In an insightful OpEd, “What Eisenhower Could Teach Obama,” Melvin Goodman, an ex-CIA functionary and a former Professor at the National War College, pointed out the difficulty of current presidents in dealing with the military, because most presidents come to office with no background or knowledge about the U.S. military. He compared the almost encyclopedic knowledge about the military that President Dwight D. (Ike) Eisenhower brought to the office â€“ because he himself was a professional soldier â€“ with a number of recent presidents, especially President Barack Obama, who has no knowledge of the military culture and the military frame of mind. In his farewell address to the nation, Ike rightly warned the nation of the dangers of allowing a military-industrial- complex (MIC) to take the control of the United States.
With the firing of General Stanley McChrystal, President Barack Obama appears to be writing his own edition of “lessons in disaster,” a book of the same title that he so publicly read and supposedly drew lessons from before committing 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan. One wonders whether he knows it, but Afghanistan is increasingly looking like a disastrous place for his administration as long as he sticks to the current AfPak strategy.