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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

McChrystal Is Removed From Afghan Command - NYTimes.com

McChrystal Is Removed From Afghan Command - NYTimes.com

WASHINGTON — President Obama removed Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal as commander of American forces in Afghanistan on Wednesday, and tapped as his replacement the general’s boss and the architect of the 2007 surge in Iraq, Gen. David H. Petraeus.

Mr. Obama, standing with General Petraeus and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. in the White House Rose Garden to underline the continuity and solidity of his Afghan policy, said that he had accepted General McChrystal’s resignation “with considerable regret.”

Mr. Obama said he had done so not out of personal insult over a magazine article featuring contemptuous quotes from the general and his staff about senior administration officials, but because it showed the general had not met standards of behavior for a commander, which threatened to erode trust among administration and military officials, as well as undermine civilian control of the military.

“War is bigger than any one man or woman, whether a private, a general or president,” Mr. Obama said. “As difficult as it is to lose General McChrystal, I believe it is the right decision for our national security.”

“I welcome debate among my team,” he said, “but I won’t tolerate division.”

General Petraeus, who holds overarching responsibility for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as the head of the United States Central Command, would be required to leave his current post to take on his new appointment, which must now be confirmed by the United States Senate. Mr. Obama stressed that the change in leadership did not signal a shift in his overall war strategy in Afghanistan, where thousands of new American troops have been arriving in recent months among increasing casualties and growing questions about the progress of the war.

“This is a change in personnel, but it is not a change in policy,” Mr. Obama said. More...

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