June 23rd, 2010
01:27 PM ET
8 years ago

McChrystal relieved of command, Petraeus to replace him


President Obama announced Wednesday that he has asked Gen. David Petraeus to replace Gen. Stanley McChrystal as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. (Photo Credit: Getty Images/File)

Washington (CNN) - President Obama announced Wednesday that he has asked Gen. David Petraeus to replace Gen. Stanley McChrystal as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan.

Obama said McChrystal's conduct "does not meet the standard that should be set by a commanding general" and undermines both civilian authority and trust.

He said his decision to change commanders in Afghanistan is "a change in personnel, but ... not a change in policy."

Obama said he could not maintain a "unity of effort" in the Afghan war without a change of command. Obama said he won't "tolerate division" among his military commanders. "Our nation is at war," he said at the White House. "We face a very tough fight in Afghanistan."

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Filed under: Afghanistan • David Petraeus • Stanley McChrystal
soundoff (105 Responses)
  1. dimples

    Perhaps the military have no rights to speak their minds, however, I don't agree w/that they are giving their lives for our freedom, and if we have a president that doesn't care about our nation and its' citizens, I take my hat off to Gen. McChrystal, he has dignity, integrity, respect and faithfulness to his nation and the men that are fighting for us, not sitting in DC screwing us. like the O bama and his administration and the congress, as far as I am concerned he did what had to be done, let the citizens of this nation where we stand w/this administration, and it certainly not a pretty picture. This man has sacrificed his career and his future for us and our nation, May God Bless him and his family, we should all stand by him!!!!!!

    June 23, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  2. Fed Up

    No surprise there. Obama doesn't want anyone disagreeing with him. McChrystal has more leadership in his pinkie than Obama has in his whole body. That has been proven every day since he took office. McChrystal should run for President against Obama in 12 (if Obama has the guts to run again).

    June 23, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  3. Your Fired!

    If you talk about your boss, you should get fired.

    June 23, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  4. anthony

    As he should be.
    First of all, before you guys bring Obama into this (which you always find a way to), understand this has nothing to do with him.
    I served in the military, i understand the oath i took. This is a purely military matter, where you have sworn not to criticize your superiors (at least not publicly, and definitely not during war-time).
    This is the right decision. No if and or buts about. Its military law.

    McChrystal seemed to forget this.
    And military law isnt the most forgiving.

    June 23, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  5. Peace

    Watching Helen Thomas and now Gen. McChrystal the way they have ended their long careers, a lesson must be learnt that its good to exercise the freedom of speech, but at the same keep in mind the consequences!

    June 23, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  6. finally

    The obstructionist Republicans will be in here spouting all kinds of idiot comments 3.....2....1.......

    June 23, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  7. Ferret out the BS

    General McChrystal should have acted more like a general than a private that does nothing but complain. We don't always get all the tools we want to do our jobs but the difference between a successful leader and a poor one is they make do and they do the best with what is available. His command seems to have become arrogant and self serving. It is not his position to make policy but to carry it out to the best of his ability, that's why he gets the big bucks.

    June 23, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  8. Steve (the real one)

    Sorry lefties. No Courts-martial. Cooler, well informed heads prevailed! This is the proper outcome. The general will be allowed to retire! That is how it should be! Righties, it doesn't matter if he spoke what everyone was feeling or if what most consider to be "the truth"! He broke military protocol! Per the US Constitution, the military operates under civilian control and cannot be treated like private industry! The President did what HAD to be done! Time now to move on! The troops in Afghanistan is in good hands!

    June 23, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  9. Carlton

    It had to happen. He violated military rules. If one of Gen. McChrystal's subordinates did something like this, they would have probably gotten worse. Good job Mr. President!!!

    June 23, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  10. Allen

    Give 'em hell Barry

    June 23, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  11. thor

    So the General that democrats hated because of Iraq has been chosen to lead our troops in Afghanistan.When the policy fails he will become the fall guy for Obama.This is the same policy that failed us in the Nam where politicians think they can manage a war better than our military leaders.Get our troops out of Afghanistan now , we have lost enough for a corrupt Karzai and US president that knows nothing about leadership.

    June 23, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  12. GI Joe

    I think that 5th star needs to be brought back and given to Petraeus - he deserves it.

    June 23, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  13. Marcus

    That's the problem with the chain of command in the military.
    You can, with all due respect, criticize your superior.
    You can't mock him.
    Or there will be consequences...

    June 23, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  14. Senator

    now you can run for office with the Tea party

    June 23, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  15. Marcus

    'american patriot – June 23rd, 2010 7:59 am ET
    A General speaks out and calls the President a Coward and other Poloticians CLOWNS. Well the man is right.'

    Even if he is, EVEN IF HE IS, he's not entitled/allowed to say it out loud and in public. Or you don't know that there's something called 'chain of command'?

    June 23, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  16. In the West

    Obama did the correct thing. Strong and presidential, sir!

    Conservatives can't stand the fact that the nation's first black president (and a liberal to boot) is turning out to be not only very successful, but tough. He'll be here thru 2016, so get used to it you whiners.

    June 23, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  17. dAvid, CA

    Obama demonstrates his courage and decisiveness as Commander-In-Chief in this instance.
    I'm sure the General will get plenty of offers to join in on the 24-hour Obama bashing over on the GOP propaganda channel, FOX NEWS.

    June 23, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  18. Tina in PA

    Now are the republicans going to defend Mc chrystal's actions too?

    June 23, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  19. Darth Vadik, CA

    I guess "bite me" was not as cool as you though, was it McChrystal?
    What a moron...
    Good riddance and bite you too...

    June 23, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  20. Naqib

    So... now the CENTCOM Commander is in charge?
    Is this a demotion for Petraeus? Who is McCrystals boss....

    Glad you thought this out... Fire a guy and tell his boss (who has North Africa, Iraq, Iran, etc, etc, etc... that now this bag is on you?

    They obviously didn't have a replacement ready... which tells me McChrystal walked... and they call it fired... guess he was tired of the circus...

    June 23, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  21. Peter E

    Remember how outraged people got when EX-generals started questioning Bush during his presidency? We argued that it undermines our unity and endangers our campaigns, makes us look weak. Or imagine if it was one the this general's subordinate who went to the public joking about him in this tone of voice. This is not just insubordination, it's dangerous! This kind of insubordination wasn't tolerated under previous presidents, we shouldn't start tolerating it now.

    June 23, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  22. DaveinDenver

    While it's true that McChrystal had to be replaced, he only stated what we most of us already know, that Obama is not up to the task of handling the job.

    June 23, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  23. puzzled

    Good, he should have gotten fired.

    June 23, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  24. Marcus

    And cue to the 'Liberals hate the Military!' or 'Liberals are cowards, Gopers are not!' or 'He spoke the truth!' or 'Liberals are/will ruin our reputation with our allies!' and etc... (a LOT of etc...) that we hear from the far righters every time that there's a blog with the issues 'Government and Army/Military/War' around.
    No side has the absolute ownership rights over 'Valor/Honor/Courage' or 'Lies/Shame/Cowartice'.
    Yeah, there were bad/lame liberals in the military in the past and there must a few of them in command positions as fow NOW.
    But do you guys honesty thinks that among conservatives the things are not the same?
    The 'purity' issue again?

    June 23, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  25. Mesa Mick

    Thank you Mr. President.

    It took courage to relieve McCrystal of his command but he was losing the campaign in Afganistan with his attitude and total disregard for the safety and mission of those under his command.

    After all Mr. President, you have to have the loyalty of your charges in the military ortheir troops and our country is not safe...

    June 23, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
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