McChrystal Relieved of Command; Obama Names Petraeus as Replacement in Afghanistan
MSNBC’s Jim Miklaszewski is reporting that Pentagon sources confirm that President Barack Obama has relieved Gen. Stanley McChrystal from his command of forces in Afghanistan.
President Barack Obama has decided to relieve Gen. Stanley McChrystal of his command over all U.S. military forces in Afghanistan, sources tell NBC News.
Obama is scheduled to make an official 1:30 p.m. EDT announcement about the general.
MSNBC is also reporting (now confirmed by a CNN national security source) that Obama has tapped Gen. David Petraeus, current head of US Central Command, as McChrystal’s replacement.
UPDATE: President Obama will speak spoke to these changes in the next few minutes from the White House just before 2pm EDT. FDL will have video as soon as it is available. (Video above.)
“War is bigger than any one man, or woman, or general,” said the president. “I encourage debate, but I won’t tolerate division.”
In naming Petraeus, Obama said, “This is a change in personnel, but it is not a change in policy.”
Considering how things are going, I’m not sure how that is supposed to be reassuring. Yes, “continuity,” for lack of a better word, is less “upsetting” to the fighting forces, perhaps. . . but I expect another year of fighting without meaning might be more upsetting.
UPDATE 2: Poetic footnote noticed by Siun:
A reporter yells
“Mr President, can this war be won?”
but Obama turns and walks away.
UPDATE 3: Dave has more:
This sounds like the same policy with a reset of the commander. The Very Serious foreign policy establishment will probably start saying how this is Day One of the new Afghanistan war, nine years in. And with media darling Petraeus at the helm.
UPDATE 4: Petraeus now in charge of a war strategy designed to keep al Qaeda out of Afganistan. . . when, just last week, the general said he thought that al Qaeda’s numbers in Afghanistan were only in the “double digits.”
Petraeus has also given conflicting messages about his embrace of the July 2011 drawdown date.