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.'"

Post by:
Filed under: Military • Security Brief
soundoff (509 Responses)
  1. Aviano68

    General McChrystal should be given a "medal" for standing up for what he believes needs to be done in Afghanistan. His junior officers should never have allowed Rolling Stone unlimited access to the Genral. I'm sure a lot of things said were "Off the Record" but somehow made it to print for the article. Gen. McChrystal's career has been stellar and to be dismissed by the Commander in Chief is disgraceful. There should be a law that reguires every President to have been a service person in either on Active Duty or National Guard/Reserves.
    President Obama couldn't get a "Top Secret" clearance if he wasn't the President, don't you find this is hypocritical to say the least.
    Signed: Disillusioned – Aviano68

    June 23, 2010 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  2. Sonia

    GW: you need to get a life. You are obviously being used by the GOP and the tea-peepees to campaign against Obama. Guess what, the idiot McChrystal should have kept his mouth shut and remembered his "position" in the admin. He will be replaced and Obama will be in office again come 2012. Get used to it.

    June 23, 2010 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Aviano68

      Obama needs to worry about his "cronies" in the WH and less about Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. Those folks are going to be jettisoned come November. The Obama "Left-Wing Triarchy" are so out of touch with reality it isn't funny!!! You have the President agonizing over the troop build-up in Afghanistan, it only took what, 3-4 months to make a decision on how many troops Gen. McChrystal needed. Now you have the Obama administration running around like "chickens with their heads cut off" during the Gulf Oil Spill. Janet Napolitano the HHS idiot who is responsible for all things affecting the safety of our country looks and acts like a "fish out of water" at a press conference. This is the same Janet Napolitano who was governor of AZ before Brewer, what happened on her watch with regards to immigration. Oh, by the way I voted for Obama in 2008. I won't "Ever" vote for Obama change again. He has done nothing as President and there isn't anything he can report as a "Claim of Fame" moment.

      June 23, 2010 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Presidential smack down

      that's right. tell GW one more time.

      June 23, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  3. CoderJones

    Speaking of cold war – This whole thing is amazingly akin to the Russians in Afghanistan during the 80's – Except in this case the American's are the invaders. Claiming we are protecting americans, from "Afghanistan" instead of protecting americans on american soil. I underatnd the necessity of a military pressence – I was in Afghanistan in the 80's fighting the Russians - This day, this time – American ego & politics are getting more enemies than allies. You always listen to the guy on the ground – in this case McCrystal – he knows what is needed – give the man what he needs to finish this so called war

    June 23, 2010 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  4. Frederick

    OK, so there is not a single direct quote from McChrystal in the entire article? Just what people REPORT he said and other 3rd hand reports? Looks like all this is, is a hash of quotes planted by his underling, Eikenberry the Ambassador. Fire Eikenberry!!!

    June 23, 2010 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  5. Ted

    Its about time BO has to read it IN PRINT how people really feel about him....I think it is great.

    June 23, 2010 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  6. Michael

    Where is the insubordiation in the above comments? WHere are the comments about the president from the general? I don't see any.

    June 23, 2010 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  7. Alexis Knight

    Rolling Stone? That's all I got.

    June 23, 2010 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  8. Alexis Knight

    Rolling Stone? That's all I got what was he thinking.

    June 23, 2010 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  9. myopinion2u

    One question. If my husband-who is a officer was to say this. Would McChyrstal fire him? "H–l yes" So it should be the same. You have to hold a different standard. Be an example for the people under you.

    June 23, 2010 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  10. Fred G.

    The military works for the people..The civilian people...If McChrystal wants to call all the shots..let him run for a civilian job...like president !! If not be quite and salute.

    June 23, 2010 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Aviano68

      You are either a "left-wing radical who didn't read the entire article or you believe everything that Rolling Stone tells you is accurate. FIrst of all the so-called quotes by Gen. McChrystal were either 2nd or 3rd person generated by people who had no authoriity to speak for the General. That's why they are "Junior" officers or staff, and possibly embassy employees. Embassy employees have been at odds with McChrystal since Eikenberry was named Ambassador. Check this out: Eikenberry was McChrystal's boss in 2002/2003. You think Eikenberry is jealous of McChrystal's success? I think theanswer is a categorical "YES".

      June 23, 2010 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  11. Jonathan

    This is about Obama's ego getting hurt, and the media going alongside him to support him. This is disgusting.

    June 23, 2010 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  12. Sarge07

    Myopinion2 – General McChrystal didn't say anything, please read the article. The General has always allowed open and honest communications in his commands. Sometimes they are heated discussions, from very strong opininated men in the military and the General listened and more times than not used those opinions. He is the farthest thing from a dictator than most people are in his position. You're husband wouldn't be fired.
    Obama picked the best man for the job and should stick with him no matter what. As someone that's been there, I want a no BS assessment at all times so good, well formed decisions can be made at all levels. Micromanagement never works, especially in the military and especially at war.

    June 23, 2010 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Presidential smack down

      MChrystal was disgruntled. He should exemplify to the president and to the nation a behavior the way he wants his troops children and family to act towards him. This is not an option. In no job, no team, no family would accept this behavior and at the highest levels in our nation it should definitely not be accepted. Congrats to the reporter who discovered this.

      June 23, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sarge07

    FRED G. – The military works for the President, the President works for the people.

    June 23, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jaime

    Any public comments agaist the Commander in Chief is contrary to military discipline and General McChrystal is responsable for them. But, maybe it was a poor choice to send a former military commander in Afganistan as USA Ambassador. Always, there is jelous between old and new commanders, all want to be better than previous comanders. Besides, region situation is so complicaded, than USA need the best diplomatic perssonel to handle so many variables.

    June 23, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  15. Juan

    Obama has done great job for our people thatneed healthcare. You americans are so rich that you cannot help give to me? My family has come to this country because in my country there are no free healthcares for the people. Sad. You have helped with my house and food for my family bacause we cannot work here. Thank you great president! I am getting so angry when I hear people act mean to him.

    June 23, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • All-I-Need-To-Know

      "you americans" ? "healthcare" ? get out of this forum.

      June 23, 2010 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19