Tuesday, June 22, 2010

McChrystal’s Fate Is Unclear as Obama Cites Poor Judgment

The original article is quite long but gives you more insight into General McChrystal's life and demeanor. He has quite an interesting background and is more of a "cowboy" than you would normally see advancing to a place of leadership in this PC world. You can read the full Rolling Stone article here.

President Obama said his top commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, had used “poor judgment” and Pentagon officials said the general had prepared a letter of resignation, as he flew to Washington on Tuesday to find out whether he would be fired after a magazine article quoted him and his staff disparaging top members.

“I think it is clear that the article in which he and his team appeared showed poor judgment but I also want to make sure that I talk to him directly before I make a final judgment,” Mr. Obama said, speaking briefly to reporters at the White House in the afternoon. Whatever decision he makes, he said, would be in line with his central focus of what was best for the country and the war in Afghanistan.

In the article, one of General McChrystal’s aides is quoted as referring to the national security adviser, James L. Jones, as a “clown.”

A senior administration official said Mr. Obama was furious about the article, particularly with the suggestion that he was uninterested and unprepared to discuss the Afghanistan war after he took office.

The article, “The Runaway General,” quotes aides of General McChrystal saying that he was “pretty disappointed” by an Oval Office meeting with Mr. Obama, and that he found the president “uncomfortable and intimidated” during a Pentagon meeting with General McChrystal and several other generals.

The article does not mention any serious policy differences with Mr. Obama, who chose General McChrystal to take charge of a major escalation of American troops and equipment. And most of the critical remarks attributed to General McChrystal appear to come from his aides.

In his statement, General McChrystal said, “I have enormous respect and admiration for President Obama and his national security team, and for the civilian leaders and troops fighting this war and I remain committed to ensuring its successful outcome.” The author of the article — Michael Hastings, a freelance journalist — appears to have been granted intimate access to General McChrystal’s inner circle. Most of the comments seem to have been uttered during unguarded moments, in places like bars and restaurants where the general and his aides gathered to unwind.
Read NYT article here.

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