Mary Wakefield

Obama’s catch 22

Obama's catch 22
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As we wait for Obama to announce the fate of General Stanley McChrystal, it's worth casting your mind back to John C. Hulsman's article in this magazine last week. Hulsman called the situation absolutely right -- whilst other commentators (on both sides of the Atlantic) were excitable about the 'mineral strike' in Afghanistan, Hulsman spotted that it was in fact just spin -- the opening move in a power struggle between Obama and the generals.

Now that power stuggle is in full swing and McChrystal has handed Obama a vicious catch 22: if the President sacks him, it looks as if he is pursuing a personal vendetta at the expense of the suffering soldiers in Afghanistan.

If he doesn't sack him, he has effectively ceded control to the generals. If only McChrystal's strategy in Afghanistan was this effective.