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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Gates and Mullen Disappointed With McChrystal - NYTimes.com

Gates and Mullen Disappointed With McChrystal - NYTimes.com

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, who had sponsored Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal as commander in Afghanistan, expressed profound disappointment in his judgment Thursday — tempered with thanks for his years in combat — after he was fired from the post. The dismissal followed publication of a profile of the four-star general in Rolling Stone that quoted him and his aides disparaging other officials.

“Honestly, when I first read it, I was nearly sick,” said Admiral Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Mr. Gates said he wholly supported the decision by President Obama to retire General McChrystal, who had helped design the administration’s risky and expensive strategy of counterinsurgency in Afghanistan and was in charge of implementing it......


For his part, Admiral Mullen spoke of the pre-eminence of civilian control of the military.

“We do not have the right, nor should we ever assume the prerogative, to cast doubt upon the ability or mock the motives of our civilian leaders, elected or appointed,” Admiral Mullen said. “We are and must remain a neutral instrument of the state, accountable to and respectful of those leaders, no matter which party holds sway or which person holds a given office.” More...

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