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Jun 23rd, 2010

Obama Relieves McChrystal of Command

Gen. David Petraeus named to take over troubled Afghan war

Image: Barack Obama, David Petraeus
President Barack Obama and Gen. David Petraeus walk to the White House Rose Garden on Wednesday, June 23, 2010 to make a statement after meeting with Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who was ousted as commander of forces in Afghanistan. Patraeus was nominated to assume McChrystal’s command. (Photo credit: Charles Dharapak / AP)

The Associated Press and NBC News via MSNBC
June 23, 2010

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.

In a statement expressing praise for McChrystal yet certainty he had to go, Obama said he did not make the decision over any disagreement in policy or “out of any sense of personal insult.” Flanked by Vice President Joe Biden, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in the Rose Garden, he said: “War is bigger than any one man or woman, whether a private, a general, or a president.”

He urged the Senate to confirm Petraeus swiftly and emphasized the Afghanistan strategy he announced in December was not shifting with McChrystal’s departure. …

Indeed, as Obama was speaking, McChrystal released a statement, saying: “I strongly support the President’s strategy in Afghanistan and am deeply committed to our coalition forces, our partner nations, and the Afghan people. It was out of respect for this commitment — and a desire to see the mission succeed — that I tendered my resignation.” …

If not insubordination, the remarks — as well as even sharper commentary about Obama and his White House from several in McChrystal’s inner circle — were at the least an extraordinary challenge from a military leader. The capital had not seen a similar public contretemps between a president and a top wartime commander since Harry Truman stripped Gen. Douglas MacArthur of his command more than a half-century ago after disagreements over Korean war strategy.

Notably, neither McChrystal nor his team questioned the accuracy of the story or the quotes in it. McChrystal issued an apology. …

Until Petraeus is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, British Lt. Gen. Nick Parker, the deputy commander of the NATO-led forces, is assuming command of the troops, according to British Prime Minister David Cameron. …


Read the full Rolling Stone article

The Runaway General (Michael Hastings, Rolling Stone, June 22, 2010) — Stanley McChrystal, Obama’s top commander in Afghanistan, has seized control of the war by never taking his eye off the real enemy: The wimps in the White House. … Full story


Related report on this site

Afghanistan War Strategy Review (Oct. 3, 2009)

Image: Obama and McChrystal meet aboard Air Force One
President Barack Obama meets with Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, aboard Air Force One on Friday, Oct. 2, 2009. (Photo credit: Pete Souza / The White House)


FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — June 23, 2009

Major Sean Birchall (Photo: British Ministry of Defence)
Maj. Sean Birchall, 33, born in Vanderbijl Park, South Africa, died June 19, 2009 of wounds sustained in an IED attack on his armored vehicle while on patrol in Basharan, near Lashkar Gah in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, Welsh Guards, British Army. (Photo: UK Ministry of Defense)

OIF/OEF – U.S. Military Deaths

One-year retrospective: One year ago today I provided my weekly report of U.S. military deaths in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), compiled from U.S. Department of Defense News Releases.

One Response to “Obama Sacks AfPak Commander”
  1. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Deadly Blasts Shatter Calm in Baghdad Says:

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