President Obama just announced that he "accepted the resignation" of General Stanley McChrystal as commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.
He did so "with regret," saying it was the right thing to do for our mission in Afghanistan, our military, and our country.
The President then nominated General David Petraeus to take command in Afghanistan.
Obama said his decision to fire McChrystal accept McChrystal's resignation was not based on a difference in policy or out of any feeling of personal insult. He expressed his great admiration for McChrystal and his military service record over the past nine years, calling him one of "our nation's finest soldiers."
So why let the guy go?
McChrystal's scathing remarks in Rolling Stone did him in. Here are some of the disparaging things he said about his superiors, according to the Washington Post:
An anonymous McChrystal aide is quoted as calling national security adviser James L. Jones a "clown," who remains "stuck in 1985."
Referring to Richard C. Holbrooke, Obama's senior envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, one aide is quoted as saying: "The Boss says he's like a wounded animal. Holbrooke keeps hearing rumors that he's going to get fired, so that makes him dangerous."
On one occasion, McChrystal appears to react with exasperation when he receives an email from Holbrooke. "Oh, not another email from Holbrooke," McChrystal says, according to the article. "I don't even want to read it."
U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl W. Eikenberry, a retired three-star general, isn't spared. Referring to a leaked cable from Eikenberry that expressed concerns about the trustworthiness of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, McChrystal is quoted as having said: "Here's one that covers his flank for the history books. Now if we fail, they can say, 'I told you so.'"
Obama said that McChrystal's conduct does not meet the standard that should be set by a commanding general and that he eroded the trust necessary for a team to work together.
Essentially, McChystral pissed off the boss and poisoned the well. His subordinates can't respect him and his superiors can't trust him. That's not someone who should be involved in our nation's security.
I have no doubt the General will land on his feet -- maybe he'll even get a book deal.
But you can be sure of one thing: General Petraeus won't be granting an interview to Rolling Stone magazine anytime soon.
Image via isafmedia/Flickr