Where is Sam Damon?

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Our Afghan Ambassador: The Man in the Middle

First it was GEN Jones having trouble as National Security Advisor, now apparently LTG Eikenberry is having trouble as ambassador. I am convinced that their "trouble" is based on a leadership style that the politicos can't quite grasp and the politicos inferiority complex when it comes to the generals' deep knowledge of a military establishment they will never come close to matching no matter how many Bob Woodward books they read. The generals probably just want things done by a certain time with little debate whereas the politicos want to analyze everything for days on end and talk about (their feelings) how exhausted they are from working long hours. I think GEN Jones had it right when he said if you don't haven all of your work done by 7 p.m. there is something wrong...

The bottom line is that Mr. Eikenberry is the perfect man for this job. I wish he had been promoted to four-star general before he retired so GEN Petraeus and GEN McChrystal didn't have buried in their respective "das Es" that they "outrank" him. Ambassador Eikenberry, with his education and military hands-on and diplomatic experience, bridges the gap between the over-educated, under-practical experienced, armchair generals/diplomats filling top posts in the State Department, and the Army, who suffers from the opposite (too much practical policy implementation experience, often not as educated as the State Dept. politicos).

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