Gen. Stanley McChrystal recalled over Rolling Stone article

President Barack Obama meeting with Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top commander in Afghanistan, Friday, Oct. 2, 2009.

From Jon Boone and Matthew Weaver, the Guardian:  General Stanley McChrystal, the US commander of all Nato-led forces in Afghanistan, has been recalled to Washington after he criticised Barack Obama‘s administration in a magazine profile due to be published later this week.

A Nato official confirmed that McChrystal would travel to Washington tomorrow to explain the Rolling Stone article, in which he said that he felt "betrayed" by the US ambassador to Kabul, Karl Eikenberry. One of his aides also told the magazine that McChrystal was "disappointed" by his first meeting with an unprepared Obama. …

Earlier today, McChrystal issued a statement offering his "sincerest apology" for the comments and the article. "It was a mistake reflecting poor judgment and should never have happened," he said.

The statement adds: "Throughout my career, I have lived by the principles of personal honour and professional integrity. What is reflected in this article falls far short of that standard."

According to the article, due to be published on Friday, although McChrystal voted for Obama, the two didn’t get on from the start. And Obama felt McChrystal was too outspoken last autumn when he called for more troops to be sent to Afghanistan.

"I found that time painful," McChrystal admitted in the article. "I was selling an unsellable position. …"

The profile, headlined The Runaway General, emerged from several weeks of interviews and travel with McChrystal’s tight circle of aides.

Describing Obama’s first White House meeting as a "photo-op", one aide told the magazine: "Obama clearly didn’t know anything about him, who he was. The boss was pretty disappointed. …"

But the vice-president, Joe Biden, heads a list of those against him. The article quotes members of McChrystal’s team making jokes about Biden. "Biden? Did you say: Bite me?" an aide said. Another McChrystal aide reportedly called the White House national security adviser, Jim Jones, a "clown" who was "stuck in 1985".

The article claims McChrystal has seized control of the war "by never taking his eye off the real enemy: The wimps in the White House".  (photo:  Pete Souza/White House/AP)

Statement by NATO Spokesman on Rolling Stone article:  The Rollng Stone article is rather unfortunate, but it is just an article. We are in the middle of a very real conflict, and the Secretary General has full confidence in General McChrystal as the NATO Commander, and in his strategy.

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