If you want to see a full-on counterinsurgencygasm, please go to the Atlantic Council next Thursday, May 28, at 5:30 p.m. — there’s going to be refreshments, even — to see Gen. George Casey, the extremely vilified Army Chief of Staff, talk "Complex Operations and Counter-insurgency: Building the Army of the 21st Century." The psychodrama will easily overshadow the talk. Casey did what he could in Iraq, carrying out President Bush’s "as the Iraqis stand up we will stand down" approach, and Bush backed him to the hilt, except for when he abruptly fired Casey and replaced him with Gen. Petraeus, who did the opposite of what Casey did and became a national hero while Casey became the chief of staff of the Army had to read a million accounts of how Petraeus fixed that dumb motherfucker Casey’s mistakes through vigorous application of solid counterinsurgency principles. And now Casey is going to talk about how to make the Army into a COIN-ready force! Imagine Dick Cheney leading tours for the Obama Presidential Museum while people throw shit at him and call him a war criminal. Now you have a sense of Casey’s private hell.
A couple of months ago I called Casey’s office to see if he’d be interested in revisiting any of the debate about the surge, as it casts him as a principal villain. They’ll get back to me.
Alas, I’m going to be on vacation — sweet motherfucking vacation — far away from Washington when Casey speaks (more on that later), so I’ll have to miss out. If you’re in town, you should go.