[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/22/art.gates.0617t.gi.jpg caption ="Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in a statement Tuesday that Gen. Stanley McChrystal ‘made a significant mistake’ and ‘exercised poor judgment.’"](CNN) - Defense Secretary Robert Gates issued a statement Tuesday noting that Gen. Stanley McChrystal "has apologized to me and is similarly reaching out to others named in (the Rolling Stone) article to apologize to them as well. I have recalled Gen. McChrystal to Washington to discuss this in person."
Gates said he read "with concern" the Rolling Stone story, and he believes McChrystal "made a significant mistake and exercised poor judgment in this case."
"We are fighting a war against al Qaeda and its extremist allies, who directly threaten the United States, Afghanistan, and our friends and allies around the world," Gates said. "Going forward, we must pursue this mission with a unity of purpose. Our troops and coalition partners are making extraordinary sacrifices on behalf of our security, and our singular focus must be on supporting them and succeeding in Afghanistan without such distractions."