A true leader has to know when to be soft, strong and/or smart in the right ways with the right timing as often as possible and often needs to be all of those at the same time.

Gen. Stan “No Longer The Man” McChrystal showed us in an effort to look stronger & smarter than the Prez just how soft-minded he is. It’s rare & remarkable indeed when conservative commentator George Will and I agree but seriously, I was nodding along to every sentence of this history-backed piece he slung out with a quickness on the WaPo.

Short version: Afghanistan is a bad idea and we should probably be really much less all up in that anyway. But while we’re there, we need someone a wee bit more on the political deftness tip than Stanley and Obama would have been foolish on several key levels not to replace him immediately.

I mean, the man was practically begging to be fired. And as our Commander-in-Chief, the President has an obligation to be smart & strong enough to know what kind of smart, soft & stronger leadership in Afghanistan will get the best work done and keep as few lives from being lost in this tragic, possibly very unnecessary conflict as possible.

Afghanistan is America’s longest running war and frankly it’s hard to see what we’ve gained so far. Osama bin Laden and his gang plus the Taliban are still at large – are we really safer or is there another way? Why are we doing this? Who are we fighting…to what end…for how long?

I agree with Will – I really hope this incident causes a brother to take a step back and ask some tough questions about exactly what is going down out there. Anyway, Will’s take is worth a read, just for the history lesson alone but also because it’s pretty sensible talk. And if George and I can be of one mind on this,well…it’s probably a good thing at a minimum that Obama told McChrystal to y’know: get to steppin’, son. And Gen. David Petraeus is an ok replacement I guess. A survivor of Iraq and 2 very different administrations, he’s a real politician kickin’ it hardcore, that guy and anyway, he can’t be worse than Stan at this point. Anyway, here’s a hot piece of George Will’s mind on this:

MacArthur had some of the genius and much of the egomania of a former artillery captain, Napoleon. This made MacArthur insubordinate and got him cashiered by a former artillery captain, Harry Truman. Although McChrystal is a fine soldier who rendered especially distinguished service in Iraq, there is no reason to ascribe to him either egomania or insubordination. He did, however, emphatically disqualify himself from further military service and particularly from service in Afghanistan. There the military’s purely military tasks are secondary to the political and social tasks for which the military is ill-suited, and for which McChrystal is garishly so.

The American undertaking in Afghanistan is a fool’s errand, and McChrystal is breathtakingly foolish. Even so, he and it were badly matched. This, even though the errand is of the president’s careful devising and McChrystal was the president’s choice to replace the four-star general who had been commanding there.

It may be said that McChrystal’s defect is only a deficit of political acumen. Only? Again, the mission in Afghanistan is much more political than military. Counterinsurgency, as defined by McChrystal’s successor, Gen. David Petraeus, and tepidly embraced by Barack Obama for a year or so, does not just involve nation-building, it is nation-building.

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