I am very distrubed by what I have been reading this morning about the choice of retired and active duty Officers to take their case directly to the American public, this is insubordination by active duty. Retired Officers can do what they want, they have that right, but NOT active duty military. There job is to obey the orders givento them by their Chain of Command.
The Iraq War does not belong to General Petraeus nor does it belong to General Ray Odierno, it is an American War and it is up the the President of the United States on what he wants to do, continue the occupation or to end it, Plain and simple there are no other questions.
From this article we see that General Jack Keane, Army Retired has decided to take his opinions public
The opening argument by the Petraeus-Odierno faction against Obama's withdrawal policy was revealed the evening of the January 21 meeting when retired army General Jack Keane, one of the authors of the Bush troop-surge policy and a close political ally and mentor of Petraeus, appeared on the "Lehrer News Hour" to comment on Obama's pledge on Iraq combat troop withdrawal.
Keane, who had certainly been briefed by Petraeus on the outcome of the Oval Office meeting, argued that implementing such a withdrawal of combat troops would "increase the risk rather dramatically over the 16 months."
He asserted that it would jeopardize the "stable political situation in Iraq" and called that risk "not acceptable."
The assertion that Obama's withdrawal policy threatens the gains allegedly won by the Bush troop surge and Petraeus' strategy in Iraq will apparently be the theme of the campaign that military opponents are now planning
This part of his public opinion is one thing, but I have to question the fact that General Petraues is discussing Oval Office discussions with retired Army officials, by what right do they have to deal with present day issues? None they are not in the chain of command any longer.
Ever since he began working on the troop surge, Keane has been the central figure manipulating policy in order to keep as many US troops in Iraq as possible. It was Keane who got Vice President Dick Cheney to push for Petraeus as top commander in Iraq in late 2006 when the existing commander, General George W. Casey, did not support the troop surge.
It was Keane who protected Petraeus' interests in ensuring the maximum number of troops in Iraq against the efforts by other military leaders to accelerate troop withdrawal in 2007 and 2008. As Bob Woodward reported in "The War Within," Keane persuaded Bush to override the concerns of the Joint Chiefs of Staff about the stress of prolonged US occupation of Iraq on the US Army and Marine Corps as well as its impact on the worsening situation in Afghanistan.
Bush agreed in September 2007 to guarantee that Petraeus would have as many troops as he needed for as long as wanted, according to Woodward's account.
Keane had also prevailed on Gates in April 2008 to make Petraeus the new commander of CENTCOM. Keane argued that keeping Petraeus in the field was the best insurance against a Democratic administration reversing the Bush policy toward Iraq.
As you can see by this section that it was Jack Keane who persuaded VP Dick Cheney to annoint General Petraeus as the leader of the "Surge" he pushed for the surge against the advice of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, so following the Chain of Command is not always in some officers best interests. Jack Keane had an open door to VP Cheney and briefed him constantly on his visits to Iraq and General Petraeus, by passing the Pentagon completely.
People compare General Petraus to a modern day General MacArthur, and I am beginning to agree with them, yes they are both brilliant Generals, but they had the opinion or let others talk them into believeing the Army needed them and they could do whatever they wanted.
General MacArthur was fired by President Truman, I hope General Petraeus doesn't follow in MacArthurs footsteps, it would be a waste of a great career. Oh I am sure the Republican Party could convince him to run for President against President Obama in 2012, better him than "Sarah" but the Republican Party is quickly becoming a southern regional party.
Jack Keane needs to understand that Dick is gone and he no longer has influence on White House decisions and go back to his boardrooms of his defense companies and suck them for every nickle he can. George W is no longer President and Dick has no influence on our new President, the new Commander in Chief, the decider now.
Encouraging active duty officers to publicly disagree with the Commander in chief has a lot of words that can describe it, disloyalty, subversion, treason, etc, I would hate to see a 4 star General get recalled to active duty for the purpose of a court martial, but it can be done.
According to this report, General Keane, the Army Vice-Chief of Staff from 1999 to 2003 is part of a network of "active and retired four-star Army generals" beginning a public discussion of the possible risky outcome of Obama’s troop withdrawal.
The source says the network, which includes senior active duty officers in the Pentagon, will begin making the argument to journalists covering the Pentagon that Obama’s withdrawal policy risks an eventual collapse in Iraq. That would raise the political cost to Obama of sticking to his withdrawal policy. If Obama does not change the policy, according to the source, they hope to have planted the seeds of a future political narrative blaming his [Obama] withdrawal policy for the "collapse" they expect in an Iraq without U.S. troops.
Now, if this quote is correct, that’s quite a statement: these Generals "expect" a "collapse" with American troops leaving Iraq in 16 months! Apparently, General Keane has been a force to reckon with, and has been involved in everything from the number of troops in Iraq to Petraeus becoming the new CENTCOM commander.
And from the New York Times on Jan 28, 2009
After a session at the White House last week, with General Odierno participating via secure video, Mr. Obama traveled to the Pentagon on Wednesday to meet with the service chiefs. The discussion ranged beyond Iraq and Afghanistan, covering a variety of challenges confronting the armed forces. "It was a very elevated conversation about the situation worldwide and the threats that we face and the risks that exist around the globe," said Geoff Morrell, the Defense Department spokesman.
Speaking with reporters afterward, Mr. Obama expressed concern about the "enormous pressure on our military to carry out a whole set of missions" and promised to advance "all aspects of American power to make sure that they’re not carrying the full load." He indicated that he had not decided on his approach to Iraq. "We’re going to have some difficult decisions that we’re going to have to make surrounding Iraq and Afghanistan, most immediately," Mr. Obama said.
For the final part of this President Obama has made his choice for a new Ambassador to Afghanistan
WASHINGTON (IHT) -- The Obama administration has picked Lieutenant General Karl Eikenberry, a former top military commander in Afghanistan, to be the next U.S. ambassador to Kabul, an administration official said Thursday.
Tapping a career army officer who will soon retire from the service to fill one of the country's most sensitive diplomatic jobs is a highly unusual choice.
But Afghanistan specialists say that Eikenberry, who served in Afghanistan twice, including an 18-month command tour that ended in 2007, knows the players and issues there well. That is a valuable commodity in a year when the United States will send thousands of additional troops to Afghanistan and the country will hold presidential elections.
Generals should not be working to dismiss the decisions of the President of the United States, Jack Keane and any of his "team" should be brought up on charges by the Justice Department.
Openly working to subvert the decisions of the Commander in Chief is disgusting to me, a Staff Sergeant loyalty is a 2 way street it is owed to those above you and those above you should have the same loyalty to the soldiers and their families.
Jack Keane and friends, "take your camels and go away".