General Stanley McChrystal was the commander of the United States military in Afghanistan. The key word in that sentence is “was.” President Obama as of Wednesday has dismissed McChrystal, who disrespected President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden as well as other United States officials in the upcoming issue of Rolling Stone magazine.
While officially McChrystal resigned from his post, it is safe to assume he would have been fired had he not stepped down. Of the decision, President Obama said that “it is the right thing for our mission in Afghanistan, for our military, and for our country.”
Obama continued, “I believe that it is the right decision for our national security. The conduct represented in the recently published article does not meet the standard that should be set by a commanding general.”
Obama went on to say he wasn’t happy with the move he had to make, but that “war is bigger than any one man or woman,” so it was a choice that had to be made. Obama talked about his respect for McChrystal and his work.
Obama cited unity across the board as essential for the success of the goals of the United States in Afghanistan and that McChrystal was not fulfilling that ideal.
McChrystal was modest in his resignation. He admitted his mistakes and extended his support to Obama and the officials in charge of the war.
In order to quickly recover the lost of a commander and to restore order, Obama nominated General David Petraeus to take over McChrystal’s role. Obama urged the immediate approval of Petraeus so he can take command of the military forces and reestablish unity and order.
While President Obama’s decision was not an easy one personally, politically and intellectually, the President had no other choice but to drop McChrystal. McChrystal had clearly strayed from the standards that even he set out for himself and was no longer motivated to do the job he was assigned to do in early 2009.