June 22nd, 2010
09:59 AM ET

Excerpts from Rolling Stone article on Gen. McChrystal

Excerpts from a Rolling Stone magazine profile on Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, set to appear Friday:

– "Even though he had voted for (President Barack) Obama, McChrystal and his new commander-in-chief failed from the outset to connect. The general first encountered Obama a week after he took office, when the president met with a dozen senior military officials in a room at the Pentagon known as the Tank. According to sources familiar with the meeting, McChrystal thought Obama looked "uncomfortable and intimidated" by the roomful of military brass. Their first one-on-one meeting took place in the Oval Office four months later, after McChrystal got the Afghanistan job, and it didn't go much better. 'It was a 10-minute photo-op,' says an adviser to McChrystal. 'Obama clearly didn't know anything about him, who he was. Here's the guy who's going to run his f-ing war, but he didn't seem very engaged. The Boss was pretty disappointed.'"

Read full Rolling Stone article

– "Last fall, during a question-and-answer session following a speech he gave in London, McChrystal dismissed the counterterrorism strategy being advocated by Vice President Joe Biden as 'shortsighted,' saying it would lead to a state of 'Chaos-istan,' The remarks earned him a smackdown from the president himself, who summoned the general to a terse private meeting aboard Air Force One. The message to McChrystal seemed clear: Shut the f- up, and keep a lower profile. Now, flipping through printout cards of his speech in Paris, McChrystal wonders aloud what Biden question he might get today, and how he should respond. 'I never know what's going to pop out until I'm up there, that's the problem,' he says.

Then, unable to help themselves, he and his staff imagine the general dismissing the vice president with a good one-liner. 'Are you asking about Vice President Biden?' McChrystal says with a laugh. 'Who's that?' 'Biden?' suggests a top adviser. 'Did you say "Bite Me?"'

– "In private, Team McChrystal likes to talk s- about many of Obama's top people on the diplomatic side. One aide calls Jim Jones, a retired four-star general and veteran of the Cold War, a 'clown' who remains 'stuck in 1985.' Politicians like (John) McCain and (John) Kerry, says another aide, 'turn up, have a meeting with (Afghan president Hamid) Karzai, criticize him at the airport press conference, then get back for the Sunday talk shows. Frankly, it's not very helpful.' Only (Secretary of State) Hillary Clinton receives good reviews from McChrystal's inner circle. 'Hillary had Stan's back during the strategic review,' says an adviser. 'She said, "If Stan wants it, give him what he needs.'"

– "McChrystal reserves special skepticism for (Richard) Holbrooke, the official in charge of reintegrating the Taliban. 'The Boss says he's like a wounded animal,' says a member of the general's team. 'Holbrooke keeps hearing rumors that he's going to get fired, so that makes him dangerous. He's a brilliant guy, but he just comes in, pulls on a lever, whatever he can grasp onto. But this is COIN (counterinsurgency), and you can't just have someone yanking on s-.'"

– "By far the most crucial - and strained - relationship is between McChrystal and (Karl) Eikenberry, the U.S. ambassador. According to those close to the two men, Eikenberry - a retired three-star general who served in Afghanistan in 2002 and 2005 - can't stand that his former subordinate is now calling the shots. He's also furious that McChrystal, backed by NATO's allies, refused to put Eikenberry in the pivotal role of viceroy in Afghanistan, which would have made him the diplomatic equivalent of the general.

"... The relationship was further strained in January, when a classified cable that Eikenberry wrote was leaked to The New York Times. The cable was as scathing as it was prescient. The ambassador offered a brutal critique of McChrystal's strategy, dismissed President Hamid Karzai as 'not an adequate strategic partner,' and cast doubt on whether the counterinsurgency plan would be 'sufficient' to deal with al Qaeda. ... McChrystal and his team were blindsided by the cable. 'I like Karl, I've known him for years, but they'd never said anything like that to us before,' says McChrystal, who adds that he felt 'betrayed' by the leak. 'Here's one that covers his flank for the history books. Now if we fail, they can say, 'I told you so.'"

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soundoff (509 Responses)
  1. MilitaryMenAreWorstRulers

    There will be no difference b/w third world and America if military men or military "minded" men will rule America. Go do some research and will know the truth. Military should be subordinate and obedient of civil administration. Otherwise America will be in a bigger chaos very soon.

    June 22, 2010 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • All-I-Need-To-Know

      And yet only 9 US Presidents did not serve in or with the military. ~ 20%. Guess we've been screwed up 80% of our history? Whatever. Read a book.

      June 23, 2010 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Karen

    The office of the Presidency deserves respect and it's clear that there is some frustration relative to Afghanistan efforts. While there are some that would say 'stay on message' – - it takes courage to say there's a problem with the message. Yes – it was wrong that this media storm exists, but you also have to take into account what would drive these men to be so open .... Perhaps this is another "teachable moment" where everyone can sit down with a cold beer at the white house and talk calmly about all perspectives, take something positive from this and move forward.

    June 22, 2010 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Insan Mukmin

    Soldiers are dying in Afghanistan and the president and Vice-President are out playing golf. Come on. War is serious business. Either you are 100% committed or don't do it.

    June 22, 2010 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. CJC

    General McC can speak his mind behind closed doors or by phone with the Prez something he has based on his position. What the Gen did was unprofessional especially at his rank and his position. For him and his staff to be disrepectful in such a public manner undermines everyone involved and the men and women who are sacrifices their lives. That is why the military has the UCMJ and the Code of Conduct. At least the Prez will have his meeting with him behind closed doors. What happened has nothing to do with who is Prez at the time, it just should never be done. Civilians are in the chain of commeandso we will have NEVER experience the military taking over our government. Whether you are a Republican, Democrat, or Independent. It is the relationship of our military and whatever administration that is in office that have kept our country free and that military personnel have given their life to make sure we can keep our country and our government free. And all of you ranting and raving is one of the benefits. If the Gen and his staff want to rant and rave they need to make sure the media isn't taking notes unless they have their discharge or retirement papers in hand and they have taken off the uniform for good. I think the media calls them "analyst."

    June 22, 2010 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. mammy0929

    no one appears to know what they'saying-better be accountable to the president though

    June 22, 2010 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Sugar

    I admired Gen.McChrystal honestly, he spoke the truth about the the war and the current adminstration leadership. Why was Obama happily golfing (LEISURE AND ENJOYMENT) while the country is in its worst time.

    June 22, 2010 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • joem

      Hey sugar.... I served 6 years under the command of General Jones. I voted for John McCain. Having established my credentials, there is no one in this present command that has earned the right to call General Jones a clown or any other name besides "an American Patriot" who has and continues to serve his country. Any public (and if you speak to a reporter you're going public) comments made by military persons about the general should have the identification of the person, or persons, making such comments, unless they are cowards. I bet that there are still a few of us around that served under General Jones that would like to have a "private" conversation with these "frat boys".

      June 23, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  7. EL

    HAHAHAHA!! This "war" was doomed from the start! You people who hate Obama are delusional. Obama being elected was a setup. It's like being the captain of a sinking ship. It's impossible for him to be successful at anything with the hand he's been dealt. Mark my words, he will be remembered as the president who brought down the U.S. Not because he's incompetent. Not by a longshot. It will be,....that's right,.....you guessed it, ..............because he's black! Most of you people are upset because Obama disproved a lie so many of you spread to your offspring. You know, that whole "No black man will ever be president! Not in my U.S.A.!!" thing. He made you look like liars to your children and I love it!! HAHAHAHAHA!!!

    June 22, 2010 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      El, you are a retard. Why your mother conceived is a mystery!

      June 23, 2010 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
  8. EL

    And another thing. Why is it okay for white males/presidents to be smug but and educated black male/president is labeled an egomaniac?!?!

    June 22, 2010 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Guest

    In some circles, this would be grounds for a firing squad. Publicly dissing the Commander in Chief and his staff in the midst of a [so called] war? Consider the many soldiers lives that are at stake here. Look at all the risks involved. And what kind of General is stupid enough to give a a f**g interview to Rolling Stone magazine and say the things he did. He's obviously crazy and should be fired immediately. If I were the Pres, I'd kick his @$$ all over the Oval Office and then throw him out on his head into the Rose Garden. What a disgrace to the uniform.

    June 23, 2010 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
  10. SynicalOne

    Replace him or send the troops home.

    June 23, 2010 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
  11. helen4

    First things first, we are at war, Alqueda threatens our country, let the General do his job. Why is the president reading a music magazine that uses foul language designed to ENTERTAIN opposed to running the country? It is the Rolling Stone Magazine with only 1.4 mil readers. Afgananstan has 29 million people suffering. It would show good judgement to do nothing send the General back to work.

    June 23, 2010 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
    • SynicalOne

      Do you honestly think he will change who he is, to get the job done? Because apparently thats what his troops, president and many others want.

      June 23, 2010 at 1:19 am | Report abuse |
  12. lynn52`

    For MILITARY WIFE & DAUGHTER......before you write anything you should be aware of the facts. Abraham Lincoln may not have been in the military, but he certainly LISTENED to his generals. And as for FDR, he was in his cousin "TEDDIE'S" cabinet for 4 years, working with the NAVY. They both knew the thing to do., LISTEN TO THE MEN WHO ARE IN THE FIELD AND DON'T WAIT FOR MONTHS, BUT GIVE THEM WHAT THEY ASK FOR. THE MILITARY IS NOT RUNNING THE COUNTRY AS IT IS IN SOME OF THE COUNTRIES, THE PRESIDENT CALLS 'FRIENDS'.....The President is making friendly with "bad guys" and kicking everyone else in the teeth. It is time he learned how to do more than ONE THING AT A TIME.

    June 23, 2010 at 1:38 am | Report abuse |
    • hombresincamisa

      Listen to the generals. Far too much of that going on: War for over a half century, more than any other nation; more money given and spent on the military (actual dollars and % of GNP than all other nations by far.) I Think it is time the generals listen to the civilians. They have not been doing the job and have in fact failed( by almost any yard stick) for the most part in the last 60 years

      June 23, 2010 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
    • All-I-Need-To-Know

      President Abraham Lincoln served in the Illinois militia during the Blackhawk War (1832? I think), was elected company commander (Captain), and then later was one of Jacob Early's spies.

      June 23, 2010 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jann in Canada

    Jann in Canada

    This POS is totally redneck, or maybe going senile. Totally without class. What a way to talk about the President. Airing his dirty laundry in public what a shameful putz. Hopefully he really did resign.

    June 23, 2010 at 2:02 am | Report abuse |
  14. Steve

    McCrystal reminds me of Colonel Kurtz from Apocolypse Now. Started out really good but then went off the deep end. I guess Obama has to pull a Martin Sheen and put him down LOL.

    June 23, 2010 at 2:27 am | Report abuse |
  15. Tony Slurf

    So – this merely proves that if you are career-minded, you have to forget about the truth and do as the boss says; even if it goes against your judgement, experience and knowledge. In this case, we're talking about a decorated US General with decades of experience in the military, somebody who started off as a private and made a career for himself by working and studying hard and making good decisions. He has voluntarily accepted a job which brought him in contact with the cream-of-the-crop of Washington, and he doesn't like what he sees. All his critique is focused on the people calling the shots, and not the people executing the jobs on the ground. Nobody has asked WHY he has voiced himself so negatively towards Washington. The politicians are making decisions which aren't going to win the wars nor achieve any stability on the ground – the two things that are most important in Iraq and Afghanistan. Every day that bad decisions are put in place, America loses soldiers and invests in an unwinnable struggle. If I were General McCrystal, it very possible that I'd have said the same things.

    June 23, 2010 at 3:42 am | Report abuse |
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