It is a shame that General McChrystal lost his job over the Rolling Stone article doing an expose on him and his staff. General McChrystal did a great job in Afghanistan his only mistake, granted it was a big P.R. blunder, was in letting a journalist embed with his staff for a month considering the General and his staff were unpolished, unguarded and oblivious to the political ramifications of their behavior. Nevertheless, it is really surprising how the Obama White House, Washington politicians and the media are refraining from criticism of the journalist that wrote this article and his work here. First, this Michael Hastings is a low caliber journalist, he obviously does not know how to discern what is off-the-record and what is fair to report on. A lot of the his most provocative comments were reports of off-the-record stuff obviously the General's comment about Vice-President Biden "did you say bite me?" and him giving a staff member the finger was joking around behavior which should have been off the record. Secondly, Hastings had a definite bias: his comments that the U.S. doesn't have any real allies in Afghanistan (tell that to the families of the Australian soldiers killed in the last week); his comment that the Marja campaign was a disaster - it wasn't and isn't a disaster the Taliban is out of power in Marja - the real remaining work in Marja is to develop a good and effective civilian government; his comments that large amounts of U.S. aid is a bad thing because it generates large amounts of graft misses the whole point aid creates a better life for ordinary Afghans so they have a compelling reason to want the central government to succeed over the Taliban and his comments that the Afghanistan people don't want U.S. personnel in their area - they don't want the violence from the Taliban which U.S. presence can bring so the U.S. must succeed in eliminating the Taliban threat where they are that is what should have been focused on. Moreover, this Rolling Stone article wreaks of a magazine trying to create controversy, being provocative, being titillating it is not a fair and responsible piece of journalism; it is an article that should be talked about at cocktail parties not at Presidential cabinet meetings. This writer's repeated use of the "F-word" and some of his characterizations of events such as his depiction of General McChrystal as pissing off everyone that has a stake in the conflict is just plain wrong he is the only key U.S. leader in Afghanistan that has a good relationship with Karzai, and McChrystal's work is almost the only progress in Afghanistan that Obama's cabinet officer and press corp can point to in Afghanistan! If the White House wants to use this Rolling Stone article for some good, they should be correcting some of the tactical failures the article refers to. U.S. military units in a specific area are supposed to be providing security in the area they are assigned so local Afghanistan people can feel secure and begin developing a functioning society there, to be succinct U.S. troops should be killing or capturing the militants in their area. This articles reference to written regulations for combat units that "they are to patrol only in areas that they are reasonably certain that they will not have to defend themselves with lethal force" is a bad regulation - this prohibited area is precisely the area where they should be patrolling along with the U.S. using its extensive air surveillance in this area along with probably sniper teams to eliminate enemy combatants there. This article's reference to combat soldiers frustration with suspected taliban being released from custody quickly after be apprehended because of lack of evidence should be addressed with a major new policy including in part that the Afghanistan and U.S. security forces should have groups that follow-up on these individuals and if suspicion continues pick-them up and follow it up and if these guys are taliban get the evidence and place them in long-term custody. The article refers to military restrictions on knocking down properties which pose a security threat because of concern of alienating local afghans; security should take priority here - owners can be compensated for the value of their building - however unoccupied properties that Taliban use as places to fire weapons from or prepare militant activity from should be knocked down with no compensation provided because owners are allowing a misuse of the property. The White House and national politicians need to stop their scoring political point efforts on Afghanistan and wake-up and smell the coffee on Afghanistan. In this R.S. article General Mayville was reported as having said, the Afghanistan campaign is "not going to look like a win, smell like a win or taste like a win"! The Whitehouse and national politicians need to start acknowledging and preparing the American people that the best that can be hoped for in Afghanistan for the foreseeable future is that an Afghanistan security force is stood up that can provide security throughout the country where overall democracy survives in Afghanistan, so that over time, over many decades if not longer this democracy can create amongst the Afghanistan people an Afghanistan government that will build a good country in Afghanistan. The Whitehouse and national politicians need to start preparing the American people that when America leaves Afghanistan - the Taliban will still be a large movement, graft and corruption in Afghanistan will abound, it will be a narco-state, etc.. The Obama Administration has made several huge policy mistakes but Afghanistan isn't one of them. The Obama Administration is one-hundred percent correct that mid-2011 the U.S. has to start withdrawing troops from Afghanistan come hell or high water come mid 2011 Nato countries and the Afghanistan government have to create a timely plan for turning over security in every province in Afghanistan so foreign troops can timely leave Afghanistan. Afghanistan has deep-rooted problems that may never be solved as a matter of fact no one is seriously even talking about some of the critical issues - this central form of government of Afghanistan is completely morally and practically wrong, the prime minister shouldn't be appointing governors of provinces, provincial councils should have real power; and the drug trafficking problem in Afghanistan demands capital punishment for the top bad guys - what percentage of the world-wide supply of heroin comes from Afghanistan? Moreover, the national conversation has to stop being that Obama was wrong in delaying his decision on the surge in Afghanistan this is totally false his delay was absolutely necessary to keep the leverage on Karzai and his allies that the fraud in the August elections was off the charts excessive and there needed to be a run off election so that Afghanistan law would be respected. Lastly, the Republicans are egregiously wrong in condemning the Obama Administration for their plans to begin the draw down come mid-2011, in short they are failing to recognize that the American government and the American people don't have the power to make Afghanistan succeed, it is not our country. More specifically, Republicans like Senator McCain and Senator Graham are wrong for living in their fictionalized idealistic world of Ozzie and Harriet where if the U.S. provides enough troops for enough time that Afghanistan leaders will have a Beaver Cleaver experience and acknowledge their bad behavior (corruption) and stop being bad (corrupt) and the bulk of Republicans have to stop using the Afghanistan issue as a wedge issue to just gain power from Democrats because it is wrong to sacrifice American soldiers lives and health and the American people's wealth when you know right well you are going to eventually do what your constituents want which is to get out of Afghanistan because the American people will not tolerate hundreds of U.S. soldiers being killed year in and year out in Afghanistan with that war costing a $100 billion dollars plus per year!