Well crap...I don't know. But some I argue with daily have asked me what I though about military establishment influence on President Obama...and if that played a role in his decision last night. I can't say for sure obviously...but I believe the influence is there and very pervasive.
Today's DoD is far more independent from the Executive Branch than in previous decades. They are still subordinate obviously by means of chain of command, national security strategy and purse strings......but the animal has grown larger than it's cage.
There are incestuous relationships at play that dwarf Eisenhower's 'military-industrial complex' speech. Between military analysts funneling propaganda through mainstream media outlets to executive positions in defense corporations for retiring flag officers to my recent discovery of the 'Senior Mentor Program' [DoD hiring former flag officers working at defense corporations to mentor current combatant commanders]......and the think tanks who are hired to provide analysis and background to the DoD...to partisan think tanks actually lecturing soldiers [Michael Rubin of AEI speaking to troops at Ft's Riley and Carson]....gone are the days of quiet subordination to the CinC....I believe.
That Petraeus [and now possibly McChrystal] attaining such a fiefdom with possible political aspirations only exacerbates the problem [not that that is a new phenomenon].
The bottom line is that aside from the axiom of no commander ever not asking for more, or tendering the assessment that withdrawal is required....Obama's commanders and senior military advisers will always push forwards rather than back. They will always look for the win rather than the reality. It's rather hardwired into most senior military leaders. Obama would have to truly buck the paradigm and show independent leadership to reverse the course we're on. I had held out some small hope that he might....and I was wrong.