama remove McChrystal?”: At first I defended Gen. Stanley McChrystal due to the fact he is one of few people who has learned from what the USSR did or didn’t do in Afghanistan. Even though he was dealing with a very determined enemy that has history on its side, and it strongly believes Western powers such as the U.S. are trying to destroy its religion, progress is being made — even though it is being done at a slower pace than anyone would like.

However, after reading the Rolling Stone article and drawing from my own experience in the Army (I’m a retired staff sergeant who served from 1987 to 2008; I was also deployed to Iraq in 2003), I had to re-evaluate this situation and respond with the following: What was said by him in that article was indeed unprofessional. Any issues between himself and the president should have been discussed by those two, or at least with the secretary of Defense as well. Had things had been discussed in that manner, their could have been an understanding between the two parties, maybe some sort of compromise could have been reached.

Since that didn’t happen, this question is now posed:

If I was still in, and had made those comments, I would have been punished to the fullest extent of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and would have been forced out of the Army. Obama had no choice but to remove him. He is a general with an extensive background in Special Forces. It’s obvious by his mouth running that he forgot why members of that community are known as “quiet professionals.”

Staff Sgt. Shawn McFadden (retired)

USNS Patuxent

McChrystal betrayed superiors

I am appalled by the reported conduct of one of our most respected officers. Before I could receive my commission, I had to learn by heart (and recite on demand) Hubbard’s Statement on Loyalty. I suppose others did the same. I am utterly dismayed by the news of Gen. Stanley McChrystal.

It seems inconceivable to me that his supervisor would not know of McChrystal’s opinions. It seems inconceivable to me that McChrystal would speak as he is reported to have done to anyone, let alone Rolling Stone, without first telling his boss — in fact, without first resigning his position.

He has deprived his country and his men of his expertise on the field of battle. He has betrayed the men who died for him, his country, his service and his superiors in the most egregious fashion. Honor, as epitomized by the U.S. Officer Corps, has suffered a severe setback at the hands of this, reputedly one of the finest of our officers.

Capt. Richard B.S. Ford (retired)

Gunsan, South Korea


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