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. Paranel

    Please do not forget that Afghanistan war as well as Iraq war were Bush's "Legacy" and "gift" to us and not Obama. Do not blame the man for inheriting this mess. That's what republicans always do in and to this country , they create a mess and then hide in the corner and let someone else clean up after them .

    June 22, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Get off his back

    Gen. McChrystal is the one in Afghanistan watching the war unfold alongside the thousands of soldiers / brothers in arms and i can understand where he might get aggrevated when someone , who spends his time going to bulls games releases more quotes one where he thinks Lebron will go rather than the BP issue, tries to tell him whats best. Not to mention someone has no military or law making experience. I can see how that would get aggrevating and for the "Navy Officer" there not going to demote a General to a LT. thats not how demoting an officer works in the Army!

    June 22, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. TrueAmerican

    I dont believe we have a president right now more like a dictator so I guess it is a bad idea for anyone to disagree a dictator. Obama cannot be critized, ever! Because he does no wrong and its all Bush's and the Republicans fault anyways! So drink your Kool-aid, pick up your pitch forks and put your blinders on, just continue in the direction you are in, you're just about halfway to the end of the road anyways. If you think Bush's mistakes were/are bad just wait till we pay for the Obama plans he will continue to force down the AMERICAN peoples throats...pst!!! (OBAMACARE! for those of you that need a kick start into reality). I dont know whats more damaging in this case, a Gen. who was critical of the so called PRESIDENT or having your Pres. apologize for America to other countries. Shouldnt he be gulfing instead of golfing?

    June 22, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. mark

    I'm sure the President isn't looking forward to this meeting. And what were McChrystal staffers thinking chatting up the bosses comments to, of all publications, Rolling Stone! Look these people have to strategize and such with regards to people and situations they encounter and shooting the breeze behind closed doors is expected but babbing about it to a magazine known to senstionalize a bit and is not overly friendly on military matters is ridiculous. This is a breakdown of order amongst senior officers that shows disrespect to the President and gives comfort to the enemy. It's pretty much common knowledge that over 80% of officers in the military are conservative Republicans (and 80% of social workers are liberal Dems). It makes you scratch your head a bit. What are senior officers on McChrysal's staff doing talking to Rolling-freaking-Stone? We need a demotion, re-assignment and some tail kicking. This McChrystal fellow may not be all that he's hyped to be.

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

    General McChrystal has spent his entire adult life defending our country and our freedoms, including the Freedom of Speech. Sounds like he could have been more political, but frankly, I'm sick of politics. He spoke his mind, and called it the way he saw it. Obama wants to muzzle him, because he doesn't like what he has to say. I would have been MUCH more impressed if Obama had called him to Washington and discuss improved communication and collaboration with the Armed Forces.

    When a politician screws up a decision, they don't get re-elected. When a military officer screws up a decision, lives are lost. This is why it's important for our military to be able to speak up.

    June 22, 2010 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Rayshawn Ordway

    hey "innertron" President Obama's birth certificate can be seen online it's sad that you are a "brainwashed" member of the "Birther" moment look I think I know what you and the "Birther Nut Jobs" out there is trying to say since every American citizen who is born into this country is required that their birth certificate's is printed on paper since that President Obama is the only person who is showing his birth paper trail online instead of taking his time to show it to everybody you know what "innertron" I honestly feel that Barack Obama shouldn't been our 44th president of the United States we have took our eye off the ball we had an chance in 2008 to vote for a Third Party Candidate to be our 44th President for the very first time no more Democrats no more Republicans no more of the back and forth no more even though I did support Obama and voted for him but I'm really getting tired so tired of everything for example people like you "innertron" who still want to see Obama's birth paper trail one of Bill Maher's comment's is still true everyday "THIS COUNTRY IS STUPID", oh yeah General McChrystal I don't think he should be fired or apologize but he should apologize for calling Jim Jones a "clown" Jim Jones is veteran of the Cold War the thing that McChrystal needs to understand that you never disrespect the men and women who has sacrifice their lives for this country in any war even the wars from the past in US history it's pretty simple to finally end this "STUPID WAR" capture Osama Bin Laden and GET OUT!!! that's it.

    June 22, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jimc

    Bush had no plan for Afghanistan except to use it as leverage to occupy Iraq. After 7 years of failure under the Bush and republicans – here we are trying to clean up their mess. How did we allow 7 years without a strategy to happen – oh because it was a republlican and for them war of any kind is good.

    June 22, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ray

    You jokers are missing the point. McCrystal is a general and Obama is the PRESIDENT. Like him or not, you do NOT dish the commander-in-chief in public, let alone a frigging magazine article. That's supremely poor judgment and do you trust a guy like that to lead a war? Someone who shows no respect for the president and the people he works with?

    It's not a matter of whether he and Obama gets along. Tons of military folks can't stand the sitting president (whether it's Obama or Bush or Clinton) but you are in the MILITARY, and the PRESIDENT is the boss.

    And blame Obama on this? Really? Where is the blame on Bush, who got us into this mess to begin with, since he abandoned Afghanistan to fight a stupid war in Iraq.

    And whatever happens to the America that at least show some respect for the President, whether you agree with him or not? Americans have turned into a bunch of whining babies who have on respect for anyone but themselves. And McCrystal is a symptom of that general disrespect. And the comments on here is a testament on how low Americans have gone.

    You all should be ashamed of yourself.

    June 22, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Art

    Obama is so efficient at fighting a war, he was awarded a Nobel Peace prize.

    June 22, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. SLE

    The man has an opinion – are we limiting freedom of speech? Sometimes it doesn't matter how much you try to do the right thing by speaking up privately – nothing changes – so for mine – if he has concerns and he's tried to resolve them the right way with no results – go for it. Sounds to me like Mr Eikenberry has a problem with handing over the reins.

    June 22, 2010 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  11. way-to-do-research!

    hey norm cooper - super awesome use of wikipedia in that comeback there! you even cut and pasted the whole line *just* right!! it's almost like you vomited in the comment box! so sweet.

    June 22, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Rook

    Believe me, all the 5 Stars G are NUTS!!

    June 22, 2010 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  13. schuler

    A solution in fighting this war is to ship every last illegal immigrant in the USA over there ,provided with knifes and a guns(well experenced)and let them fight it out with the enemy without the guidance of top millitary brass.What ever region they can clear out can become their new home and it's a win win situation .

    June 22, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. mark

    He should hand in his resignation and hang his head in shame. The Rolling Stone reporter spent nearly a month with McChrystal and his staff. I did not know that in my previous post. What stupidity for this to be published just before major military campaigns are about to get under way. It's obvious he's not up to the job.

    June 22, 2010 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ReadTheStory

    THINK!!! What did he actually say about President Obama? Read it and think about it. He talks crap about Biden, Jim Jones, Holbrooke, aids and others, but really only said he didn't hit it off with Obama? Don't fall for the spin. Pres. Obama is his commander in Chief, not Biden, not Jones, not Holbrooke, or any others. F- Those guys, they're not in his chain, he can talk trash about them all he wants, but he didn't about Obama, really.

    June 22, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
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