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. Stick

    I think that Gen. McChrystal was frustrated by the rules of the war. For instance. At night you can not put up a flare, to see those shooting at you, because some civilian may get hit by the empty shell. If our troops seeing enemy troops going into a house they can not get into it unless there is an proper Afghanistan person to says OK to go. You can not fight a war with one hand tied behind you. Think the morale of our troops is going down hill fast.

    June 23, 2010 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Presidential smack down

      He may be frustrated but that is no excuse for his behavior.

      June 23, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Brandon Fields

    Funny people think fighting this war is the most important thing. Getting out of the war is. Obama has a plan for that McChrystal has a plan to stay there. War is not how the country progresses. Focus less on the other parts of the world and how we can fight everyone, focus more on this countries people. Obama is doing the second part his general wants the first part, so of course he is going to be Butt hurt. People are scared of change so when Obama changes things the little ladies of this country get their panties in a bunch.

    June 23, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Murray

    Tough hard generals and other commanders do NOT whine about their bosses in a magazine article. Prior to this I didn't know a thing about this particular general but my idea of an effective war boss would be someone who gets the job done against tough obstacles regardless of where those obstacles originate. If he can't work with all the hassles of civilian control there are alot of other countries he can find more accommodating. It seems like he wanted to give his resignation via Rolling Stone.

    June 23, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bruce

    Sad thing, he's going to be punished for being right. If the civs knew what they were talking about/doing, the insurgents would be long gone and the Afgan people wouldn't hate Americans (which they do). I want out of the fighting, the needless killing of our young men and women, but there's no vision, no light at the end of the tunnel. If we had a massive rural aid effort, built schools, and so forth, that the corrupt central government can't/won't provide for its own people, maybe we'd have a chance. Wish I had voted for Hil!

    June 23, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Presidential smack down

      He earned the punishment. Nothing sad about this. That bum should have been gone on his last screw up. Everyone wants out including Obama. Foolish to think anyone wants to stay over there.

      June 23, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Chuck

    Civilians make policy, soldiers carry it out not criticize it. Obama needs to decide not a bunch of armchair quarterbacks with an ax to grind. I'm going with what Obama decides.

    June 23, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Presidential smack down

      I agree. I supported George Bush through all of his failures even though I didn't like him. Ok to disagree at times but we support our team, family, country , commander and chief . . . .when the decision is made as long as it is not immoral or illegal.

      June 23, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  6. JsarverCNN

    General McChrystal has been relieved of command. Was this the right move for the Obama administration? What are your thoughts? Share them with CNN iReport– http://ireport.cnn.com/ir-topic-stories.jspa?topicId=7233

    June 23, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. edmundburkeson

    Funny how the magazine that use to lead the drug culture is now leading the narc culture. Was their intention to make us good submissive subjects to the big brother, american socialist state all along?

    June 23, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  8. snoop dawg

    "osama bin" obama sucked my dick last nigh

    June 23, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Gary

    Now what did George Bush do??
    It was Bush's fault I am sure. At least hillary has some balls unlike others.

    June 23, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. RyCor

    Stan likes to call himself the Boss. Now he got shown the door by THE Boss. Way to fail, Stan.

    June 23, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. HyJack

    If GW just atomic bombed Afghanistan after 9/11 we would not have to be there in the first place. The world would be afraid to attack use again!

    June 23, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Former Military

    Unfortunately, the president hasn't spent enough time learning about the Afghanistan war or about McChrystal, and certainly hasn't shown much respect for either. He is inexperienced and unwilling to depend on his general. On the other hand, McChrystal broke the unwritten rule about speaking at all negatively of his boss in public. By the way, has anyone actually read the whole interview in Rolling Stones? I did and did not find anything that could be called "insubordination". My recommendation would have been to reprimand his and send him back to the job he does well.

    June 23, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jsamx

    I'm not an Obama supporter nor did I vote for him, but this is one thing he did RIGHT! Thank you Mr. Obama for standing up!

    June 23, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Funny

    I think it's right that he resigned; he was dead wrong. What I do find funny is the Obama sunglasses a lot of his supporters are still wearing. How blinding they are! Yeah, he was 'masterful' in handling BP. Give me a friggin' break!

    June 23, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bebe

    Gen. McChrystal may be good, or even the best at what he does; but if your character is not as strong as your opinion, you my find yourself is deep 'doo-doo'. If his opinion is so strong that he cannot contain it; that he has to disrepect his commander and other leaders; AND encourage his subordinates to do the same (by his lack of restraint), he should have resigned long before now. Perhaps along with the greatness of his service he is an idiot. Perhaps he didn't have the courage to quit so he decided to sabotage himself.

    June 23, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
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