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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Filed under: Military • Security Brief
soundoff (509 Responses)
  1. atti

    He voted for Obama! Why would anyone want to join his army??

    June 22, 2010 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  2. Morris Maynard

    It has to have been really difficult to put up with all of the incompetent crap that Biden and various players in State have been throwing around while the Pentagon has been trying to plan and execute a victory in an extremely difficult situation. And of course they are not used to the kind of "journalism" practiced at RS. So they were more candid than they should have been, and RS runs with it to get the reader count up.

    June 22, 2010 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  3. Jethro

    President Obama needs to retool is administration and in the process McChrystal should be sidelined. The president is in charged of policy, not McCrystal. See http://www.jethroproject.com/tjpObamaadvisors.htm

    June 22, 2010 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • flycatcher

      Yeah, How Unfortunate!

      June 22, 2010 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  4. sandra pittman

    If I had to deal with the professional politicians every day I do believe I would say a lot worse than the General did. The government screwed the military in Vietnam,would not let the military fight the war and get the job done. You can`t start a war then run it from behind a desk or in the newspapers.Listen to the ones that have been trained in fighting and leading our troops,they may know more about whats going on.AFTER ALL,THIER BUTTS ARE ON THE FRONT LINES EVERY DAY,THEY DODGE THE BULLETS WHILE WE SIT AT HOME AND WATCH THE WAR ON TV.GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS AND BRING THEM HOME SOON.When its over THEN YOU CAN CRITICIZE AND WALK OFF AND FORGET WHAT THEY SACRIFICED AND HOW TALLER THEY STAND BESIDE THE POLITICIANS AND THIER CRITICS.

    June 22, 2010 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • brad

      its a sad sick day when people glorify killing chilren women men and familys not in defence how could the strongest nation be at risk to places riding donkeys and you think its a honour to murder just because you say there this or that but you are the butcher that glorifys killing like my god told us in the end those would come thinking they do god a service by killing for god comes to save the lost and hurting poor sick and oppressed he will his name is the one word of god

      June 22, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Aldi88

      To "Brad"

      Who is glorifying what? Go preach elsewhere and help support seperation of church and state.

      June 22, 2010 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • All-I-Need-To-Know

      I learned when I learned to read. It is shockingly apparent that most of the commentators here have not actually read the article in its entirety, nor examined which quotes were actually from the General himself. And we wonder how intolerance breeds. Too many people who are willing to believe what they expect without true examination of the facts. Sad.

      June 23, 2010 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Gunner

    You have to respect the fact that he calls it like he sees it. Who can blame him? He needs an Ego, he has to report to people that cannot make a decision. Though they may be good community or event organizers, that doesnt make them qualified in military tactics, strategies, or war planning. Leave that to the experts like the General and our military leaders.

    June 22, 2010 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • tyisha

      As with any other organization, if you have a problem wiith the organization then you should follow the proer chain of command, instead of airing your views publicly. The general's comments and behavior was unprofessional. He should be held accountable. President Obama is a competent, efficient and courageous president. The problems don't lie with his leadership. The problem is that no matter what he does it is always criticized. The president is always criticized beacause we have become a nation of people that is always looking for someone to blame. He is not to blame for the state of our nation. This country was in turmoil before he got into office. Instead of criticizing and blaming the President the General and the rest of this nation should show some respect for a man that has the courage stand on principle and do what he feels is best for the country. That is the reason we elected him.

      June 22, 2010 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Hank Pihl

    Gen.Mc Crystal should be fired for making these stupid statements.
    He is not a person who should be in charge undermining the White House the
    President and staff..

    June 22, 2010 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • flycatcher

      Yeah, Obama does quite well enough on that issue by himself!

      June 22, 2010 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • 'Mita

      Yeah, when Bush was in office, everybody republican was like, 'oh, he could do no wrong, he's a genius!' Even in the military, it was all like, 'he's our boss, you know it's illegal to speak poorly of him!' Well, for some odd reason, the gloves has come off when it comes to Obama, and even as an AD member myself, based off of those officers in the Army not wanting to deploy due to 'questioning Obama'–our NEW boss–no one is correcting them.

      How this to all you Repub whiners and b1tchers out there: Obama won, GET OVER IT!!! When Bush was in office, you were behind EVERY dumb@$$ decision he made, and now that Obama's there, you're critical of everything he says/does??? SHUT UP!!!!!!

      June 22, 2010 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • pes

      I agree. If you don't agree with the Commander-in-Chief, then go on with your political campaign. Because that is where McCrystal is headed. We don't need you leading the troops that are sacrificing everyday to fight for what? Why are we there? Oh, that's right–the great Dick Cheney said we needed to be there. End the wars, bring the troops home and we will save lives and money. We could also use our military for the border fight and cleanup of the oil spill. There we go again, the border that Bush never would address because the repubs Big Business friends need the cheap labor and the oil spill that had NO REGULATION and therefore why the oil spill happened in the first place. McCrystal needs to be replaced because he has lost all credibility and a joke.

      June 22, 2010 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Get over it

      'Mita'......I'm like all OK!

      June 22, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • ccplaymate

      Ok, Hank Phil, who's position is it to take a stand and speak their mind on how worthless the people in charge of this nation REALLY are???

      June 23, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dontthinkso

    Thanks again, Dubya, for getting us into this catastrophic mess. Thousands upon thousands of American lives lost in Afghanistan and Iraq...and for what?

    Obama is hardly the second coming, but keep in mind folks that the alternative was John "Dubya" McCain and the world class imbecile known as Sarah Palin.

    June 22, 2010 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • flycatcher

      There were other choices but you had to write them in as did I. I guess you just voted for whatever idiot they proposed. Goes to show you groups of idiots in both parties put forth their best idiots for you to vote for. The answer is to replace the entire group of 535 idiots. November is coming so don't forget. Don't vote for idiots.

      June 22, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      Oh I forgot Dontthinkso.....everything is W's fault...Just like the surge that didn't work....oh wait it did work.....just as the surge that Obama is trying to pull off in Afg will work because he copied the strategy which he voted against....Obama is a tool who has never led ANYTHING. If you were hiring a manager at McDonald's, you would want someone with management experience. We hired a guy for the most important managerial job on earth who has ZERO days experience. Oh wait I forgot, when asked about his lack of experience, he said running his campiagn would prepare him....We see how that has worked out. He has accomplished nothing. He blames Bush for everything and can't even get legislation passed with a dominant party majority in Congress. He is Jimmy Carter....he'll be great for books and for speeches after he is done, but he is a dud. I didn't think it could get any worse than Bush....Man were we fooled....

      June 22, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Thanks “Dubya”????
      Take off your blinders and look at the world.
      Bush didn't fly into the WTC on Sep 11, 2001. He didn’t start this. Would you have had the U.S. just let that happen and sit back and do nothing? The United States needed to react to that act of war and aggression just like we reacted to aggression and war after Dec 7, 1941. I think before you start complaining about lives lost compare our totals since 2001 to just a couple of days from history, start with June 6, 1944 and Feb 19, 1945. Just because you may be un willing to make a sacrifice for the greater good doesn't mean that thousands of willing Americans haven't volunteered to sacrifice for your right to disagree. Don't criticize. Apologize, and then thank a Military full of modern day Patriots and Heroes.
      Oh, and if your wondering, yes I am a Veteran. Of two wars, this one (OIF), and Pres Clintons war in the Balkans.
      Americans who disagree with the War should be happy that there are those of us who are willing to make that sacrifice on their behalf. Remember we were not drafted, we volunteered.

      June 22, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • erik

      thank you for your service!!!
      Yes, Bush didn't fly into the WTC on Sep 11, 2001.
      Please explain what Sept. 11 had to do with invading Iraq and sending many good men like you into combat?

      June 22, 2010 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • MichaelChatt

      It is amazing how many Dubya haters there are. I think he was an incompetent twit who hurt the country but I don't do it in ignorance. The Policies of Obama are as close to a second coming of Dubya as possible. With the exception of waisting even more money and having even less of an idea how to run a war their is almost no difference.

      Have we stopped Don't ask don't tell? If we finally do it certainly isn't going to be because it was a priority. Have we closed Guantanamo? Did we have open and transparent debates about anything? The only thing that is transparent is that Obama has taken the left leaning policies of Dubya and moved them even further away from the everyday American.

      Maybe it's time American's start realising our votes count. It feels like our economy is about to take yet another dive as almost no American has an once of confidence in our leaders.

      I think we all know Politicians lost the War in Vietnam and threw away thousands of lives and indirectly Millions as we destabalized the region, Much as we have in Pakistan.

      Obama is clearly now Commander in Chief and I can only suggest that leading the worlds most powerful Military is not quite the same as organizing Sunday lunches in Radical Chicago Churches and Neighborhoods. When you have jobs at that level you should learn to listen and have thick skin.

      Apparently thick skin is something you get with 3 or more years of experience in National Politics?

      June 23, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • ccplaymate

      get off the George W thing. You are just mad that the country is flushing down the toilet when, as usual, a demo is in charge!

      June 23, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      I like to explain it like this.
      If I tell you that Pepsi is illegal and I am coming to your house to check on Fri... by Fri you would drink it all right?
      But what's stopping you from buying more once my inspection is complete?
      Saddam had WMD's, period. I know, I was there, there are Forward Operating Bases named after slang terms for some of them. Just because he hid them from inspectors or moved them across an adjacent border doesn't mean they didn't exist, or that he wouldn't get them back and use them. (Again)
      That, and his known collaboration with terrorists, and his own terrorist-like methods (the March 16 1988 gassing of a Kurdish Village is one example) needed to be addressed in an unstable region where plots against this country had already been put to task.
      I hope Erik, that this explains my point of view. Myself and Veterans across the country are grateful for your continued support.

      June 23, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. melintexas

    Maybe he should be canned, but doesn't this speak to a much bigger problem. When your boss and those he has hired shows a lack of concern or competence its reflected in the ranks. This administration is in chaos and its showing.If the commander and chief cannot command respect from his top general, then how can he command respect from the rest of the military in a time of war. Its clear that Obama has never shown any respect for any of the military from day one, so whst does he expect. If this is whats being said in front of a reporter, then how much worse is it behind closed doors. There are lives at stake here and a general like this would never disrespect his boss like this unless his boss has earned that disrespect.

    June 22, 2010 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • flycatcher


      June 22, 2010 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • CTYank

      To have attained flag rank, the general must have learned that as a general officer he has to understand both the military and political aspects of his office. Part of that is to control ego in pursuit of a greater good. I've got to suspect strongly that, since the general has problems being a subordinate to the Commander-IN-Chief (note spelling, please), his leadership skills are diminished. Gotta learn how to channel his communications, and how to zip it.

      June 22, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Larkin G. Mead

    The general sees the writing on the wall! The Obama Socialist Regime will soon collapse around the Messiah's head. General McChrystal should announce his resignation and bail out now! Do the honorable thing, General! Distance yourself as far away from the Marxists as you can, NOW!

    June 22, 2010 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • pes

      You are a sick mofo

      June 22, 2010 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • KG

      Marxist & Socialism…do you even know what it means? As a Vietnamese American, I had lived under a Communist regime. And no way close is Obama a Communist. Get a grip on yourself. Start speaking of what you know instead of speculating or listening to Fox/Rush Limbaugh/Glenn Beck crap.

      June 22, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul Smith

      Obama a Marxist? are you out of your mind? North Korea is Marxism, Cuba is Marxism. I voted for Obama and I'm proud for the work he has done – if Health Care Reform is your idea of Marxism, you either dont understand the bill or you're one of the many Limbaugh/Hannity right wing republicans from the "party of NO" who will stop at nothing to defeat your president.

      June 22, 2010 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. john

    If all these comments are factual, it's more than disappointing..it's tragic! With all the chaos and tragedy that Bush left Obama to clean up where are the quality men and women who sublimate their diferences and unite to IMPLIMENT PROGRAMS THAT SOLVE PROBLEMS?!

    Obama! Lock these politicians, generals, and advisors into a room and lay down whatever laws need to be laid down and kick butt!! Forget the polls! Take names, and BE A LEADER! You were elected to do it!

    June 22, 2010 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Lats McGuilicutty

      Couldn't agree with you any more! Take the subordinates into a room and be a leader. If you don't, then you let them lead.

      I am waiting for the infamous quote, "we will not rest til justice is done" or "we will work 24/7 until it is complete"...and then he goes and plays a round of golf or returns back to his vacation in Hawaii. Oh yeah, I forgot, he goes to Chicago and has the VP stand in for him during the Memorial Day wreath laying. Great leadership being displayed!

      June 22, 2010 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  11. Slimey

    So the entire article is based on comments from "an advisor to McChrystal" and "a top advisor"? All unnamed sources comments edited with McChrystal's own to make it look worse than it is? Wow. What idiotic investigative journalism. But then since Rolling Stone is a lapdog for this administration I am not surprised that Obama would base his communications with the General running the war in Afganistan on a Rolling Stone article. Obama really is that vacuous as evidenced by his first year and a half in office and his response to every challenge.

    June 22, 2010 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  12. GJ

    Good job, Obama! Teach these rogue generals a lesson. You don't question the commander in chief-in the military you do what you are told! You most certainly do not disrespect the commander in chief! EVER.

    June 22, 2010 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • PSO

      Where has manners and civility gone nowadays? Old school respect for the figure of the Presidency. Period. Regardless of how you feel about his policies...SOLDIER, your Commander in Chief and deserves respect. Anywhere else he would of immediately been fired, try doing the same at your current job and let me know how long you'll last! Disagree with your president? fine. Resign and voice your opinions loud and clear as a civilian

      June 22, 2010 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  13. GW is an Idiot

    You can say what you want about Obama but McChrystal should be demoted. Let the Republicans have him along with the other failed war heroes like john McCain. There is a thing called dignity that this guy knows nothing about. If he was a true man he would say that stuff to their faces and be a punk and wait until it accidentally comes out in an Interview where he didn't think those remarks would be aired. Not only is he cowardly for not saying it to their faces, the idiot is not smart enough to know that the media is going to put it out there anyways so he mights as well say it to their faces. He is a loser like GW and the rest of the group who blames Obama for the mess that the country is in when he was voted in, and things have gotten better. Still got some room to go from what it was when Bush got it, but we are headed back there. yeah, and no Repub could beat Obama right now.

    June 22, 2010 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Idiot Liberals!!!!!! What planet are you living on? I am sure you must be filled with pride when you see the President of the United States graveling to Kings, dictators and terrorists. Tell me once again how we are doing better with the unemployment rate at close to 10% and the housing market in the tank and the borders wide open with a President unwilling to do anything other than sue AZ to close the borders. There is no other word in the English language that describes a group of people better than "Idiot Liberals". If liberals stay in office there will be no more United States because you idiots will destroy us with your genorosity to everyone except the working class who pay all the taxes.

      June 22, 2010 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
    • ccplaymate

      no, actually he excercised his freedom of speech, which is more than can be said for most of the DEMO radicals on here. Its about time someone stood up for what he believed in and said it how it needed to be. What a better place this world would be if we all didnt stay so glue lipped about how we feel???

      June 23, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. melintexas is an Idiot

    An Idiot is someone who thinks a person earns disrepect. The real disrespect is McChrystal disrespecting himself. What successful person in the world would want to associate with him after these comments and only an idiot would support him. If the guy had some balls he would stand up for what he believes. McChrystal should not be in a leadership position at all. The real failure is him firing his staff he set up the interview. Even though he is the one who said everything. I see the people supporting McChrystal now saying, "Follow negativity and cowardness", support McChrystal.

    June 22, 2010 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • melintexas

      You ignored the intire point of my post. Lack of leadership has lead to the frustration that has been displyed by the General. Of cousre his actions are inaxcusable, but the nicompetence by our CIV is equally as inaccusable.. YouYou What is up the the advertising being pasted over the postings. Youits very anoing when you can't even see what your typing!

      June 22, 2010 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  15. GN

    That's the trouble these days - ANYONE that speaks the truth, which is usually what no one in power wants to hear, get's dished, damned and dismissed. The General may have an ego, but he also has a job to do and imagine his frustration in trying to get anything done where there is nothing but insipid political intrigue, corporatists, egos, crooks, thieves and in-fighting preventing him. If you read his quotes it's clear he is just telling it like he sees it.

    June 22, 2010 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
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