Afghanistan commander General McChrystal's most damning statements in Rolling Stone focused on his opinion on the lack of progress in the war in Afghanistan.
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Obama Stays Focused on Military Strategy, Not McChrystal Headlines

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In June 2010, Rolling Stone magazine interviewed Afghanistan commander General Stanley McChrystal openly mocking the Obama administration, and reported on his cavorting in Paris bars and acting less like United States General than military decorum would require.

McChrystal's most damning statements in Rolling Stone focused on his opinion on the lack of progress in the war in Afghanistan. "If Americans pulled back and started paying attention to this war, it would become even less popular," a senior adviser to McChrystal reportedly said.

President Obama responded swiftly and decisively, calling McChrystal's words and actions "poor judgment," then shifting to matters of higher military importance: "Whatever decision that I make...(on) any other aspect of Afghan policy is determined entirely on how I can make sure that we have a strategy that justifies the enormous courage and sacrifice that those men and women are making over there and that ultimately makes this country safer."

"Our troops and coalition partners are making extraordinary sacrifices on behalf of our security," Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced, "and our singular focus must be on supporting them." The same message came from press secretary Gibbs, who insisted that the focus remain on" the men and women that are there doing the hard work under some of the toughest conditions in the world."

Rather than have Gates or Central Command chief David Petraeus conduct disciplinary action, Obama recalled McChrystal for a face-to-face meeting, keeping the issue of U.S. progress in Afghanistan in the forefront. Both Afghan President Hamid Karzai and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen supported McChrystal. However, shortly thereafter, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, resigned as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan and General David Petraeus, head of the U.S. Central Command which oversees the operation in Afghanistan, was nominated to take over the position.

U.S. focus remains on a war that is making considerably less progress than the White House had hoped. As of June 2010, the planned U.S.-led operation to secure Kandahar, the Taliban's spiritual capital, had been postponed partly due to lack of support among local Afghans for a military escalation there. That delay raised questions about Obama's vow to begin the drawdown of U.S. troops from Afghanistan by summer 2011.



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