The Runaway General - Michael Hastings, Rolling Stone
What Happened in Paris... - Foreign Policy
McChrystal's Fate in Limbo as Obama Cites Poor Judgment - New York Times
President Obama's top commander in Afghanistan flew to Washington on Tuesday to find out whether he would be fired for remarks he and members of his staff made that were contemptuous of senior administration officials, laying bare the disarray and enmity in a foreign-policy team that is struggling with the war. In an article in Rolling Stone magazine, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal and his aides spoke critically of nearly every member of the president's national security team, saying President Obama appeared "uncomfortable and intimidated" during his first White House meeting with the general, and dismissing Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. as "Bite Me." The firestorm was fueled by increasing doubts - even in the military - that Afghanistan can be won and by crumbling public support for the nine-year war as American casualties rise. The criticism of General McChrystal's statements was swift, and the general had apologized and prepared a letter of resignation, though President Obama had not made up his mind whether to accept it when they meet on Wednesday morning.
General Stanley McChrystal Tenders his Resignation - Daily Telegraph
A senior Capitol Hill source tells me that General Stanley McChrystal had tendered his resignation to President Barack Obama and that the White House is actively discussing a replacement who could be quickly confirmed by the Senate. The source said that among the names being touted as possible successors are General James Mattis, the outgoing head of the U.S. Joint Forces Command and due to retire after being passed over as U.S. Marine Corps commander, and Lieutenant General William Caldwell, commander of Nato's Training Mission in Afghanistan.
"General McChrystal has a right to his personal political views. They are his, and his alone. When they disagree with the orders and policy he is instructed to carry out, his choices are clear. Instead, he chose to let those personal views, and disdain for those elected and appointed officials who disagreed with him, shape the tenor of his discourse with his seniors, and most inexcusably, his juniors. He has failed at the very basics of leadership that Captain Miller explains so frankly to his young soldier."
"So, the Commander in Chief has little choice but to accept General McChrystal's resignation, should that late story be confirmed. If the President were not to do so, he risks the skewing of the civilian-military relationship that is a cornerstone of our personal and collective liberties, much as Truman would have done in failing to discipline General MacArthur in Korea six decades ago. The situation with General McChrystal leaves President Obama with another, very dicey problem. Who will be putting hands in the air to command in a theater where the strategy and policy have been so publicly discredited by a senior General Officer? And whomever is chosen, what will be the effect of a new commander dropping onto the scene just before a key offensive that may determine the long-term success of the US effort in Afghanistan?"
-- USNI Blog
Obama Holds off Making Decision on McChrystal - Washington Post
Obama Calls McChrystal on Carpet over Interview - Washington Times
Gen. McChrystal's Job Hangs in the Balance - Los Angeles Times
Obama to Confront General McChrystal - Reuters
General Faces Unease Among His Own Troops, Too - New York Times
Afghan Leaders Voice Strong Support for McChrystal - Associated Press
Can Obama Afford a Dismissal? - Washington Post
Fire McChrystal? A New Test for Obama - USA Today
McChrystal Woven into Obama's Afghanistan Strategy - Los Angeles Times
In Afghanistan a New Breed of Commander Stepped In - New York Times
A Hard-driving, Unyielding Commander - Los Angeles Times
Spec Ops Officers Shocked by McChrystal Comments - Army Times
The President and His General - New York Times
Gen. McChrystal's Fate - Washington Post
Judging McChrystal's War - New York Times
The Other Truman Doctrine - New York Times
An Increasingly Politicized Military - Los Angeles Times
What Would Lincoln Do? - New York Times
Should the 'Runaway General' Be Fired? - New York Times multiple opinion piece with Kori Schake, Hoover Institution; Julian E. Zelizer, professor of history and public affairs; James Morin, Truman National Security Project; Robert Haddick, Small Wars Journal; and Nathaniel Fick, Center for a New American Security.
Military Blogs Ask: Should He Stay or Go? - New York Times
Gates Has a Long, Loooong Record of Firing Generals - Danger Room
General Stanley McChrystal - USNI Blog
The Seduction of Powerful Men - USNI Blog
The Replacements: 5 McChrystal Successors - The Daily Beast
Should McChrystal be Fired? Pundits Weigh In - CBS News
Kerry on McChrystal Flap: Stop the 'Feeding Frenzy' - State Politics
MacArthur Territory - Bernard Finel
Michael Yon's Criticism of McChrystal Deemed Prophetic - Michael Yon
McChrystal will Get a Red Card - Robert Haddick, Small Wars Journal
The Rolling Stone Article: Why Should I Care? - Schmedlap
Rolling Stone - Andrew Exum, Abu Muqaqwama
General McChrystal on the Rocks - Bill Roggio, Long War Journal
Too Rolling Stoned - Mudville Gazette
Stan the Man - Blackfive
The No-No Line - Blackfive
Stanley, Homework! - Kings of War
How Not to Handle the Press... - Wings Over Iraq
"Insular backgrounds, whether in special operations or conventional forces, encourage tone-deafness. Applause lines in the testosterone driven subculture of combat units are not likely to play well on CNN. Senior commanders have to move easily between these two worlds, delivering a consistent message to very different audiences."
"When I encourage young officers to go to grad school, I tell them to stay away from military people. Have lunch with the lesbian anarchists, attend the environmentalists' weekly emergency teach-ins, and try to see the world through different eyes. That skill will come in handy later on in life."
"It's a bit premature to pass judgment on General McCrystal's situation. However, it's important to distinguish between our long-term interests and goals and those currently entrusted to carry out those goals. While we have long term interests in stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan, everybody in uniform is replaceable."
-- Paul Yingling via e-mail
"Having escalated the import of injudicious offhand remarks, Obama may feel obliged to relieve the general. His replacement then would be either the respected Corps Commander in Afghanistan, LtGen David Rodriquez, or the Joint Forces Commander, General James Mattis, who is a legend among the troops. LtGen John Allen, deputy to General Petraeus, also has a fine track record. While these are qualified replacements and it does look grim for McChrystal, he should not be relieved. Our enemies would gloat about such headlines, while Afghan President Karzai, who has leapt to McChrystal's defense, would feel rebuffed. After all, Obama has chosen to ignore Karzai's erratic remarks. Although I believe the current counterinsurgency strategy is too ambitious for our budget and too restrictive for our troops in the long term, McChrystal is confident he can stop the momentum of Afghan insurgents in the short term. That is the first order of business in this war. Our field commander should be judged on what happens in the field. We only have one commander at a time; Obama chose McChrystal, so let him do his best."
-- Bing West via e-mail
"I read with concern the profile piece on Gen. Stanley McChrystal in the upcoming edition of 'Rolling Stone' magazine. I believe that Gen. McChrystal made a significant mistake and exercised poor judgment in this case. We are fighting a war against al Qaeda and its extremist allies, who directly threaten the United States, Afghanistan, and our friends and allies around the world. Going forward, we must pursue this mission with a unity of purpose. Our troops and coalition partners are making extraordinary sacrifices on behalf of our security, and our singular focus must be on supporting them and succeeding in Afghanistan without such distractions. Gen. McChrystal has apologized to me and is similarly reaching out to others named in this article to apologize to them as well. I have recalled Gen. McChrystal to Washington to discuss this in person."
Even some of McChrystal's staunchest backers in Afghanistan said the derisive comments the general and his staff made about the Obama administration to a Rolling Stone reporter leave him open to dismissal.
"I say this as someone who admired and respects Stan McChrystal enormously. The country doesn't know how much good he's done. But this is a firing offense," said Eliot A. Cohen, who served as a counselor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in the latter days of the Bush administration.
This is clearly a firing offense," said Peter Feaver, a former official in the Bush White House and strong backer of a fully resourced counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan.
But relieving McChrystal of his command on the eve of a major offensive in Kandahar, which White House and Pentagon officials have said is the most critical of the war, would be a major blow to the war effort, said military experts.
"My advice is to call him back to Washington, publicly chastise him and then make it clear that there is something greater at stake here," said Nathaniel Fick, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and is now chief executive of the Center for a New American Security.
"We'll have to wait for Wednesday to see if McChrystal keeps his command. My guess is he'll stay, because now the White House knows that a chastened McChrystal isn't going to say anything else outside of his lane to any reporter. McChrystal's apology, emailed to me and other reporters well before the Rolling Stone story dropped, suggests that he wasn't trying to walk away from his command in a blaze of arrogance. But it's on him to repair his relationship with his colleagues and his bosses."
"You know, all that said — Yesterday, Gates passed over Gen. James Mattis for Marine Corps commandant. If Obama wants to cashier McChrystal but not overhaul the entire strategy, Mattis is an option. Whether he'd do it is another thing, since he's the outgoing commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command, so taking over ISAF will technically be a step down. But Mattis will otherwise retire from the Marines, so maybe he wouldn't see it that way."
"Obviously the war's not going well, nor is it apparently where General McChrystal himself thought it would be at this stage of things," says Andrew Bacevich, a professor of international relations at Boston University and a retired Army colonel. "But what stands out is the egregious lapse in professional conduct -- not only on the part of McChrystal, but on the part of his subordinates."
"What this reveals," he adds, "is a command climate where expressions of contempt for senior civilian officials are permissible."
'While "frustrations" in such a difficult and deteriorating environment may be "understandable," Mr. Bacevich says, the comments nevertheless represent "unprofessional behavior that is completely intolerable."
"If that is so, is it time to sack McChrystal? The Afghanistan commander, who has apologized for his comments and his own "poor judgment," has been summoned to the White House to explain himself to President Obama Wednesday."
"Yet while some Afghanistan analysts quickly concluded that Mr. Obama must fire McChrystal over his "insubordination," just as President Truman did to Gen. Douglas MacArthur in 1951 over Korean war policy, Bacevich says now is not the time."
McChrystal Scandal May Complicate U.S.-Afghan Strategy - Washington Post
Defense Secretary's Statement on McChrystal - Wall Street Journal
U.S. General in Afghan War at Tisk of Losing Job - Associated Press
McChrystal's PR Man Resigns - MSNBC
The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan has been summoned to Washington, US media report, in the wake of a magazine article that mocked senior Obama administration officials and diplomats. Gen Stanley McChrystal has apologised for the article in Rolling Stone. In the article, Gen McChrystal said he felt betrayed by U.S. ambassador to Kabul Karl Eikenberry. The general's aides mock Vice-President Joe Biden and say Gen McChrystal was "disappointed" in President Obama...
More at BBC News.
Also See (Update 1):
Gen. Stanley McChrystal Summoned to Washington - Washington Post
Top Afghan Commander Summoned to Washington - Associated Press
NATO Setbacks as U.S. Summons Commander - Agence France-Presse
McChrystal on Defensive for Remarks - Wall Street Journal
ISAF: Magazine Profile Captures Unguarded Moments - Los Angeles Times
McChrystal Apologizes for Insulting Obama Team - Washington Independent
Latest McChrystal Developments - CNN News
Rolling Stone Story a Sign of Frustration? - Christian Science Monitor
Gen. McChrystal Recalled to Washington - Foreign Policy
McChrystal Issues Mea Culpa - Foreign Policy
Don't Blame McChrystal, Blame Obama - Washington Post
The McChrystal I Know - Time
A Couple of Points about McChrystal - National Review
Should He Go? - National Review
Military Dissent Should Be Private - National Review
McChrystal's Media Woes - Contentions
Re: McChrystal's Media Woes - Contentions
Firing McChrystal: Weighing the Risks - Abu Muqawama
McChrystal and the Afghan Drawdown - World Politics Review
What the Heck Was McChrystal Thinking? - The Atlantic
Rolling Stone McChrystal Article Understates Backbiting - Washington Post
McChrystal Finds Few Defenders Among Senators - Washington Post
Gen. McCrystal Must Go - Washington Post
Runaway General - ABC News
Fire Gen. Stanley McChrystal? Not Yet - New York Daily News
Obama and McChrystal Haven't Spoken - The Atlantic
'Everybody in Uniform is Replaceable' - Danger Room
Why Obama Won't Fire McChrystal - FOX News
Good-Bye McChrystal, Hello Mattis? - Foreign Policy
Advanced Petard Hoistmanship - Forward Movement
Is McChrystal Going to Fallon his Sword? - Zenpundit
What's Important About This? - Captain's Journal
Four Reasons Why Obama HAS to Fire Stan McChrystal - Democracy Arsenal
Afghan Follies: Obama versus McChrystal - Huffington Post