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Thread: Obama orders Gen McChrystal to US to explain himself after Rolling Stone Article

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Default Obama orders Gen McChrystal to US to explain himself after Rolling Stone Article

    WASHINGTON (AP)— The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan has been summoned to Washington to explain derogatory comments about President Barack Obama and his colleagues, administration officials said Tuesday.

    Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who publicly apologized Tuesday for using "poor judgment" in an interview in Rolling Stone magazine, has been ordered to attend the monthly White House meeting on Afghanistan and Pakistan in person Wednesday rather than over a secure video teleconference, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. He'll be expected to explain his comments to Obama and top Pentagon officials, these officials said.

    Obama has the authority to fire McChrystal. His predecessor, Gen. David McKiernan, was sacked on grounds that the military needed "new thinking and new approaches" in Afghanistan.

    Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen has told McChrystal of his "deep disappointment" over the article, a spokesman said.

    The article in this week's Rolling Stone depicts McChrystal as a lone wolf on the outs with many important figures in the Obama administration and unable to persuade even some of his own soldiers that his strategy can win the war.

    The interview describes McChrystal, 55, as "disappointed" in his first Oval Office meeting with Obama. The article says that although McChrystal voted for Obama, the two failed to connect from the start. Obama appointed McChrystal to lead the Afghan effort in May 2009. Last fall, though, Obama called McChrystal on the carpet for speaking too bluntly about his desire for more troops.

    "I found that time painful," McChrystal said in the article, on newsstands Friday. "I was selling an unsellable position."

    Obama agreed to dispatch an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan only after months of study that many in the military found frustrating. And the White House's troop commitment was coupled with a pledge to begin bringing them home in July 2011, in what counterinsurgency strategists advising McChrystal regarded as an arbitrary deadline.

    In Kabul on Tuesday, McChrystal issued a statement saying: "I have enormous respect and admiration for President Obama and his national security team, and for the civilian leaders and troops fighting this war and I remain committed to ensuring its successful outcome."

    "I extend my sincerest apology for this profile," the statement said. "It was a mistake reflecting poor judgment and should never have happened."

    Mullen talked with McChrystal about the article Monday night, Capt. John Kirby, Mullen's spokesman said. In a 10-minute conversation, the chairman "expressed his deep disappointment in the piece and the comments" in it, Kirby said.

    The Rolling Stone profile, titled "The Runaway General," emerged from several weeks of interviews and travel with McChrystal's tight circle of aides this spring.

    In the interview, McChrystal he said he felt betrayed by the man the White House chose to be his diplomatic partner, Ambassador Karl Eikenberry. If Eikenberry had the same doubts, McChrystal said he never expressed them until a leaked internal document threw a wild card into the debate over whether to add more troops last November. In the document, Eikenberry said Afghan President Hamid Karzai was not a reliable partner for the counterinsurgency strategy McChrystal was hired to execute.

    McChrystal accused the ambassador of giving himself cover. "Here's one that covers his flank for the history books," McChrystal told the magazine. "Now, if we fail, they can say 'I told you so.'"

    Caitlin Hayden, spokeswoman for the U.S. embassy in Kabul, said Eikenberry and McChrystal "are fully committed to the president's strategy and to working together as one civilian-military team."
    McChrystal has a history of drawing criticism, despite his military achievements.

    In June 2006 President George W. Bush congratulated McChrystal for his role in the operation that killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq. As head of the special operations command, McChrystal's forces included the Army's clandestine counterterrorism unit, Delta Force.

    He drew criticism for his role in the military's handling of the friendly fire shooting of Army Ranger Pat Tillman – a former NFL star – in Afghanistan. An investigation at the time found that McChrystal was "accountable for the inaccurate and misleading assertions" contained in papers recommending that Tillman get a Silver Star award.

    McChrystal acknowledged he had suspected several days before approving the Silver Star citation that Tillman might have died by fratricide, rather than enemy fire. He sent a memo to military leaders warning them of that, even as they were approving Tillman's Silver Star. Still, he told investigators he believed Tillman deserved the award.

    This week's development comes as criminal investigators are said to be examining allegations that Afghan security firms have been extorting as much as $4 million a week from contractors paid with U.S. tax dollars and then funneling the spoils to warlords and the Taliban, according to a U.S. military document. The payments are intended to ensure safe passage through dangerous areas they control.

    The payments reportedly end up in insurgent hands through a $2.1 billion Pentagon contract to transport food, water, fuel and ammunition to American troops stationed at bases across Afghanistan.

    Stanley McChrystal, Top U.S. General In Afghanistan, Summoned To Washington After 'Rolling Stone' Interview


    Here's the RS Interview:

    http://markhalperin.files.wordpress....mcchrystal.pdf



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    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    BFD, most of us would get called on the carpet too for badmouthing the boss in public.
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    He should be court martialed and sent packing.. but Obama probably wants to "understand him" or some shit
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    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    (Jeezus what a cluster f**k this 'war' has become)

    McChrystal episode comes amid long string of U.S. setbacks in Afghanistan - Yahoo! News

    Taken on their own, the insubordinate and bizarre comments made by Gen. Stanley McChrystal and his staff to Rolling Stone are enough to raise serious questions about his strategy in Afghanistan and his respect for civilian authority. But Rolling Stone's story also comes at the end of a breathtaking string of terrible developments and milestones in the Afghan war and thus will likely just accelerate the sense of chaos and aimlessness overtaking the conflict.

    [UPDATE: On Tuesday afternoon President Obama said he had yet to decide whether or not McChrystal would be fired, and noted that he and his team showed "poor judgment" in speaking to Rolling Stone as they did.]

    The revelation that McChrystal and his staff they call themselves "Team America" hold many civilian White House officials in open disdain couldn't have come at a worse time. Since April, scarcely a day has gone by that hasn't brought some unsettling news about the Afghan war. This latest fiasco is but one in a long series of episodes showing that McChrystal who'd been entrusted with far-ranging authority over the conduct of the Afghan war has remained largely unaware of the political challenges he faces, while often glibly dismissing dissenting views and civilian authority.

    Here's a review of the parade of horribles emanating from Afghanistan in the weeks preceding McChrystal's outburst:

    May 25, 2010: The Army launches an investigation of 10 soldiers near Kandahar for the murder of three Afghan civilians and illegal drug use. One soldier is eventually charged; five remain under investigation.

    May 28, 2010: A roadside bombing kills the 1,000th American in Afghanistan.

    May 29, 2010: McChrystal calls Marjah, the subject of a massive NATO offensive last spring to oust the Taliban and prop up civilian institutions, a "bleeding ulcer" at a gathering of Afghan officials and civilian strategists. The Marjah campaign was the first prong of the surge strategy McChrystal advocated, and he has essentially acknowledged that it didn't succeed: "I think that we've done well, but I think that the pace of security has been slower. I'm thinking that, had we put more force in there, we could have locked that place down better."

    June 2, 2010: A peace summit called by Afghan President Hamid Karzai and attended by McCrystal is attacked by Taliban mortar and small-arms fire. McChrystal has to be evacuated as Karzai offers peace terms to the Taliban over the noise of Taliban rockets. Karzai would later blame the attack on American forces.

    June 7, 2010: After 104 months of combat, the Afghanistan conflict becomes the longest war in U.S. history.

    June 10, 2010: McChrystal tells reporters at a meeting of NATO defense ministers that a long-planned operation to pacify the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar this summer designed to serve as a follow-up blow to the bungled Marjah campaign will be delayed. "I do think it will happen more slowly than we had originally anticipated," McChrystal said.

    June 11, 2010: The New York Times reports that, according to two former senior advisers to the Afghan president, Karzai has lost faith in America's capacity to prevail in Afghanistan and is seeking a separate peace with the Taliban without informing NATO. "The president has lost his confidence in the capability of either the coalition or his own government to protect this country," one of the advisers told the Times. "President Karzai has never announced that NATO will lose, but the way that he does not proudly own the campaign shows that he doesn't trust it is working."

    June 13, 2010: The New York Times reports that the U.S. military has "discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan," in a story that U.S. officials cooperated with. The story contained little new information about Afghanistan's deposits, which Karzai himself had claimed to be worth between $1 trillion and $3 trillion in February; it is widely viewed as a transparent attempt by the U.S. to fight back against the growing tide of negative press.

    June 16, 2010: WikiLeaks announces that it will soon release leaked military video of a U.S. gunship attack near Garani, Afghanistan, that killed nearly 150 civilians, including women and children, in May 2009.

    June 22, 2010: A congressional report finds that the U.S. is paying millions of dollars in protection money to Afghan warlords and potentially to the Taliban to provide security for convoys. The U.S. practice of outsourcing supply transports has "fueled a vast protection racket run by a shadowy network of warlords, strongmen, commanders, corrupt Afghan officials," and provided "a significant potential source of funding for the Taliban," the report said.

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    Elite Member cupcake's Avatar
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    Well the Afgans love him.
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Dude should be fired. Insubordinate shitbag.
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    Elite Member MontanaMama's Avatar
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    WTF is an acting General in the middle of a war doing giving an interview to Rolling Stone? How fucking stupid.
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    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Yea he has to go. I don't care who the President is but that kind of insubordination is a no-go and a direct contradiction to the founding father's principles of military-civilian relationship.

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    Elite Member Bellatheball's Avatar
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    ^ Do you honestly think most of the military men and women are fans of Obama? If so, I have a bridge for sale.

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    Elite Member MontanaMama's Avatar
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    Bella, it doesn't matter if they are fans or even like the President. He is their Commander-in-Chief. I believe any criticism of a superior is against military code and is a court martialable offense.
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    Elite Member Bellatheball's Avatar
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    Fair enough. That's true. I've talked to several members of the military and it's shocking how little faith they have in their commander in chief.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaMama View Post
    WTF is an acting General in the middle of a war doing giving an interview to Rolling Stone? How fucking stupid.
    This. And the stupidity is compounded by his remarks, and not knowing what "off the record" means. The general should have known that he was on thin ice.

    However, Obama may not fire him because he wants to keep continuity.
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    Elite Member cupcake's Avatar
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    I dont think he is going anywhere. He and Obama are going to "Talk it out"
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    Elite Member Mel1973's Avatar
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    seems par for the course for this administration.
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    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cupcake View Post
    I dont think he is going anywhere. He and Obama are going to "Talk it out"
    As MontanaMama says, it does seemingly go against the UCMJ, though some military experts I read say that it doesn't as his conduct wasn't 'contemptuous' language (though I don't see how they can say that with his obvious mocking of Joe Biden).

    Plus the Rolling Stone reporter says that he knew he was being recorded.

    But I agree, I feel they are going to talk it out.

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