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

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    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.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora