Troops React to McChrystal Article
’s Ben Gilbert reports that the Rolling Stone story “was the subject of gossip, concern, disbelief, surprise and shock from enlisted men and officers deployed in Kandahar Province.”
One soldier told Gilbert, before McChrystal resigned, that the military’s code of conduct demanded the general’s ouster.
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — Soldiers knew more than anyone else what damage had been done when news broke that their commander, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the commander of the U.S.-led international force’s 140,000 troops in Afghanistan, had criticized his commander in chief in an inflammatory Rolling Stone article.
They knew because they abide by the same rules McChrystal has to: the military’s Uniform Code of Military Justice. The code subjects an officer to a court martial if he uses any “contemptuous words against the President, Vice President, Congress,” and other civilian leaders in the U.S. government. Any one of the soldiers in Afghanistan would be removed from their positions, if not face a court martial, for a similar offense.
“I don’t see how Obama can’t remove him,” said one soldier before President Barack Obama announced that McChrystal had tendered his resignation. “It would mean McChrystal is above the rules if he doesn’t.”