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

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid