Breaking: Obama to replace McChrystal with Petraeus (UPDATE: VIDEO LINK OF OBAMA’S REMARKS ADDED)

Posted by: ST on June 23, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Just coming across the wires:

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama sacked Gen. Stanley McChrystal as his top commander in Afghanistan and will replace him with Gen. David Petraeus, head of U.S. Central Command, a senior administration official said.

McChrystal was pushed out over his blistering remarks about administration officials, quoted in a Rolling Stone magazine interview.

After an Oval Office meeting with McChrystal in the morning, Obama huddled with his war advisers and planned to announce his decision on the general’s fate to the nation at 1:30 p.m. EDT in the Rose Garden.

The official spoke only on condition of anonymity, because the president’s announcement was not yet public. Petraeus has been McChrystal’s boss, overseeing the wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq from Central Command. Before that, he led President George W. Bush’s surge of troops into Iraq that was credited with turning that war around.

Last week, there was concern about Petraeus when he slumped at the witness table while testifying at a Senate hearing about the war in Afghanistan. He recovered quickly and a spokesman said the general likely was dehydrated and jet-lagged from his travels.

God knows Petraeus has an uphill battle with what’s happening in Afghanistan, and McChrystal will have a long time stateside to think about his career, including his poor judgment in allowing Rolling Stone magazine to hang around him and his staffers for a couple of weeks. I have little doubt we’ll see a book from him in a couple of years.

I wish both them both well.

Update – 2:12 PM: Here’s video of the President’s announcement of his decision.

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9 Responses to “Breaking: Obama to replace McChrystal with Petraeus (UPDATE: VIDEO LINK OF OBAMA’S REMARKS ADDED)”


  1. Tex says:

    Looks like Obama has decided his ego is more important than winning a global war against Islamic terrorists. A simple private dressing down of McChrystal privately would have sufficed but Obama isn’t able to put his ego behind him and swallow his pride for the good of the nation. Since most of the unflattering remarks came from McChrystal’s staff, look for the vengeful Obama to go after them as well in the coming days. This will leave Petraeus with few experienced top level officers in Afghanistan when he needs them most. What a brilliant military strategist Obama is! And just as importantly, look for the MSM to scream bloody murder as more and more military units refuse to allow MSM reporters to embed with them. And “Rolling Stone” no doubt will be very proud of themselves for crippling the war effort against the Islamic terrorists to cover for their favorite Democrat and boost sales. I’m sure the NYT is quite jealous today.

  2. Winter says:

    So President Obama did it. Isn’t he just so proud of himself? The bigger question is not being answered. When are we getting out?

  3. Anthony says:

    Petraeus is a good choice, and the only one with the public credibility to take over and do what’s needed to quickly right things over there. I wonder how the “General Betray-us” creeps at MoveOn will react to this?

    I have to disagree a bit with Tex. While it’s true Obama is petty, thin-skinned, and egotistical, I don’t think he could have realistically done anything other than relieve McChrystal of command. This isn’t just McChrystal vs. Obama, it’s a general vs. the constitutionally mandated commander in chief. And it isn’t as if this is the first time McChrystal has gone pubilc with what should have been private.

    One thing I hope is also done: replacing Ambassador Eikenberry. McChrystal was right in his criticism of him, and General Petraeus will need a good partner there as Ambassador, just as he had in Iraq with Crocker. There should be a general reshuffling of top personnel in the AfPak theater.

  4. puffpiece says:

    What concerns me is the restrictions placed on our military under the current counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan. It doesn’t matter if it’s under McChrystal or Petraeus.

    While U.S. casualties rise and soldiers are told to fight with one arm tied behind their back I worry about them. Are we asking too much of the military and is Afghanistan the wrong country for COIN?

  5. Carlos says:

    From McClatchy Newspapers: “The president will say tomorrow that it is time for everyone involved to put away their petty disagreements, put away their egos and get to work…”

    Isn’t that asking or demanding the impossible of himself? The president has an unbounded (and thoroughly undeserved) ego that he can’t just “put away.” He would be left with absolutely nothing, since that’s all he has to begin with.

    The moral of the Obama debacle? Never elect a person with no experience, no decision-making ability, no intellect and only empty rhetoric to hold himself up.

  6. Anthony says:

    “The president will say tomorrow that it is time for everyone involved to put away their petty disagreements, put away their egos and get to work…”

    The irony is knee-deep in that statement. 8-|

  7. Zappy says:

    Tex you said it all!

    This maniac has no bleeping clue other than what his ego can embrace.

    Bless his heart,and God forgive me, I can’t wait for his heart to explode. I will dance naked in the street with a kazoo as my trumpet.

    *sign of the cross*


  8. Great White Rat says:

    Knee-deep?? Hell, Anthony, that’s an irony tsunami!!

    But this is more confirmation of what most thinking people already knew: the one way to get Obama to act is to take a poke at that narcissist’s ego.

    Floods wiping out major parts of Tennessee? Nah…not when there are parties to throw in the White House.

    Meeting generals to discuss how to wage the war in Afghanistan? Nah….can’t I just eat my waffle?

    An environmental catastrophe in the Gulf? Nah…I have plans for…WAIT!! Did you say GOLF? Is this gonna make me miss my tee time? No? OK then, no big deal.

    But let a critical remark or two appear in Rolling Stone, and within 24 hours he has the General flying to DC to get sacked. THAT’s the priority.

    The further irony is that it’s the only one of the cases where he did the right thing – he just did it for the wrong reason.

  9. Good point, GWR – it’s kinda like the Rev. Wright thing. Wright said some of the most horrible things possible about America, white ppl, etc and Obama kept making excuses for him. He only severed ties with Wright when Wright correctly noted that Obama was playing politics on the issue of their friendship.