McChrystal Relieved of Afghan Post; Obama Names Petraeus as Successor
President Obama relieved Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, from command Wednesday after the general and his aides disparaged Obama administration officials and policy in a magazine article.
President Obama announced that he was nominating Gen. David Petraeus, now in charge of U.S. Central Command, to succeed McChrystal.
“Today I accepted Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s resignation,” President Obama said in the White House Rose Garden. “I did so with considerable regret but with the certainty that it was the right thing for our mission in Afghanistan.”
Watch President Obama’s full remarks:
President Obama said that McChrystal’s comments in the Rolling Stone piece undermined the principle of civilian control of the military and that a change in leadership was necessary to maintain unity among his team in Afghanistan.
“I believe it is the right decision for our national security,” Mr. Obama said, and that the decision was not made because of a difference in policy or “out of insult.”
The president added that the war effort in Afghanistan was greater than any one man or woman and that the transition of leadership from McChrystal to Petraeus did not represent a change in policy.
He also praised McChrystal’s service.
“All Americans should be grateful” of McChrystal’s service to the country, Obama said. “I’ve got great admiration for him and his long record of service in uniform.”
McChrystal issued a statement:
This morning the President accepted my resignation as Commander of U.S. and NATO Coalition Forces in Afghanistan. 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.
It has been my privilege and honor to lead our nation’s finest.
We’ll have much more on this story on Wednesday’s NewsHour broadcast and here on The Rundown.