From Peter Feaver at In other words, McKiernan got the sack because he was unable to get NATO to step up to the plate more smartly. Since McKiernan left, of course, the home-town presses in all of the NATO countries have been replete with stories about how costly their Afghan burden has been. I had a revealing conversation with a Europhile lately, and he made it clear that European elites are getting tired of hearing about how they are ducking responsibilities in Afghanistan. Viewed against that backdrop, and the larger failure of the soft power charm offensive in Europe on other national security issues like Gitmo, it is hard to see how this failure can be pinned on McKiernan.

But what I really want to know is what the Obama team expects from NATO and how they expect their coalition commander to navigate alliance politics. I, for one, hope that the Post follows up with some more reporting to amplify what this one anonymous senior military official meant when he said “Gates and Mullen were over it,” where the “it” seems to be NATO. (photo: NATO)