Obama Names Petraeus to Replace McChrystal in Afghanistan

President Obama on Wednesday accepted the resignation of Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal as the top US and NATO commander in Afghanistan. He also nominated Army Gen. David Petraeus, US Central Command boss and architect of the successful counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq, to replace McChrystal. The President’s move capped off several days of a political firestorm unleashed after advanced copies of a forthcoming Rolling Stone magazine article featuring McChrystal began circulating. The article quoted McChrystal and unnamed members of his staff criticising Vice President Joe Biden, special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke, and other White House officials. Members of McChrystal’s staff also questioned the Administration’s resolve in winning the war in Afghanistan. “I don’t make this decision based on any difference in policy” with McChrystal, said Obama. Rather, McChrystal’s conduct, as represented in the article, “does not meet the standard that should be set by a commanding general.” Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a statement he expects to hold Petraeus’ confirmation hearing “no later than” June 29. (Obama statement and White House blog entry) (McChrystal statement) More reaction:

Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, statement

Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), HASC ranking member, statement