Mullen Pops Jones in the Back of the Head

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 4 months ago

You know all about National Security Advisor Jim Jones’ terse warning to the commanders in Afghanistan that they had gotten all of the troops they were going to get?  As it turns out, Mullen decided that he would respond by giving Jones a pop to the back of the head.

WALLACE: You talked about troop levels. I want to talk about not just in southern Afghanistan but throughout the country…

MULLEN: Sure.

WALLACE: … because there seem to be mixed messages this week about our troop level policy for Afghanistan.

National Security Adviser James Jones was quoted this week as telling U.S. commanders they are not to expect any more troops beyond what the president has already promised.

You were quoted the next day as saying the top new commander, General McChrystal, is going to make a review, and he can ask for as many troops as he wants. Admiral, which is it?

MULLEN: I’ve had — I’ve had discussions with General Jones, also with the president, and I think we’re all committed to making sure we resource this correctly.

President Obama has committed the forces that we’ve asked this year. General McChrystal, who is the brand-new leader there, is in the middle of an assessment. He’ll come back in about 45 days with his assessment in terms of what he needs.

My guidance to him had been, “Tell us what you need, and then come back and we’ll work that.” And it’s guidance that both General Jones and the president understands and support.

I think one of the points is we have to make sure that every single American that is there is one that we absolutely need.

In addition, the commander on the ground has to assess with a new strategy, and he’s a — and new leadership — really zero base — not just what’s there, but what he needs for the future, and we expect that sometime the end of July or middle of August.

We’ll see if the administration deploys the necessary troops and does the necessary logistics to ensure that the campaign ends acceptably.  In the mean time, it couldn’t be clearer.  Jim Jones is not a serious man, and as a sign of his impotence and uselessness to us in his current position, Mullen has had to tell him to shut up because he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.  Jim Jones should resign.

Prior:

Calling on National Security Advisor James L. Jones to Resign

Afghanistan: The WTF? War

  • TSAlfabet

    Thanks for the article, Captain. Another one to agitate the brain.

    Let’s not be so quick about Jones “not knowing what he’s talking about.”

    Consider who we are dealing with here. It is easy to believe that Jones went to the WH (or was told by the WH) to the effect that there will be no more troops… the “WTF” response from the WH to any request for more troops. Jones repeated what he had been told to the A-stan commanders. (Whether he should have protested to the WH or taken a different tack is a separate issue; I agree that he has committed hanging offenses).

    What happens next? In an extremely rare instance, the U.S. media actually report a little something about this outrageous position by the WH that 68,000 troops is the limit. Faced with the potential for a major public outcry over the obvious travesty of setting an artificially low troop level — can we say,”Oops, my cover for failure in Afghanistan is blown” ?– the WH issues fresh talking points to Mullen to go to the press and do something that Obama is actually good at: throwing people under the bus (see Rev. Wright, his white grandmother, his campaign promises, etc…). Mullen was instructed to throw Jones under the bus forthwith. Mullen accomplished the mission. If the controversy now dies down, Jones will keep the job. If Obama needs additional distraction, Jones will be fired like the recent Insp. Gen.

    Notice that Mullen did not say that more troops would be forthcoming; that is the last thing that Obama wants to do. If that does happen, I will owe Obama at least a kernel of respect. But I’m not sweating that eventuality; odds are slim to none. More likely, he will find some other, crafty way to dither and delay and render it impossible to send more troops… Perhaps he will have his lap dogs in the media start talking up “quagmire” in A-stan again and the hopelessness of the situation. Biden will be thrown out there to ramble and mumble about how the Administration didn’t realize just how badly Bush had screwed things up in A-stan. Whatever the excuses, they will still have the same thing in common with armpits: everyone has them and they all stink.


You are currently reading "Mullen Pops Jones in the Back of the Head", entry #3352 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Afghanistan,NSA James L. Jones,Obama Administration,The Long War and was published July 12th, 2009 by Herschel Smith.

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