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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soundoff (509 Responses)
  1. zehfilardo

    It will not be the last time when someone tells the truth and is punished for it! The general is not dumb. He knew what he was doing.

    June 23, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ned Brisco

    McChrystal is lucky to get out of Afghanistan now, rather than 7-12 years from now when we are still bogged down in a war we cannot win. The Russians couldn't win there, neither can we, at least not while politicians who sit in Washington run things from a distance. McChrystal is a true patriot speaking out against government officials who seem more interested in propping up their status & careers than winning the war.

    June 23, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. GI JOE

    Everyone has to row in the same direction. It's ok to fight internally, but you can't have have someone constaintly stiring the pot with the public. If people hear that the guy incharge on the ground doesn't think the people running the war know what they are doing, it will kill troop moral and degrade effectiveness in theater. It has to look like everyone is pulling together. It is also clear that there is no way the stupid useless afgan people will ever be able to run thier own country.

    June 23, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. annie s

    Apparent to who? I think Obama is doing an outstanding job. He has shown that he knows the direction this country needs to go to survive in the 21st Century, and if the backward thinking obstructionists would just get out of the way, he just might be able to return us to greatness.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  5. CheeseLady

    I don't think McChrystal said anything he didn't mean to say, he's been around long enough and is certainly clever enough to know what would happen when his words got into the press. I think he wanted to stir things up, probably to get the focus back on the war which our country essentially ignores, and he was willing to put his job on the line to do it. Like all good generals McChrystal is a chess player looking several moves ahead and willing to make the sacrifice it takes to have the best chance at winning in the end.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  6. MexicanGumby

    i go pee-pee

    June 23, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Alert American

    General David Petraeus is doing his most critical and heavy duty for the country not for Obama and Biden interests. General Stanley McChrystal is the general warrior, true brave hero. Obama is no difference from a man with big words and no sufficient knowledge. He is just a moron and liar!

    June 23, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. DB Forester

    After reading many posts from a variety of blogs, I am left with the question, " Are McChrystal's statements true?"
    Maybe, the truth does not fit into this discussion. McChrystal tilted Obama's plan. McChrystal had to go to satisfy the honorable politicians in the administration. A buddy in the Marine Corps often told me , "Some men do more than talk."

    June 23, 2010 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Concern American

    President Obama will be heading to more failures in future, overall this president follow his ego more than good conscience. There will be more casualties, death and more loses on our military men and women in Afghanistan and Iraq because of his weak and very poor leadership.

    General Petraneus is taking over this heavy responsibility and doing it for the country not for President Obama and his administration. Gen. Stanley McChrystal has gone in the war scene, the enemies are celebrating with more joy and laughter. They are taking every chances to win over this war from a poor leadership Obama. All the hope and burden now is in the shoulder of General Petraneus.

    June 23, 2010 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  10. call ME crazy

    Hail to the Chief.

    June 23, 2010 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
  11. call ME crazy

    Hail to the Chief

    June 23, 2010 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Eve


    I honestly do not know what to believe in President Obama anymore. I know the military code of conduct is what it is. However, I agree, it would seem that so many in Washington get their feelings hurt these days. I am not saying I agree with the comments being published, however, I honestly believe living in Louisiana with the Gulf Oil Spill, Obama seems to be more concerned with helping other countries than this one he is working for. Just like this General fired and replaced, as Americans, we have to wait 4 years to fire Obama, as what can I say, impeach a President for a poor job performance, my boss would. I am 41 years old, I have seen alot over these years, I recall the "good ole days". I am sorry Obama I am disappointed in your job performance, nothing wrong with someone having opinions! I thought we have freedom of speech in this country. I honestly hate my country I live in today, ashamed to call myself an American anymore, we have lost the respect of the WORLD! All I do is work each day, pay bills, pay taxes, and have pil wash up on the shores of my homeland, and I am suppose to support my President when he gets his feelings hurt. Americans are tired of keeping their mouth shut when people accept job positions they are not qualified to do, President Obama is not qualified for International Affairs and WARS!!!!!

    June 23, 2010 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Eve

    Every President should have to have Military service record!!!!!!!! Obama just showed what happens to those who oppose his uneducated side!!! I watched him on TV today, I really tried to see his point on this, all I saw was a President who was brought before the World and exposed for his lack of foreign diplomacy. I was ashamed to see a President take up air time to fire someone for speaking truths!!! I just shake my head anymore in this world we live in, and go, GOD THAT RAPTURE you said would happen, can I take you up on that offer now. My God what has happened to this Country that I loved so much???/

    June 23, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. goldendck

    Old WWII motto " Loose lips SINKS ships "

    June 24, 2010 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  15. Nick s

    what the hell does acommunity organizer learn about being president, reading a telprompter and voting present????NUTHIN nobama is a disgrace adn oen of these days teh sob will trun on the pos media This country is getting screwed by liars and crooks Why is nobama spending $2 milli0on is it not wto hide his brith certificate?????? back to africur with this jerk and send his grandmother cheat or what ever she was too!!!

    June 24, 2010 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
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