Quote of the week: 'Chugging along for eight years'

Speaking of Afghanistan tick-tocks, I was reading the NYT’s version of something that may or may not resemble reality, when I came across this quote. (I’ve been unplugged and writing the past four days, so excuse the inexcusable delay in catching up on my news reading.)

The episode underscored the uneasy relationship between the military and a new president who, aides said, was determined not to be as deferential as he believed his predecessor, George W. Bush, was for years in Iraq. And the military needed to adjust to a less experienced but more skeptical commander in chief. “We’d been chugging along for eight years under an administration that had become very adept at managing war in a certain way,” said another military official.

Hmmm. I admit to have a guffaw-moment. Perhaps it’s the fact that the previous administration had managed our two wars, for the bulk of those eight years, with an almost unprecedented level of incompetence?  A suspicion that ‘very adept’, from the military’s point of view, means: ‘get out of the way, don’t ask too many questions, and let us do our thing.’

Anyway, certainly the civilian-military relationship has changed. For one, the military doesn’t like Obama that much. This is a generalization, but it’s very true. And now rather than blind acceptance of decrees from general officers, the White House hems and haws and ‘asks tough questions’ before accepting what the generals have to say.  An improvement in style, not substance.

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About michaelhastings

Journalist
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One Response to Quote of the week: 'Chugging along for eight years'

  1. vickielyna says:

    Let me see do I do what you ask or do I ask questions then to what you ask? A distinction with out a difference? One you look like a puppet without a modicum of intellectual curiousty (oh ya Bush W). The other you look like someone trying to be intellectual. But if in the end you succumb to the one requesting without real push back then it is a distinction without a difference. As the results are the same just a longer time is spent giving them what they want.

    I think that we elect Presidents, make them comander and chief by virtue of office. Then expect them to go up against career generals who have their own agenda. And know that they (the generals) will be there after the current POTUS is long gone. Ad to the mix a President who lacks intellectual integraty and or one who is learning on the job. The Generals will win with minor adjustments. AS in I will send 30K troups not 40K more. (yep that is putting your foot down. especially when you can still add more later without much notice.)

    Obama can’t possibly say I know more than you generals about what is needed without looking like an arrogant jerk. And yet isn’t that the job of the commander and chief to know what is needed? He bought time to get up to speed so that he can legitimately be in possition to give push back. (after he has learned on the job)

    The Generals will not like him for sure then.

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