Gates Echoes Jones on McChrystal
Oh, right, and at the Association of the U.S. Army this morning, Defense Secretary Robert Gates also echoed national security adviser Jim Jones’ remarks urging Gen. Stanley McChrystal to fall back while the Afghanistan strategy review proceeds:
In this process it is imperative that all of us taking part in these deliberations – civilian and military alike – provide our best advice to the president candidly but privately. And speaking for the Department of Defense, once the commander-in-chief makes his decisions, we will salute and execute those decisions faithfully and to the best of our ability.
Notice that latter part, which is designed to convey that there isn’t a civilian/military split and the Pentagon is not antagonizing and will not antagonize President Obama. Gates has fired a *lot *of generals, including McChrystal’s immediate predecessor, and so a meeting of hundreds of Army officers is sure to get the message from the defense secretary that they had better not try his patience if they’ve got a problem with the strategy review.