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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  1. Meghan

    Thank God for Gen McChrystal..... none of you have thought of the fact that he may be having 'health or mental' issues.
    This General & others serving on foreign lands have no personal life whatsoever... THEY LOVE AMERICA and give their all. I haven't even heard a 'hint' that perhaps Obama has not treated him with respect.... so, perhaps he has no respect for this President who refuses to SECURE OUR BORDERS.... instead of ordering inspections immediatly of all Oil rigs in the gulf HE SHUT THEM ALL DOWN WITHOUT CAUSE.... A President that has lost the respect of over 54% of all Americans who do not think he is doing a good job.

    Yeah, I voted for this dumb bunny too!!! Sad to say so.

    June 22, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. kane

    Put USMC General Mattis in charge of Afghanistan. That will send things in the right direction. General Mattis will not allow weak and ridiculously restrictive rules of engagement that put our troops in situations where they can not defend themselves. He has a proven track record of being able to get the job done in Iraq, and he can make it happen in Afghanistan. The American people need to just back him up and not get overly sensitive about the fact that we WILL have some civilian casualties.

    June 22, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jason

    Having been in the military, the bottom line is that regardless of McChrystal's rank, the president and his staff are his superiors. He has shown continual blatant disregard for his superiors. If he was a Lance Corporal he would be punished. Yet, this is a world-wide sign of dis-respect to the highest level! His ego has gotten the best of him. He deserves some type of reprimand. If I was in charge, he would be demoted and re-assigned.

    June 22, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. TomT

    Pres Obama CIC, is that Commander in Chief or Community (Organizer) in Chief?

    June 22, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tigertalk

    Yet another WOW for the day .. I am speechless

    June 22, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. PakiView

    I agree that he should not have spoken out in public, but maybe he WAS frustrated real bad!

    As far as BoO is concerned, I and others in Pakistan also think that he is following the GWB policies and doesnt have the guts to move on his own initiative.

    June 22, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Meghan

    As a life-long Democrat and a Retired Military wife. I have found it impossible to give any respect to this President Obama. On Memorial Day, I sat watching the Arlington Wreath Ceremony and I thought to myself "Obama had 51 other weekends he could have gone to Chicago for a barbque with his friends... But no, as our Commander In Chief he chooses Memorial Weekend to be absent from what I feel is the most fitting tribute to all our men and women in Uniform.
    I thought "If I was in the Military now I would be livid and certainly have no respect for Obama". He should also learn to salute appropriately. Perhaps IF the General really did say these things then ones should wonder WHY - be so quick to punish him. After all when in history has anyone of rank shown disrespect to a sitting President. Who, when! Yeah, I can't remember either. Remember that respect goes both ways! Maybe this General was just pushed over the top - maybe he does have medical problems. But sure as heck he was summonds to the White House so he could be ripped apart and they even gave the press and all of us a day to do so. Even stupid Gibbs got his shots in today.

    June 22, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • dc

      Hello Meghan,

      Maybe you can tell me when there has been a Congressman call the President a liar in the Halls of Congress while the President was giving a State of the Union Address.

      You are right, no other President has been disrespected as have President Obama by our leaders while they were working in two of the highest positions in our Government. We should support the President and hope that he succeeds.

      June 23, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • joem

      'Respect" in the military is based on rank. The last time I noticed Obama and Biden outrank the general. I know you are likely upset that Obama did not show up at the ceremony, but that should not be a reason to defend the general. The fact is that the general allowed serious "comments" that go against the basic rules in place for soldiers. And to the Rolling Stone magazine????? What were they thinking????? I also believe that the general and his staff's comments do undermine the mission/war and the next thing we will see is the enemy using those same comments as their own propaganda.

      June 23, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  8. henman49

    Thiis what happens when the American people elect presidents who never served on active duty. It should be a requirement to run for president. I guess next they elect clowns like Palin, Pawlenty or some other Right-wing or left-wing clown. And please don't bring the birth certificate issue again!!

    June 22, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. CATom

    The general should know better. You never openly question people with special needs / disablities. Once the general made remarks about "special" joe biden obama had enough.

    June 22, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  10. henman49

    As a retired NCO, I remember from the past administration how many Generals were forced to retire. A lot of them are left over yes men from the Bush presidency.

    June 22, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Meghan

    Was the General "set up"?????????
    Who approved/assigned Rolling Stone for this assignment????
    Why was this Reporter given something like a month to 'imbed'?????


    June 22, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Meghan

    Reply to MR. AMERICA.... Duh!!! Obama was President of the Harvard Law Review.... A college newspaper...
    He was not President of Harvard Law.


    June 22, 2010 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • about time

      about time someone pointed that out...I was wondering if anyone else caught that example of ignorance

      June 23, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. James

    This guy deserves another medal on that chest for at least calling what is what is.

    June 22, 2010 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Paranel

    It is baffling that a General of US Army in times of war would act so arrogant, divided, superior and downright stupid. He has to go. No question about it.

    June 22, 2010 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dr. A

    Shades of Vietnam. The president picks a general to run the war and then attempts to micromanage.

    The president is the Commander-In-Chief. He is suppose to provide leadership. Obama has never been in the military and doesn't understand military leadership. He hasn't spent any real time with the command.

    O'Biden is senile. I agree with the staff.

    Now, we have MacArthur all over again. MacArthur warned that the Chinese were coming. The White House ignored them. Korea is still an armistice – no peace.

    We announced the Kandahar campaign and the Taliban organized resistance and a defense. Now we are leaving in a year. Why waste our troops on a campaign that will take that long to secure.

    The Pakistanis are playing both sides of the fence and allowing the supply line to continue.

    If you talk to the returning Marines, they report well trained mortar teams and coordination. We allow these weapons to enter from Iran.

    If you fight a war – fight to win. That was the Vietnam lesson. These elite Chicago thugs think they know better. They are committing the same errors.

    My family and friends didn't shed blood and die to defend a socialist state. This government must go. Vote them out in November and 2012.

    My wife and I are disgusted that what started as a historical moment in American History has been turned into the most corrupt government since Grant!

    June 22, 2010 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
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