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. BigPeanut

    Why are the poorly written comments usually by supporters of Bush, the extreme right, and Jesus Our Lord And Savior (and down with rag heads, and it's all the brown people's fault, go back to where you came from, love it or leave it, USA USA USA)?

    June 23, 2010 at 3:45 am | Report abuse |
  2. Spandy

    Who says the general didn't do the interview on purpose to get fired? Thus not having to suffer the wars loss on his record, but on that of his replacement(s)...

    June 23, 2010 at 4:34 am | Report abuse |
  3. hombresincamisa

    Haughty. It is time to remind the military that they are not in charge. You Go Truman...I mean Obama. I am impressed so far with this president and his willingness to stare down the all mighty military that has for too long had too much influence and too much of our money. OK OK lets hear the chorus of he doesn't support our troops. That is such a red herring.

    June 23, 2010 at 7:37 am | Report abuse |
  4. jazzer

    Hey ( paranel) from reading your input.Hope your still around when the end of time comes you can blame that on Bush allso """""stupid""""""

    June 23, 2010 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
  5. 2-Term President

    The people who think Obama should be a 1-term president are the same who think it's ok to pay $18,000 a year for family health insurance – even as they deny claims and wreak havoc with the sick. Let's not go backward, people.

    June 23, 2010 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
  6. Mark

    I support the General! I'm retired military and understand the respect that is supposed to be given to the Commander -in -Chief, but I also know there are two types of respect. There is respect that is for the position and respect that is earned! Obama has not earned respect he is an idiot and most of his senior advisors are too. It's about time somebody calls it the way it really is maybe the idiots in the White House and Capitol Hill will wake up, but then again I think they are too stupid to realize how dumb they are!

    June 23, 2010 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
  7. Ditto

    D Miller – You are right on the money!

    June 23, 2010 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  8. akstout18

    It was ignorant of McChrystal to talk "unscripted" to the media about the his true feelings about the president and other civilian "experts" on strategic and tactical warfare regardless of how valid those observations are.

    June 23, 2010 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
  9. ND

    OK – there has to be more to this. The General is a member of the Council on Foregin Relations. Obama, like most of our recent presidents, is a lap-dog for this organization. This scandal has got to be a front for accomplishing something else. What that is, I am not yet sure.

    Down with the CFR.

    June 23, 2010 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
  10. PHAN

    im sure Obama is gonna be alittle more engaged in the war effort now. mcchrystal's move wasnt the smartest one but maybe he thought Obama/Biden/Staff needed a kick in the butt. Maybe the next time he heads to the 'TANK' he'll come with some ideas, motivation, and be alittle more engaged in whats going on out there. McChrystal gave his life to his country and when you're not taken seriously or the mission at hand isn't getting the time it deserves.. you react. McChrystal told it, like it is.. Obama is a 'celebrity' president and is clearly more concerned with pictures of himself pretending to be presidential. He doesnt have the background or experiece to sit in the war room with generals and be taken seriously. Clearly, there is frustration on mcchrystal's side of this issue. This guys been running this war for the last 10 years and Obama doesnt even know who he is. It's comical, in a sad sense. Obama will obviously fire him but it wont help us on the battlefield. Thank you McChrystal for everything you've done for the states. You told it like it is and hopefully our inexperienced commander in chief steps up before its too late.

    June 23, 2010 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  11. SKETCH

    This sort of squabbling is indicative of a conflict that is not being won, and may not be winnable in any meaningful sense.

    June 23, 2010 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
  12. Mike S., New Orleans

    Sounds like Stan is ready to pull a Palin: quit working and cash in on that fifteen minutes of fame. Just another mouth flapping for bucks.

    June 23, 2010 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
  13. Alert American

    Why had Obama done with the current war? Sitting back and enjoying his golfing while making more friends with the enemies? What about the situation we encountered in Cairo University recently. APOLOGIES behalf for the Americans wrongdoings. Who has the poor judgement? Obama TOTALLY HEADING TO A ONE TERM PRESIDENT!

    I totally support Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal's courage and honesty (in sarcasm) but he still peforming his job not golfing and making progress with your own ENEMIES!

    June 23, 2010 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      Good for you–another smart American that knows we elected the wrong man-time to go with Palin

      June 23, 2010 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  14. WhyJudge?

    McChrystal is wrong – end of subject. He did not respect his Commander in Chief. Even if he was frustrated, he should have been GENERAL enough to confront the CIC in person instead of airing dirty laundry to Rolling Stones of all magazines. What a way to end a career! As for questions on Obama being a leader – Here is the question we should all ask ourselves – Are we guaranteed someone else would have done the job better? Remember, he inherited most of these problems that we are dealing with today. Why Judge your president in office? We only know what is told to us in the media and what we are allowed to hear from our public officials. Until this country gets over bipartisanship and works as one nation, we will continue to slide. Whether you like it or not, Obama is President. Support him. Respect him as OUR President AND as OUR Commander in Chief.

    June 23, 2010 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  15. Rick

    About time someone told off this guy who thinks his golf game is more important than the oil spill or jobs in this country. And as for drilling for oil in the gulf is better than in our own country-like South Dakota,Wyoming-that area as well as under the Rockies--has more oil than the whole Far East and we allow the Oil Companies to dictate where they can dirll-Talk to Sarha–she knows how to deal with them

    June 23, 2010 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
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