Thursday, June 24, 2010

DTN News: US Afghan Commander Stanley McChrystal Fired By Obama

Defense News: DTN News: US Afghan Commander Stanley McChrystal Fired By Obama
Source: DTN News / BBC News
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - June 23, 2010: The top US military commander in Afghanistan, Gen Stanley McChrystal, has been dismissed by President Barack Obama over comments made in a magazine.
He will be replaced by Gen David Petraeus, who led the "surge" in Iraq. Mr Obama insisted it was "a change in personnel but not a change in policy".
In a statement, Gen McChrystal said he was leaving because of a "desire to see the mission succeed".
He agreed that his statements in Rolling Stone showed "poor judgement".
The announcement that Gen McChrystal was standing down came after he had met Mr Obama at the White House on Wednesday.
Mr Obama said he had made the decision as Gen McChrystal had failed to "meet the standard that should be set by a commanding general".
He insisted: "I don't make this decision based on any difference in policy with General McChrystal, nor on any personal insult."'Poor judgement'
Afghan President Hamid Karzai had indicated he did not want Gen McChrystal replaced, with a spokesman describing him as the best commander in nine years of US military operations in Afghanistan.
Gen McChrystal quickly apologised for the magazine article, The Runaway General, written by Michael Hastings and due out on Friday, extending his "sincerest apology" and saying it showed a lack of integrity.
The wide-ranging article quoted Gen McChrystal and his aides openly criticising senior members of the Obama administration."It was a mistake reflecting poor judgement and should never have happened," he said.
At the White House on Wednesday, Gen McChrystal was due to face those he and his aides had criticised at the administration's monthly meeting on Afghanistan and Pakistan on Wednesday.
The officials included:
**Joe Biden. Gen McChrystal had mocked the vice-president when asked a question about him. "Are you asking about Vice-President Biden? Who's that?"
**Karl Eikenberry. Gen McChrystal said he felt "betrayed" by the US ambassador to Kabul during the long 2009 White House debate on troop requests for Afghanistan
**James Jones. One of Gen McChrystal's aides says the national security adviser is a "clown... stuck in 1985"
**Richard Holbrooke. Gen McChrystal says of an e-mail from the US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan: "Oh, not another e-mail from Holbrooke... I don't even want to open it"

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