Civilian control

There was probably no alternative for President Obama but to dismiss General McChrystal, who made disparaging remarks about the Obama administration’s senior officials. The military is under the command of the President (as Commander-in-Chief), and any subordinates must refrain from criticizing their superiors in public, and also must refrain from intervening overtly in the political decision-making. The military can advise the government, but it must be the government who makes the decision, and be accountable to the people. This is a case of gross indiscretion, and something no one had wanted or needed. Hopefully the price of his indiscretion won’t be paid by lives of those in Afghanistan.