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The tables are crowded with silver Panasonic Toughbooks, and blue cables crisscross the hotel's thick carpet, hooked up to satellite dishes to provide encrypted phone and e-mail communications.Dressed in off-the-rack civilian casual – blue tie, button-down shirt, dress slacks – Mc Chrystal is way out of his comfort zone.
"The idea that we are going to spend a trillion dollars to reshape the culture of the Islamic world is utter nonsense.The message to Mc Chrystal seemed clear: Shut the fuck up, and keep a lower profile Now, flipping through printout cards of his speech in Paris, Mc Chrystal wonders aloud what Biden question he might get today, and how he should respond. Taking the advice of both the Pentagon and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he also fired Gen. Douglas Mac Arthur at the height of the Korean War."I never know what's going to pop out until I'm up there, that's the problem," he says. Even though he had voted for Obama, Mc Chrystal and his new commander in chief failed from the outset to connect.As Mc Chrystal leaned on Obama to ramp up the war, he did it with the same fearlessness he used to track down terrorists in Iraq: Figure out how your enemy operates, be faster and more ruthless than everybody else, then take the fuckers out.After arriving in Afghanistan last June, the general conducted his own policy review, ordered up by Defense Secretary Robert Gates."Obama clearly didn't know anything about him, who he was.
Here's the guy who's going to run his fucking war, but he didn't seem very engaged.
If you've fucked up or disappointed him, they can destroy your soul without the need for him to raise his voice.
"I'd rather have my ass kicked by a roomful of people than go out to this dinner," Mc Chrystal says. "It's fucking gay."The next morning, Mc Chrystal and his team gather to prepare for a speech he is giving at the École Militaire, a French military academy. "When Barack Obama entered the Oval Office, he immediately set out to deliver on his most important campaign promise on foreign policy: to refocus the war in Afghanistan on what led us to invade in the first place.
Their first one-on-one meeting took place in the Oval Office four months later, after Mc Chrystal got the Afghanistan job, and it didn't go much better.
"It was a 10-minute photo op," says an adviser to Mc Chrystal.
The Boss was pretty disappointed."From the start, Mc Chrystal was determined to place his personal stamp on Afghanistan, to use it as a laboratory for a controversial military strategy known as counterinsurgency.