Obama changes command in Afghanistan

    President Barack Obama has picked Gen. David Petreaus to assume control of the war in Afghanistan after Gen. Stanley McChrystal resigned from duty.







    President Barack Obama has picked Gen. David Petreaus to assume control of the war in Afghanistan after Gen. Stanley McChrystal resigned from duty.

    This afternoon, the president announced that Petreaus would be the new commanding officer in Afghanistan. This comes after Obama told reporters at the White House that he accepted McChrystal’s resignation “with considerable regret.” 

    Although there is a change in command, the president made it clear that the strategy in Afghanistan would remain the same. He’s now urging the Senate to confirm Petreaus as McChrystal’s replacement.

    “I don’t make this decision based on any difference in policy with Gen. McChrystal as we are in full agreement about our strategy,” the president assured during a press conference today.

    The swap came after days of talk surrounding a controversial article in Rolling Stone titled “The Runaway General.” In the piece, McChrystal and officers in his inner circle gripe about members of Obama’s cabinet, including a dig at Vice President “Bite Me.” For his part, McChrystal doesn’t openly disparage President Obama or Vice President Joe Biden in the write-up. He did say, however, that he felt “betrayed” by his civilian partner, ambassador Karl Eikenberry.

    And the president made it a point to let the public know that the dismissal was not based on any hard feelings on his part, stating, “Stan McChrystal has always shown great courtesy and carried out my order faithfully.”

    In the fallout from “The Runaway General,” the embattled general offered up a public apology, stating that the profile was a huge mistake “reflecting poor judgement.” 

    According to President Obama, the conduct described in the article, which border on insubordination, posed a threat to national security because it falls short of the standard that should be set by a commanding officer. 

    “It undermines the civilian control of the military that is at the core of our democratic system,” the president said, noting that such behavior ultimately harms the trust needed to achieve U.S. goals in Afghanistan. “It is my duty to ensure that no diversion complicates the vital mission.”

    “I welcome debate among my team, but I won’t tolerate division, “ Obama added.

    Earlier today, there was confusion over whether McChrystal left his post voluntarily, or if he was fired. The military general issued a statement putting that dispute to rest.

    “I strongly support the President’s strategy in Afghanistan and am deeply committed to our coalition forces, our partner nations, and the Afghan people,” he said shortly after Petreaus’ nomination. “It was out of respect for this commitment — and a desire to see the mission succeed — that I tendered my resignation.”



    – Sonya Eskridge




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