Top US commander slams Obama

McChrystal summoned to Washington to explain derogatory comments.

June 22, 2010 16:31
1 minute read.
Commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan Gen

stanley mcchrystal 311. (photo credit: AP)

WASHINGTON — The top US commander in Afghanistan has been summoned to Washington to explain derogatory comments about US President Barack Obama and his colleagues, administration officials said Tuesday.

Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who publicly apologized Tuesday for using "poor judgment" in an interview in Rolling Stone magazine, has been ordered to attend the monthly White House meeting on Afghanistan and Pakistan in person Wednesday rather than over a secure video teleconference, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

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He will be expected to explain his comments to Obama and top Pentagon officials, these officials said.

The article in this week's Rolling Stone depicts McChrystal as a lone wolf on the outs with many important figures in the Obama administration and unable to persuade even some of his own soldiers that his strategy can win the war.

The interview describes McChrystal, 55, as "disappointed" in his first Oval Office meeting with Obama. The article says that although McChrystal voted for Obama, the two failed to connect from the start. Obama appointed McChrystal to lead the Afghan effort in May 2009. Last fall, though, Obama censured McChrystal for speaking too bluntly about his desire for more troops.

Obama agreed to dispatch an additional 30,000 US troops to Afghanistan only after months of study that many in the military found frustrating. And the White House's troop commitment was coupled with a pledge to begin bringing them home in July 2011, in what counterinsurgency strategists advising McChrystal regarded as an arbitrary deadline.

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