When Ret. Brig. Gen. David Brahams heard that President Barack Obama had removed Gen. Stanley McChrystal over negative comments directed at the administration, he agreed it was the right thing to do but at the same time, worried that the scandal could hurt the U.S. efforts in Afghanistan.
Sitting in his Carlsbad law office, Brahams said President Obama had no choice but to remove McChrystal as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan Wednesday.
The president had no choice, Brahams said. Obama can’t have a general who is clearly insubordinate stay on the job mainly because it sends a bad message to the troops below him.
A retired military attorney, Brahams currently represents military clients and has a deep knowledge of military law.
If a lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps would’ve made the comments about a general that Gen. McChrystal made about the Commander-in-Chief, Brahams said, that lieutenant would’ve faced court-martial.
The armed forces simply can’t have that lack of discipline and insubordination, he said.
Brahams, who joined the military because he could be unconventional, said that McChrystal was ousted not for being unconventional but for doing it in the wrong way.
Everything has to be done through the process, according to Brahams. What Gen. McChrystal did wrong was that he undermined the process and undermined the whole mission, he added.
The Marine veteran isn’t concerned about the Afghanistan war in the hands of Gen. David Petraeus. He believes he’ll do well. What worries Brahams is the public’s reaction to the scandal.
After nine years and thousands of Americans killed in action, an issue like this bubbling up could give U.S. citizens the opportunity to doubt the strategy in Afghanistan and pull support.
Some San Diegans echoed that concern when they heard about McChrystal’s resignation.
“When you have a military commander such a Gen. McChrystal in such an important position then you reprimand him, slap his hands behind closed doors but you don't fire him. Gen. McChrystal is fighting for freedom, something we have here and take for granted,” said Donald Murphey.
Others supported President Obama’s decision and agreed with Brahams that he had no other choice.
“If Gen. McChyrstal doesn't like Obama or his administration fine, but you don't say it to a magazine. That is not acceptable. McChrystal did this to himself, and Obama had no choice than to replace him,” said Darlene Woodworth.