News / USA

Top US Commander in Afghanistan Resigns

U.S. President Barack Obama accepted the resignation Wednesday of his top commander in Afghanistan, Army General Stanley McChrystal, and named General David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. Central Command to replace him.

After more than a day of suspense in Washington, President Obama announced that he accepted McChrystal's resignation.

"I did so with considerable regret, but also with certainty that it is the right thing for our mission in Afghanistan, for our military and for our country," he said.

Mr. Obama had ordered the commander to return to Washington from Afghanistan to explain a series of comments in Rolling Stone magazine by McChrystal and members of his staff.  They were quoted as mocking Vice President Joe Biden, National Security Adviser James Jones and U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry, among others.  Neither McChrystal nor his aides questioned the quotes or the accuracy of the story.

Senior news analyst Gary Thomas discusses Gen. McChrystal resignation:

The president said dismissing the commander was the right decision.

"The conduct represented in the recently-published article does not meet the standard that should be set by a commanding general.  It undermines the civilian control of the military that is at the core of our democratic system.  And it erodes the trust that is necessary for our team to work together to achieve our objectives in Afghanistan," said the president.



The president said he is nominating Army General David Petraeus, to replace McChrystal as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan.  

Mr. Obama reassured Americans and allies that bringing in General Petraeus represents a change in personnel, not a change in policy.

"He both supported and helped design the strategy that we have in place," he said.  "In his current post at Central Command, he has worked closely with our forces in Afghanistan, he has worked closely with Congress, he has worked closely with the Afghan and Pakistan governments, and with all our partners in the region," he added.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai and other top Afghan officials had expressed confidence in McChrystal and hoped that he would not be removed.

The controversy comes as coalition forces have spent months struggling to control the town of Marja and preparing for an assault on Kandahar province.

It also emphasizes a series of disagreements within the Obama administration about how to proceed in Afghanistan.

The president says it is time for the squabbling to end.

"I have just told my national security team that now is the time for all of us to come together.  Doing so is not an option, but an obligation.  I welcome debate among my team.  But I will not tolerate division," said Mr. Obama.

The Petraeus nomination will require Senate confirmation.  Mr. Obama appealed to lawmakers to quickly approve General Petraeus, whose leadership he says, will help maintain the momentum and leadership the United States needs to succeed.

The chairman of the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, Ike Skelton, quickly praised Petraeus as "the best that we have."

This is not the first time that McChrystal's comments have landed him in trouble.  President Obama criticized the general last year for campaigning publicly for an increased number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid