Top commander in Afghanistan Gen. Stanley McChrystal has reportedly submitted his resignation in the wake of a controversial “Rolling Stone” interview that heavily criticized the Obama administration’s handling of the war in Afghanistan.
According to a timeline on CNN, Defense Secretary Robert Gates released the following statement earlier today regarding the interview (titled “The Runaway General”) with journalist Michael Hastings:
“I read with concern the profile piece on Gen. Stanley McChrystal in the upcoming edition of ‘Rolling Stone’ magazine. I believe that Gen. McChrystal made a significant mistake and exercised poor judgment in this case. We are fighting a war against al Qaeda and its extremist allies, who directly threaten the United States, Afghanistan, and our friends and allies around the world. Going forward, we must pursue this mission with a unity of purpose. Our troops and coalition partners are making extraordinary sacrifices on behalf of our security, and our singular focus must be on supporting them and succeeding in Afghanistan without such distractions. Gen. McChrystal has apologized to me and is similarly reaching out to others named in this article to apologize to them as well. I have recalled Gen. McChrystal to Washington to discuss this in person.”
President Obama was presented with the piece last night, and was, by all accounts, displeased with the story. By this afternoon, senators were calling for General McChrystal’s resignation, and reports indicate that he has indeed resigned:
[Updated at 3:50 p.m.]Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-North Dakota, a member of the Senate Democratic leadership, called for McChrystal to step down, telling CNN that the remarks in Rolling Stone were “unbelievably inappropriate and just
can’t be allowed to stand.”
[Updated at 4:41 p.m.] Gen. Stanley McChrystal has submitted his resignation, Time magazine’s Joe Klein told CNN, citing an unnamed source. CNN is working to confirm Klein’s information.
Official confirmation has not yet been received that Gen. McChrystal has resigned.
Update: Gen. McChrystal is said to be meeting with President Obama tomorrow to discuss the situation:
[Updated at 5:55 p.m.] President Obama said that Gen. Stanley McChrystal showed “poor judgment,” but he added that he would wait until meeting in person with McChrystal before making a decision on McChrystal’s future. Obama is expected to meet with McChrystal on Wednesday.