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Admiral McRaven Dodges Afghanistan Question

Admiral McRaven Dodges Afghanistan Question

In two recent appearances. Admiral William McRaven was asked if he agreed with President Biden’s decision to pull all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan by September 11, 2021.  In both cases, he gave us a civics lesson rather than a legitimate response to the question.

He said that it is the role of the military leaders to advise the President of the United States. But – as Commander-in-Chief – it is up to the President to make the final decision.   And then, it is the duty of the military leaders to obey the President’s orders.

Admiral McRaven said that the only role of the military is to give the President the “best” advice.  But the final decision rests in the Oval Office – not the Pentagon.  He said he was “confident” that Biden had received the honest advice of those with a lot of stars on their shoulders.

Wow! That was an insightful and educational bit of information.  That bit of information comes as no surprise to anyone who had even a single class on the American Constitution. Although that one-day class has been missing from the contemporary progressive school curriculums.

Of course, that was NOT the question.  The reporter wanted McRaven’s view on the ramifications of Biden’s decision.  And what was the advice of the military professionals.

What Admiral McRaven would not discuss was the fact that it has been reported that the predominant opinion of the military leaders was in favor of remaining in Afghanistan.  Biden went against the counsel of those in charge of military intelligence, capabilities and the likely outcome of strategic and tactical decisions.

McRaven is correct.  Biden has the constitutional power to do that.  But that does not make his decision well informed, wise or correct.  Silent obedience may apply to officers CURRENTLY serving under the President, but Admiral McRaven is a FORMER member of the military.  Based on his statements and activities, one might reasonably argue that McRaven is more of a partisan political figure these days than the expert military spokesman – and has been for many years.

When military authorities strongly disagree with the President on military decisions, abject obedience is not their only choice.  They can resign.  It would not be the first time.  When General Douglas McArthur disagreed with President Truman’s decision to restrain American forces from attacking north of the 38th parallel– now known as the De-Militarized Zone (DMZ) – and conquer the entire Korean Peninsula.  The General complained bitterly.  Truman officially fired the General, but it as a forced firing by McArthur’s recalcitrance.  After that, McArthur used his new-found freedom and popularity to travel the nation continuing his criticism of Truman’s policies.

The situation on the Korean peninsula today proves that McArthur was correct.  Truman made a very bad military decision against the advice of his top military leader. This left the world a divided Korea half led by a ruthless rogue regime and a yet officially unended war.

But McRaven’s blind endorsement of the presidential decision-making is steeped in hypocrisy.

For Democrats and their media allies – including Admiral McRaven — military opposition and criticism of President Trump was a badge-of-honor.  General James Mattis resigned as Secretary of Defense. He went on to be a staunch critic of Trump throughout the campaign – and the media canonized him.

McRaven, himself, campaigned aggressively against Trump.  On one occasion, McRaven wrote, “Through your actions, you have embarrassed us in the eyes of our children, humiliated us on the world stage and worst of all, divided us as a nation.”  Compare that kind of tough talk to his recent evaluation of Biden’s decision.

In 2019, McRaven called for the replacement of Trump – the sooner, better – in a New York Times commentary entitled, “Our Republic Is Under Attack from the President.”  This was a far different McRaven than the guy who gave that namby-pamby non-answer more recently.

McRaven’s public opinion on all matters should be considered in view of his position as a longstanding Democrat partisan. And a member-in-good-standing of the Washington establishment.  He was on Biden’s short list for Secretary of Defense.  Hillary Clinton even considered him as a running-mate in her 2016 presidential bid.  If you look at McRaven’s public statements over time, no other conclusion can be made other than he is a Democratic Party loyalist.

His only claim to noble fame – and it is a significant one – is that he supervised the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden.  Other than that, he has been the Democrats’ stalking horse in the military establishment.  His recent interview – juxtaposed to what he has opined in the past – clearly establishes just how deeply partisan McRaven really is.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. TitTat

    Maybe he’s just scared to death to buck the all-powerful democratic machine. We live in a police state now. He would have none of the people behind him that he had when he thumbed his nose at Trump, he would be alone and he would be crushed.

  2. Ben

    Larry, you own stock in the military industrial complex? After the overwhelmingly negative reactions from your readers last time you posted on this topic, I’d thought you’d steer clear of the subject for a while.
    Congratulations on finding someone that, while not necessarily giving a full endorsement of the withdraw, def doesn’t condemn it either.
    That’s why I like this site. Although an echo chamber, no matter how much negative feedback, it demonstrates a fundamental lack of the ability to reconsider a position by conservatives. I mean, you column of Pence, one of the most conservative politicians of our lifetime, and your readers still want him hanged. Or McConnell, literally cemented conservative principles in our court system for generations to come by not allowing Obama to appoint hundreds of open seats… and your readers think he is a traitor and a socialist operative.

    Biden is making the right decision! There is no doubt about that. He is making the decision TWENTY YEARS AFTER the war was botched. He is using trump’s plan and accelerating the time line. It’s time to stop our children and grandchildren for dying in a useless way that was started with no plan to finish.

  3. Rat Wrangler

    We should not have troops in other nations unless they are there at the request of the United Nations (and wearing UN uniforms, not US), or they are there protecting American interests. The latter means real American interests, not American Corporate interests. Perhaps the military question we should be asking Mr. Biden is when he is going to end the ongoing Korean conflict. Technically, we just have a truce now. I sometimes wonder if our government has never pushed for an actual, legal end to the war so that the White House can force us to go into a wartime economy at any time they choose, without Congress having to declare a war.

  4. Mike

    McRaven is acting honorable now, but he didn’t when Trump was President. What Biden does about Afghanistan will be up to the unelected people who control him. My guess is the US will stay there. Too many corrupted bureaucrats and politicians stand to make money when Americans are coming home in body bags.

  5. Dale Brown

    No he will not pull all the troops out! Who will protect the poppies? Next illegal question that will not be answered truthfully? When you’re ruled by unlawful and corrupt, be afraid, very afraid as that is your rewards! Try repenting and asking for strength, then start governing as one Nation under God. With Godly fear that overcomes all!

    • Ben

      Larry, serious question, is this a real site? Or a satirical one? Have you seen these responses? The entire Republican Party has become a farce. Most of these replies leave me wondering if I’m reading the Onion.
      And y’all want to know why you can’t win the popular vote.

  6. Ben

    For a “ pro life” dude you sure are eager to promote war.

  7. Ben

    Speaking of dodging questions. When asked if trump asked Acting AG Rosen to over turn the election, Rosen replied with this doozy ;

    Rep. Gerry Connolly asked Rosen whether those conversations involved rejecting election results.

    “I think the American people are entitled to an answer, Mr. Rosen,” he said.

    Rosen said he wouldn’t discuss “private” conversations with the Cheeto, and Connelly promptly reminded him there was no claim of privilege from the White House about the conversation. Rosen wouldn’t budge.

    One would think Rosen would be eager to shoot down those allegations against dear leader if he could do so without perjuring himself