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. BeenThere

    Actually I find this to be hilarious. McChrystal speaks the truth, even if it is in a biting and sarcastic way.

    June 22, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Annie O'Shaughnessy

    You have an advertisement directly over the comment section, preventing the writer reviewing and editing our writing Please move the ad.

    June 22, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. abbydaddy

    This guy should be publicly drummed out of the corps.

    June 22, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Stacey

    General McChrystal is wrong, period. Say all the nasty, hateful things you want about President Obama – this general is dead wrong and so are the haters on this forum. Hey, but if it makes your day, as some of you have stated, then go ahead and have a blast. At least this news keeps that idiot Barton out of the news; I know the GOP is glad for that!

    June 22, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  5. FLA DAWG

    Though he violated military protocol it is refreshing to read someone speak the truth of this inept President.

    June 22, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Annie O'Shaughnessy

    This General is a man of outstanding personal discipline and commanding leadership. Our President has never been in the military, has never lived in a place without the accoutrements that make life tolerable. He has never seen his commrades blown up, shot, killed, and suffering. He has never lived with sand fleas and sand flies. Although he is the President of the United States, he is lacking in the ability to make decisions and command a country. I voted for him, thinking he was a fresh face of intelligence and hope. I am now ashamed of my vote, and I am ashamed that he is the President. Our country is in trouble, and we have an incompetent person at the helm. God help us all.

    June 22, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bubba

      "This General is a man of outstanding personal discipline and commanding leadership" Not after the Rolling Stone article, lady. Now he's an insubordinate failure. Luckily, someone will be promoted into his shoes and do the job right. There's an old saying "Soldier, shut up and soldier." If you don't like your orders, obey them as if you do, and complain when you write your memoirs in retirement.

      June 22, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  7. McChrystal Fan

    I would have loved to have been there when Obama first met with the brass in the "Tank" at the Pentagon when he first became president. It would have been interesting to see him cower and tremble in front of real men; men of real accomplishment. Men who have made their way in life serving their country and community as soldiers rather than a community shake down artist.

    June 22, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bubba

      "a community shake down artist" Yeah, that's what I call U.S. Senators, too; community shakedown artists. "his ties to major corporate interests" Yeah, like BP? He's really friendly with them. Google this guy Joe Barton if you want corporate ties . . and are you the same Dr Haynus who has a fly's head?

      June 22, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jimster

    The general shouldn't criticize the president, the Commander and Chief of the military to reporters. He is a solider and soliders follows orders. As long as he's in a uniform he has to @ least respect the office of the president. The entire concept of military is listening the commands of the upper echelons.

    June 22, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dr. Hanus

    Maybe the only member of the military that should step down is Obama? After all, he commands an entire military and everyone else are just his "subordinates." And if hes doing such a bang up Job, why can't he command any respect?

    Many I know, and myself included, are feeling Obama's leadership is lacking . His ideas are idealistic, and his actions have not brought about the desired fiscal, social, and moral results that his campaign promised. His associations will characters of ill repute are worrisome and his ties to major corporate interest trumps his interest in a better America.

    June 22, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. NCO

    Victory is not achieved by claims of success and winning... Victory is achieved when your enemy claims defeat

    June 22, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. mister big

    I sure hope Palin gets on the ticket in 2012. I'm an independent but I'll vote for no just to shut all you pubes up!

    June 22, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Rich

    Right or wrong, Gen McChrystal should not have voiced things like this in a public interview. When you were the uniform, your work for the President. This is now a matter for the president (his boss) to decide. If the general was upset with how the President was running things, he could have retired and as a civilian said whatever he wanted. When wearing the uniform of our armed services, you give up some of those rights you defend. I’ve read many news stories about employees getting fired for comments they posted on Facebook or some other social networking site about their boss or company. This is very similar to that. It doesn’t matter what party the President is from, as a servicmen you take an oath to follow the Presidents orders. The general will be fine, odds are the worse thing that will happen is he will be forced to retire but it is doubtfull he would loose his pension because of it.

    June 22, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  13. freedom4u

    i also see where everyone is blaming Bush for this mess.. HELLO.. every president is left with the previous president's messes.. as long as I have been able to read, we had Nixon to Ford to Carter to Regan to Bush to Clinton to Bush to Obama... I mean.. give me a break. everyone hands down a bag of screwups to the next president.. I can't believe that we can blame everything on Bush. How about Clinton? He had the chance to get Bin Laden but didnt... Bush Sr. we could have taken Sadaam way before his son waged war on him.. he didnt. OH your right Bush Jr. dove in the Gulf and caused this oil leak too....................................

    June 22, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. MarH

    Bottom line, I think any US president...black, white, asian etc should serve thier country before they try and run it! Sadly Obama is not qualified to run this country and time will only continue to prove that. I am a vet and my husaband is a vet and served three combat tours with the Marines. This general is frusterated as well as many american are and it is about time someone stands up and says something! Thank you General!

    June 22, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  15. mike r

    gen. McChrystal should be fired and court martialed. and given a dishonorable discharge and loose all benifits. being a viet vet , if i did what he has done i would have been the stockcade. his staff should also go down with him!!!! i sure would not want to serve with these idiots....

    June 22, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paranel

      I agree with this.

      June 22, 2010 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
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