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McChrystal: The Peter Principle in Effect?

We don’t often comment on political goings on here at SSD but the recent disclosures by GEN McChrystal to “Rolling Stone” magazine demand comment. Many have questioned why a man who has risen so far would do something so dumb. All we can come up with is hubris, either that or the Peter Principle is real. Those of you unfamiliar with the Peter Principle should know that it postulates that one rises to the level of one’s incompetence. Meaning, you do such a great job that you get promoted to a position that you are incapable of performing. Sounds pretty apropos in this case.

Perhaps hubris did play a role in McChrystal’s undoing. After all, he didn’t have someone following him as he rode into Kabul reminding him that he is but human. Additionally, while he did serve several regular Army assignments his extended assignment to the super secretive JSOC may have twisted his view a little. Their idea of dealing with the press is to NOT deal with the press in any form. Consequently, he may have just not been used to reserving comments in front of the fourth estate.

President Obama should not have accepted GEN McChrystal’s resignation. Instead, he should have flat out fired him. There is too much honor in resigning and the actions that led him there are far from honorable. Hopefully, there will be a reexamination of his roll in the cover up of Pat Tillman’s death in Afghanistan and perhaps he will be held to the same standard that he enforced when Commanding General of JSOC where he ordered the investigations of several retired command members who wrote books and articles related to their service. After all, it only seems fair.

Was he right? Probably on many levels, but saying it to your closest confidants is one thing and those confidants probably shouldn’t be guys who work for you. Saying it to a reporter is entirely another and having the guys that you confided in talk to the reporter as well is also pretty dumb.

His replacement is also an interesting choice and concerns me as it shows just how shallow our bench is. GEN Patreus is a fine commander as his record has shown, but isn’t there someone else the President can call upon to get the job done?

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