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Commentary :: Human Rights
BTL:McChystal Firing Highlights Concerns Over Maintaining Civilian Control of the U.S. Military
01 Jul 2010
BETWEEN THE LINES Syndicated Radio Newsmagazine
McChystal Firing Highlights Concerns Over Maintaining Civilian Control of the U.S. Military

Interview with Mel Goodman, former CIA analyst, conducted by Scott Harris

When Afghan war commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal was fired for insults hurled at civilian leaders quoted in a Rolling Stone article, President Obama made the point that he was terminating the man, while retaining his counterinsurgency strategy. This shakeup in the Afghan war command comes as the number of U.S. NATO soldiers killed in June was the highest seen since the start of the war in 2001.

The Senate Armed Services Committee voted to approve Gen. David Petraeus as the president's choice to succeed Gen. McChrystal as the U.S. Afghan war commander, with the full Senate expected to quickly confirm him. During the Senate hearing, Gen. Petraeus said he was considering reversing rules of engagement restricting the use of heavier fire power, that were originally implemented to reduce the number of Afghan civilian casualties. While the general said that President Obama's July 2011 deadline for the start of withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan was only "the beginning of a process," there is increasing skepticism that U.S. troops would actually start coming home by next summer. Some in Congress are moving to tie future funding for the war with a firm withdrawal date.

Between the Lines' Scott Harris spoke with former CIA analyst Melvin Goodman whose recent article is titled, " The Pentagon's Threat to the Republic." Here he expresses concern about the conflicts between America's military and civilian leadership seen in the McChrystal firing -- and the larger issue of maintaining civilian control of the Pentagon as the Afghan war continues in an uncertain direction.

Mel Goodman's latest book is titled, "Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA."

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For more information please write to: mail (at)

"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit:
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe (at)
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Q&A" which features a RealAudio link and weekly transcript to one of the interviews featured on Between The Lines, send an email to btlqa-subscribe (at)
Between the Lines
c/o Squeaky Wheel Productions
P.O. Box 110176
Trumbull, CT 06611
Distributed by Squeaky Wheel Productions
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