Gen. McChrystal Relieved of Command in Afghanistan

Gen. Petraeus Tapped as Replacement

Gen. Stanley McChrystal has been relieved of his command in Afghanistan just about one year after taking the post. President Obama has announced that Gen. David Petraeus, the current Centcom commander, will be his replacement.

Gen. McChrystal’s ouster is a direct result of an article in Rolling Stone magazine in which the general and several members of his top staff openly derided Obama Administration officials on the record for the reporter. Obama said Gen. McChrystal’s behavior did not “meet the standard for a commanding general.”

The replacement for Bush Administration appointee Gen. David McKiernan, McChrystal was tapped to lead the Obama Administration’s repeated escalations of the war in Afghanistan, the war which has become the centerpiece of the Obama Administration’s foreign policy.

McChrystal was an outspoken advocate for massive escalations of the war in Afghanistan, and oversaw additions of large numbers of American and international troops as part of what has been called the McChrystal Plan. With only around 30,000 at the time President Obama took office, the US now has upwards of 100,000 troops in Afghanistan.

The apparent selection of Gen. David Petraeus as a replacement comes as something of a surprise, as it is actually a demotion for the general, who was previously overseeing the entire region and will now only be responsible for a single conflict. There are no indications so far as to who would take over the Central Command post.

Yet analysts say the comparatively well-known Gen. Petraeus and years of spin aimed at convincing the American public that Petraeus “won” the still-ongoing war in Iraq may serve extremely useful in combating rising opposition to the war, the longest in American history.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.