By FITSNews || U.S. President Barack Obama relieved insubordinate Gen. Stanley McChrystal of his command over NATO forces in Afghanistan on Wednesday – a move that threatens to destabilize the American war effort just as the “Afghan surge” reaches its apex.
“I welcome debate,” Obama said. “but I won’t tolerate division.”
McChrystal was fired after the White House received an advance copy of an article written for Rolling Stone in which the general and members of his staff openly mocked key civilian leaders in the Obama administration including vice president Joe Biden, special Afghan/Pakistani envoy Richard C. Holbrooke, national security advisor Jim Jones and U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry.
McChrystal apologized for his comments, but it wasn’t enough to save his job.
Obama replaced McChrystal with a familiar face – General David Petraeus – saying that he was making “a change in personnel … not a change in policy.”
Many think Obama should change both.
Last September, a military assessment prepared by McChrystal argued that a massive influx of new troops was needed in order to turn the tide of the conflict in America’s favor. After the assessment was leaked to the press, Obama ordered another 30,000 troops to the region – against the advice of Biden and other members of his administration. Unfortunately, the troop surge hasn’t worked – at least not yet. The Taliban – which was the target of the initial American invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 – is still mounting an effective resistance and U.S. casualties are on the rise.
McChrystal was only on the job for a year. His successor, Gen. David McKiernan, was fired last June by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates after just eight months on the job.
Over 1,000 American soldiers have been killed (and another 6,000 wounded) in Afghanistan since October 7, 2001, when Operation Enduring Freedom was launched in response to the September 11 terrorist attacks on America.