6.23.2010

Goodbye Stanley McChrystal, Hello David Petraeus

I'm glad the President didn't take Keith Olbermann's advice about Gen. Stanley McChrystal:


Via MSNBC: Obama relieves McChrystal of command

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama sacked his loose-lipped Afghanistan commander Wednesday, a seismic shift for the U.S. military order in wartime, and chose the familiar, admired — and tightly disciplined — Gen. David Petraeus to replace him. Petraeus, architect of the Iraq war turnaround, was once again to take hands-on leadership of a troubled war effort.

Obama said bluntly that Gen. Stanley McChrystal's scornful remarks about administration officials represent conduct that "undermines the civilian control of the military that is at the core of our democratic system." He ousted the commander after a face-to-face meeting in the Oval Office and named Petraeus, the Central Command chief who was McChrystal's direct boss, to step in.

Via NY Times: Obama Relieves McChrystal of Command; Announces That Petraeus Will Take Over Role
Mr. Obama, standing with General Petraeus and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. in the White House Rose Garden to underline the continuity and solidity of his Afghan policy, said that he had accepted General McChrystal’s resignation “with considerable regret.”

Mr. Obama said he had done so not out of personal insult over a magazine article featuring contemptuous quotes from the general and his staff about senior administration officials, but because it showed the general had not met standards of behavior for a commander, which threatened to erode trust among administration and military officials, as well as undermine civilian control of the military.

“War is bigger than any one man or woman, whether a private, a general or president,” Mr. Obama said. “As difficult as it is to lose General McChrystal, I believe it is the right decision for our national security.”

“I welcome debate among my team,” he said, “but I won’t tolerate division.”

Via TPM: Obama Sacks McChrystal: 'The Right Thing

President Obama announced that Gen. Stanley McChrystal has been relieved from duty, a "difficult decision" reached in the aftermath of a Rolling Stone profile that ends his tenure as the top commander for the war Afghanistan.

"Today I accepted General McChrystal's resignation," Obama said in making public the decision this afternoon in the Rose Garden. MSNBC broke the news, also reporting that the president has selected Gen. David Petraeus to take over in Afghanistan. Petraeus, who led the mission in Iraq, stood at Obama's side. "It is the right decision for our national security," Obama said.

The president praised McChrystal's service to the nation and said he had no "personal insult" from the Rolling Stone piece, but said the conduct described in Michael Hastings' profile was unacceptable, "does not meet the standard that should be set by a commanding general," and sets a poor example for the military's rank-and-file.

Via Think Progress: Obama Replaces McChrystal With Petraeus: ‘I Welcome Debate…But I Won’t Tolerate Division’
Obama emphasized that McChrystal had served “faithfully,” that he was “grateful” for his service, and that the replacement is not a “personal insult.” In McChrystal’s place, Obama has nominated CentCom Commander David Petraeus, the general who oversaw the Iraq surge, to take charge of the upcoming Afghanistan surge. “I welcome debate among my team, but I won’t tolerate division,” Obama said. “It is a change in personnel, but it is not a change in policy,” he added, noting that Petraeus helped “design the policy that we have in place.”
Via ABC News:

McChrystal's comments, as detailed in the Rolling Stone article, do "not meet the standards that should be set by a commanding general," the president said today while announcing the switch. "It undermines the civilian control of the military... and it erodes the trust that is necessary for our team to work together to achieve our objectives in Afghanistan."

The president praised McChrystal for his "deep intelligence" and "love of the country," but made it clear the comments McChrystal and his aides made could jeopardize the U.S. mission in Afghanistan.

"All Americans should be grateful for Gen. McChrystal's remarkable career in uniform, but war is bigger than any one man or woman," the president said. "I believe it is the right decision for our national security."

Obama said the change was needed to maintain unity of U.S. efforts in Afghanistan and to "hold ourselves accountable to standards that are at the core of our democracy." The president reaffirmed that the change in personnel didn't mean a change in U.S. policy.

Via Slate: McChrystal: Gone and Soon Forgotten
President Barack Obama has accomplished what many might have thought impossible just a few hours earlier. He has fired Gen. Stanley McChrystal, his combat commander in Afghanistan, in such a way that not only will the general go unmissed but his name will likely soon be forgotten.

Obama's decision to replace McChrystal with Gen. David Petraeus is a stroke of brilliance, an unassailable move, politically and strategically.

On a political level, McChrystal has many fans inside Congress and the military, but Petraeus has orders of magnitude more. No one could accuse Obama of compromising the war effort, knowing that Petraeus is stepping in.

And just for laughs, check out this opinion piece I found just at Foxnews.com from just prior the the President's meeting with McChrystal: Obama Must Fire McChrystal or His Presidency Is Over

Fox "news" called for Obama to fire McChrystal!! Fox "news?!"

UPDATE I:
UK PM: British General Temporarily Taking Charge In Afghanistan
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