Last week The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder reported on four-star General Stanley McChrystal's somewhat awkward transition from leading the international effort in Afghanistan to sudden, unplanned retirement. Now the Daily Beast's Ellen Knickmeyer has followed up with an important scoop on McChrystal's potential retirement plans.
“Honestly—the only thing I ever heard him say he wanted to do, after he completed his mission in Afghanistan… was eventually retire and open a bookstore,” wrote one officer, who is close to McChrystal, by email. The retirement conversations recounted by the officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, took place earlier in McChrystal’s time in Afghanistan, before publication of the Rolling Stone story that portrayed the general and his aides as openly dismissive of civilian authority. The magazine story abruptly brought on McChrystal’s dismissal last week as the top general in Afghanistan.
... “I cannot imagine a scenario where he would be a pundit or write some sort of tell-all book or other sort of grand-standing,” says the officer close to McChrystal. “It's simply not a part of his nature. Nor is it something I can imagine him ever being comfortable with.” The general, this officer says, is “one of the most humble men I’ve ever worked for.”
What kind of bookstore would McChrystal operate? It's unclear, although Robert Kaplan's profile of the general revealed that he is a voracious reader of such histories as Winston Churchill's "The River War." Whatever's on the shelves, one assumes that the reading room will be stocked with plenty of Bud Light Lime.