June 23rd, 2010
03:05 PM ET
13 years ago

Reaction comes in after McChrystal departure

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

"This morning the president accepted my resignation as commander of U.S. and NATO Coalition Forces in Afghanistan. I strongly support the president's strategy in Afghanistan and am deeply committed to our coalition forces, our partner nations and the Afghan people. It was out of respect for this commitment - and a desire to see the mission succeed - that I tendered my resignation. It has been my privilege and honor to lead our nation's finest."

Read reaction from lawmakers to President Obama's decision after the jump:

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton, D-Missouri, indicated Wednesday that he approves of President Barack Obama's decision to ask Gen. David Petraeus to take command of U.S. forces in Afghanistan:

"Gen. Petraeus is the best that we have," Skelton said in a written statement. "I have great confidence in his ability to bring about a successful outcome in Afghanistan. The Commander-in-Chief must have confidence in his commanders in the field. It is time to move on and return our focus to waging the war in Afghanistan."

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, D-Massachusetts:

“The Commander in Chief has made it clear no one is bigger than the mission and nothing less than a unified effort in Afghanistan will get the job done. His decision to return General Petraeus to the battlefield provides not just continuity in philosophy, but tested diplomatic skill that is at the very center of a military strategy which hinges on progress in governance to sustain military gains. The strategy and the objectives must be the only agenda. That’s what really counts. American lives are on the line and America’s security interests hang in the balance. We cannot afford another minute of distraction. We’ve already seen in Marjah that impressive military gains cannot be maintained without effective local governance and Afghan ownership. This must happen to give the mission a chance to succeed.”

Sen. Kit Bond of Missouri, the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Wednesday that Gen. David Petraeus "is an outstanding military leader, but even he can't win in Afghanistan if the president continues to insist on an arbitrary withdrawal date - a fact our enemies our counting on and our allies fear."

Filed under: Stanley McChrystal
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Irma in North Carolina

    You should of kept your mouth shut. Then you would of not got into all this trouble. Maybe a few more will learn from what you did.

    June 23, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  2. Matt

    The article doesn't slam Obama enough. I read the article and yes, it is critical of several people, but not to a detrimental point. I'm sorry that Obama got his feeling hurt, but there is much more at stake than Obama's feelings.

    June 23, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  3. Larry

    Maybe the frustration McChrystal and everyone else in the civilized world is feeling is "What the hell are we doing there in the first place?"

    June 23, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  4. sifto77

    So, Obama's choice is out and Bush's choice is back in–Obama is , at least, starting to realize that Bush was very good at hiring capable people for the jobs.

    June 23, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  5. obama victim

    so we lose a 4-star general and keep Obozo.....looks like the country is the real loser here

    June 23, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  6. Too bad

    Too bad he had to step down for telling the truth. Well thats politics for you. The most stupid thing done was to announce a withdrawal date, real good thinking there, just a brilliant battle plan.Let the people who know what they are doing do the job and the ones who are ignorant to the ways of battle, stay out.

    June 23, 2010 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  7. Frank

    Obama is a full and and idiot with no clue on how to run this war, or our country as a matter of fact! His ego and arrogance and those of his commrads will bring our country down more and more as he is allowed to remain in office!

    June 23, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  8. Frank

    Obama is a fooland and an idiot with no clue on how to run this war, or our country as a matter of fact! His ego and arrogance and those of his commrads will bring our country down more and more as he is allowed to remain in office!

    June 23, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |

    Oh Sen. Kit Bond of Missouri,

    Do you not have one decent bone in your body, do you not know the meaning of decency, did you have to go and criticize the President, he is your elected President, I would hope if your mother did not teach you anything she would have taught you some small amount of decency, for Gods sakes, after your previous presidents actions, where do you get off criticizing not only this president but just anybody, after all it was your stupidity and the likes of you that brought all these disasters to this country.

    June 23, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  10. Artie

    The wrong man exited ! Oh well the American electorate will rectify the situation in 2012 !! And it can't come soon enough!

    June 23, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  11. Mark Ferbet, KCMO

    Wow... Typical of Bond... he makes it political.

    Kitt Bond has NO idea what it will take to win this war or any war. He is a life time politician. He is also on his way out. He is politicizing a decision that had to be made due to the disrespect that General McChrystal showed towards his Civilian leaders. The Military does not stand above the Civilian Leadership in this country. It is LED by civilians.

    President Obama made a very good decision. It's too bad that the Republicans will probably only use this to try to gain political leverage instead of just supporting this decision and supporting the troops.

    June 23, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  12. Ron in California.

    I'm sorry to see a good General resign because of bad politics. Politics is why we have the Korean problem, we lost in Viet Nam and god forbid may lose in Afghanistan.. Let the Soldiers win th war...

    June 23, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |

    This whole affair was inevitable when we enter a war we do not intend
    to win. How sad.

    June 23, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  14. Rickster

    Wait, I thought that General Petraeus was a "liar" according to democrats and that his strategies were the "wrong policy" also according to democrats? Wow, do democrats ever get tired of being wrong? What a sad and incompetent administration............

    June 23, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  15. Obama = Phail

    This is a perfect example of why politicians need to stay out of the operations of a war. Until we have a President or VP that was either an Army General or a Marine Lance Corporal (inherently those two have the exact same amount of leadership skills) they should let the military run its own show. Especially with an administration that truly has no idea what they are doing in terms of a military engagement. It's true what has been said, whenever President Obama enters a room he is immediately the person with the least amount of experience when it comes to dealing with anything.

    June 23, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  16. Bill

    The President got it right!!

    June 23, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  17. Grimes

    McChrystal unfortunately had to go. Whats been lost in all this is what was said and why the divide between what the Obama administration wanted to accomplish and the General.

    As a veteran I find myself still supporting my President but liking him less than I did before.

    June 23, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  18. Gil

    My reaction is have them all resign. The Gulf War, Afghan War and the Iraq wars, all since 1992, should tell Americans something about their military and their contry. We have been out of control for too long and the military is always ready to step in take our money and ring up deficits!. Peace not Wars!

    June 23, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  19. Peter

    Sen. Kit Bond of Missouri, the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee said Gen. David Petraeus "can't win in Afghanistan if the president continues to insist on an arbitrary withdrawal date – a fact our enemies our counting on and our allies fear."

    Ah yes, Republican grammar/spelling: "...our enemies our (sic) counting on and..." With intelligence like this, who needs enemies?

    June 23, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  20. nini

    Reading the statement from John Kerry and Ike the only word came to my mind was Hypocrite.
    Your don't have to be in opposing party to see the hypocrisy, you just have to be a human with moderate level of intelligence.
    The Hypocrisy is undeniable.
    This is the same military you said were "Air raiding villages and women and children". What happened? CNN it is your job to ask this questions.
    I am so sick of this kind of politicians.

    Where are the kinds of Washington when you need them

    June 23, 2010 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  21. Givemeabreak!!!

    According to the troops, they are handcuffed as far as fighting to win goes. Take the handcuffs off and let our troops fight, else bring them home. Why are they fighting a political battle?? Let the politicians fight the political battles.

    June 23, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  22. JimB

    As a former military man myself, I find it hard to believe how a 4-star like McChrystal could be so publically insubordinate of the President's national security team, his superiors. When I first read the comments, I thought perhaps the General had 'a few too many' at the time of interview. I would have more respect for him now if he'd just admitted in his recent resignation speech that he disagrees with the policy in Afghanistan, and doesn't want to be a part of it, or the team that designed it. I find it hard to believe the General made such comments without also knowing that it would probably cost him his job.

    June 23, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  23. Troubled Independent

    Some one needs to listen to Kit Bond! But Kit Bond better be careful, obammie may ask him to "resign."

    June 23, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  24. Tom in Delaware

    Liberals think that if someone thinks differently thean them it's 'insubordination'...they're wrong, as usual....here's a little help:

    Insubordination is the act of a subordinate deliberately disobeying a lawful order from someone in charge of them. Refusing to perform an action which is unethical or illegal is not insubordination; neither is refusing to perform an action which is not within the scope of authority of the person issuing the order.

    Insubordination is typically a punishable offense in hierarchical organizations which depend on people lower in the chain of command doing as they are told.

    Insubordination is refusal by a subordinate to obey lawful orders given by a commissioned officer or non commissioned officer (NCO). Refusal of a military officer to obey his (civilian) superiors would also count, although in some nations, the head of the government is (at least technically) also the most superior officer of the military (see for example Commander in Chief). Generally, an officer or soldier is expected to be insubordinate to the point of mutiny if given an unlawful order, however. (see Nuremberg defense)

    McChrystal didn't disobey any orders....even though Obama didn't give him the troops he wanted and made him fight under 'Rules of Engagement' that wouldn't dare hurt any insurgents.

    That's crazy......crazy but it's true!

    Obama is insubordinate to his boss (the people) everyday....he's going to get fired very soon, too.

    June 23, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  25. panterazero

    "even he can't win in Afghanistan if the president continues to insist on an arbitrary withdrawal date."

    What you're really doing, Senator Bond, is implying that we can stay in Afghanistan forever, if we have adequate reason to do it. And I have news for you - we can't. We can't afford the burn rate for that war, which is simply too high; one estimate I've seen is $1 million per man per day.

    The Soviets fought in Afghanistan for 10 years, until it nearly bankrupted their treasury. The expense of that war, in national assets and human life, was the biggest single reason that the Soviet government collapsed. The British went to war in Afghanistan and got their butts handed to them, twice. The French tried the same thing and got out in a hurry.

    No foreign invader has ever won a war in Afghanistan. None ever will. The war we are fighting in Afghanistan has wandered inexcusably from its original highly specific objective; it is breaking our military, it is breaking our country, and we should get out of it before we break just the way the Soviets did.

    June 23, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
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