Guest Authors

Two big military scalps for Michael Yon


Published in the Daily Telegraph at
Published on June 24th, 2010
By Toby Harnden

Well, I wouldn’t cross Michael Yon, the intrepid independent war reporter and photographer who has covered the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan with distinction and dogged intensity. For weeks, he was fulimating about two men – Brigadier-General Daniel Menard of the Canadian Army and General Stanley McChrystal.

Then, two things happened. First, Menard was fired. Then, McChrystal was fired.

True, neither was dismissed for reasons directly related to Yon’s reporting – though Menard’s negligent discharge of his rifle at Kandahar can hardly have helped any case he had for staying and McChrystal’s chances of remaining in post might have been greater had his Afghan war strategy not been facing excoriating criticism from the likes of Yon.

But it might be wise for generals to keep on the right side of Yon, who was disembedded by McChrystal’s staff, in the future. Perhaps fortunately for him (though it’s no accident – he assiduously cultivates media opinion shapers), General David Petraeus has an excellent relationship with Yon.

Yon often writes about his private email communicaions with the former Iraq commander, the most recent of which was to congratulate him on being nominated to command Nato forces in Afghanistan. Afterwards, he posted this on his Facebook page to his 35,182 fans, many of whom serve in the US military:

Just got a nice response from General Petraeus. This is going to be a long, long journey for the troops, for the General, and for me. Let’s turn this around!


Say something here...
You are a guest ( Sign Up ? )
or post as a guest
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Zeno Davatz · 11 years ago
    Well done Michael Yon. It took some time for the people to understand.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Richard Tutching · 11 years ago
    Where there's smoke...there's fire and Michael Yon sniffs out what others miss...he's got the best instincts and consistently ahead of the curve reporting that most others can't even fathom!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Cass · 11 years ago
    You accused me of writing under 2 accounts on Facebook, "fishy", when there just happened to be another person who thought in like manner is the way you're doing your 'investigative journalism', I'm going to have to go reassess past posts. But I still think you're a great photographer Mike. Credit due where it's due, and retracted where it isn't.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Jonny · 11 years ago
    If the President has a clue, he would either hire Yon to be a agent in Afghanistan (ala WEB griffin books), or simply read whatever Yon writes to get the real story, then act on it.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    cmholm · 11 years ago
    Michael provided the context that sealed Gen. Menard's (deserved) fate, but of the slings and arrows targeting McChrystal, there was obviously a lot more going on than pulling the embed of momentarily inconvenient reporter. As for what this - or any - President can gain anything from Michael's reporting, it's to provide some direct feedback from what's otherwise a very indirect path from "setting policy" to "go on patrol". Michael can see if it's working. A President then has to decide whether his policy goals are better met by spending ~$800mn/day on a) current COIN strategy, b) another strategy,... n) shoveling bundles of Benjamins out the back of a C-1 0... not that I'm advocating *that* method.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Tommy Barrios · 11 years ago
    I now wonder what all the arm chair generals have to say out there who attacked Michael on his criticisms of the AF-PAK SITREP. A situation that was being ignored by the fawning MGMSM and the ego manic PMIC administration.

    As he chickens have come home to roost on this debacle, there is lot of crow eating going on I suppose!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    halı yıkama · 11 years ago
    I like your pictures too, I think you are a professional in this business

    Halı Yıkama /a>
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Deidre · 11 years ago
    Thanks for being our man in the field. You're a warrior at heart and that is most appealing. I have both your books and look forward to the book of photos which you just gotta do, Michael. Stay safe!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    christine brown · 11 years ago
    your the ernie pyle of our time...keep of the good work........our troops need it..................
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Steve Novotny · 11 years ago
    Michael... Doing a great job and with that comes success and with that comes exposure. Be careful; the Taliban lives a war of innuendo and deception of which you are exposing. You have been our ears and our eyes of truth and that doesn't help the Taliban's mission. All that to say... Stay safe and don't get too friendly with the natives. I want the Afghan people to have a chance to experience freedom but I also want you to be out there for years to come. As we all know the Taliban don't value life the way we do and could send some innocent child to give you a hug loaded with bombs... Be careful.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Charlie Griffith · 11 years ago
    I think Yon's wartime photography should get a Pulitzer, and before that prize is pulled down as in that Nobel for Obama's non-deeds. But I don't think that anyone with, or outside, the Military should be kissing Yon's ass for his reporting. He's in line for a swelled head.

    Yon is the other side of the Rolling Stone media coin; caveat emptor.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    dmsingh · 11 years ago
    Michael- I was skeptical when they gave you the bums rush out of Afghanistan. Is he a phony, a glory hound, I thought? But you are the real deal. Great job. Here's another 10 bucks. dm

Reader support is crucial to this mission. Weekly or monthly recurring ‘subscription’ based support is the best, though all are greatly appreciated.  Many methods are available to keep the work rolling. Click the image for a more info.



Quick Link to Paypal

Recurring Donation

QR Code

QR Code


To support using Venmo, send to:


My BitCoin QR Code

Use the QR code for BitCoin apps:


Or click the link below to help support the next dispatch with bitcoins: