June 23rd, 2010
04:00 PM ET

How does McChrystal episode affect confidence in Afghanistan war?



FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Sometimes timing is everything… and when it comes to the war in Afghanistan the timing of the departure of General Stanley McChrystal is awful.

The U.S. is in the midst of escalating the nine year old war in an effort to defeat the spreading power of the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

This surge of tens of thousands of U.S. troops was pretty much McChrystal's plan - and he had close ties with leaders in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan.

Also - summer in Afghanistan is usually a time of heavy fighting and allied forces are on the eve of the Kandahar offensive. This month is on track to become the deadliest month for NATO troops since the start of the war in 2001.

But the president decided that McChrystal had to go. and on one level, you can't argue with him.

McChrystal's job was to implement the president's war plan on the battlefield. But he and his inner circle found it appropriate to trash top administration officials and make destructive personal attacks to a reporter from Rolling Stone magazine.

Just imagine what our enemies must think - not to mention families of the thousands of brave troops fighting in Afghanistan.

It put Pres. Obama in a very tough spot - he risked looking weak if he didn't fire the general... and now he could be accused of undermining his own strategy in Afghanistan by cutting loose the guy he put in charge at such a key moment.

Even before this incident - only 42 percent of Americans said they favor the war in Afghanistan - that's down six points since March. 56 percent oppose it.

Here’s my question to you: How does the McChrystal episode affect Americans' confidence in the Afghanistan war?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Jerome writes:
What happens in Afghanistan will not be affected by the change in commanders. McChrystal had to go. As one who spent 27+ years in the U.S. Air Force, I was surprised and upset at the animosity in his published comments. How could he and his staff ever forget who they work for? A disgrace!

Hank writes:
Petraeus has always displayed the mature attitude necessary for a cohesive executive approach to the war. McChrystal and his staff did not, and therefore could not be trusted to follow orders correctly. This is serious business, Jack, with thousands of American and Allied lives on the line, and Obama must do everything in his power to ensure the best possible outcome, regardless of personalities.

Shelly writes:
One man really shouldn't matter. He was a manager, that's it. He was responsible for implementing a strategy and it seems the corrupt Karzai government was the most supportive of his role. That certainly doesn't give him a lot of credibility. The good from all of this is likely the renewed focus on the war itself. What can we hope to achieve by being there? What are the costs? I think the American people have spoken on this and it's time to go and deploy our resources in more productive areas.

Rook in Cincinnati writes:
Jack, Confidence in the war will not be affected. There is no victory there to be won. We just had a bomb planted in Times Square that did not detonate, indicating Al Qaeda does not have a safe place to properly train terrorists to effectively attack us. That is the victory we are trying to achieve in Afghanistan and Pakistan, keeping them disorganized and on the run. Hopefully Gen. Petraeus can soldier on and not grant interviews.

Chris in Houston writes:
I am ex-military, 8 years in the U.S. Air Force. Unfortunately, General McChrystal did this to himself and he let down the troops and the American people. He knew better and his staff should have known better. A sad commentary on a remarkable military career.

Filed under: Afghanistan • U.S. Army
soundoff (172 Responses)
  1. Janice From Delaware

    Good grief....I am so sick and disappointed of this negativity in the media for everything that happens !!!!!! One man does not a war make.
    Patraeus is more than capable to carry on. Why not ask if Karzai is doing his part to stem the corruption in his administration? My worst fear is that the US involvement there will only make a temporary
    difference and when we pull out next July, everything will go back to the way it was.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  2. rawk

    Its becoming painfully clear that anything Obama touches turns to coal. The war in Afghanistan is just another botched and poorly executed policy to add to President Obama's list of failures. What a dissapointment. He is really making the USA out to be a big joke among our enemies and our allies maybe by design, or is it simply because he is completely out of his league here? Whatever the reason, what we are seeing is disturbing.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  3. Doug - Dallas

    Probably not at all. It's like standing in quicksand, if you lose your shoe, who cares. McChrystal's plan wasn't working and frankly given Afghanistan's history, nothing will. The best move is to leave and bring our troops home before more of them die for nothing

    June 23, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  4. nana

    I agree with Fareed Zakaria (see his comments earlier today on CNN) that the situation will probably be made better with Gen. Petraeus in charge. He is not only a great tactician, but he is also a fine diplomat, which McChrystal didn't seem to be. I can't help but believe that McChrystal was deliberate in what he said – he just didn't respect the President enough to think Obama would do anything. If he doesn't have at least that much respect, then he needs to leave.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  5. Jon

    I am generally not in favor of wars. This is most likely because we seem to get bogged down in some "quagmire" which costs a trillion dollars a year or so, and yet never seems to have a successful end.
    After the wars with Germany, Japan and others, everybody is now our best of friends. Great! I don't believe this replacement of McChrystal will have ANY significance for the American peoples' confidence, or lack thereof, in this Afghanistan war. These guys all put their pants on one leg at a time, and as some famous person once said, the cemetery is full of people who were indispensible. Time marches on. The king is dead – long live the king. General Patraeus will do just fine. How many brains does it take to keep a needless war going?

    June 23, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  6. beverly babcock

    All I know is that my son is in the Helmand province....what are you telling him? Will we every know what is said? Will we ever know how they are anymore?

    June 23, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  7. Janet

    Why would the President expect respect from his troops when he could not take time to place a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  8. Tom

    This has the smell of Vietnam all over it. An ill conceived adventure even if was warranted at the beginning to hunt Bin Laden. The Afgan governemnt is corrupt and not likely to govern more than the capital. The administration is relying upon civilian leadership to develop a strategy that has no place in reality nor respect from the service men and woman who have to implement it. Cry about Bush, but remember who is in Commander in Chief now and it isn't Bush. The reports will come back glowing with success from the battlefied much as they did in Vietnam after the change with Patreous and then something will happen to pop that bubble. Either fight to win or get out. This has that same civilian/military discord that was present during the Vienam police action.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  9. John

    Spin it all you want, but this is a failure of McChrystal, not the President, not the war and not the plan.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  10. dan

    Obama better be looking at all of Bushes appointments if he wants this type of backsliding to stop. he better do the same to the TARP people....and and and....

    June 23, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  11. Joe

    Obama should have left McChrystal in place and he should have resigned.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  12. katiec Pekin, IL

    I apologize. Unpatriotic was not the proper world to use for the general as he spent many years serving our country. I should have said what statements were published were unpatriotic.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  13. Thom Richer

    What confidence, Jack? Let's be honest for a change. It is as non-winnable as our contrived Iraq fiasco. Time for the truth. Of course the "newly" discovered treasure of never before imagined mineral wealth has nothing to do with our presence there to begin with. Or does it? Nah!

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    June 23, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  14. John

    General McChrystal showed his character when he lied about the death of Pat Tillman,when he "leaked" the amount of troops before the President was ready for the build up announcement and other "on the carpet moments. How can someone so smart be so dumb?

    June 23, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  15. Michael clemons

    It should have no bearing what so ever. The men and women fighting the war are the best trained in the world. Soldiers go where they are told to go and answer to the call. Discipline in the Armed services was replaced with flexibility years ago. If you are a true american then you will rally behind whoever is leading the charge, no one General has the power to correct the mistakes of the previous administration.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  16. Glenn in Dallas


    Saying all our hope and faith was in McChrystal is not having any faith in our military. No General or soldier for that matter is irreplacable. McChrystal and his cronies took the "Army if One" concept too far. It is obvious he WANTED to be fired because no General I ever met would be stupid enough to command at that level and foster the enviroment he created. He took the coward's way out!

    June 23, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  17. Steve in Michigan

    McChrystal leaving makes little or no difference. But the DISCUSSION it brings up will most likely affect American's feelings about the Afghan war. And, most likely it will have a negative affect, because this is a long overdue "national discussion."

    June 23, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  18. frankie

    Because this was done so correctly and because General Petraeus was chosen as the next commander, I am if anything more confident about Afghanistan after seeing how important it was to the President to get this right.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  19. MDC

    I do not think the Pres. had any other choice...to speak in a manner that is disrespectful of the Comander in Chief or other senior administration officials as is the case here to to undermine everything they are trying to accomplish....

    The fact that he has named Gen Petraeus as the replacement, if anything give the mission a better chance of success....

    Seriously Mr. Cafferty it seems as if you are just trying to create a story to further your viewership...

    Do you honestly think that by replacing McChrystal with Petraeus that we have damaged our chances for success...

    June 23, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  20. John from San Antonio

    It shouldn't affect the confidence in the war at all. Those who know you can't fight terrorism with a conventional army won't change their mind about anything. those who don't know any better may waver one way or the other but the outcome of the war won't be affected.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  21. Shelly Gold

    One man really shouldn't matter. He was a manager – that's it. He was responsible for implementing a strategy and it seems the corrupt Karzai government was the most supportive of his role. That certainly doesn't give him a lot of crediblity.

    The good from all of this is likely the renewed focus on the war itself. What can we hope to achieve by being there? What are the costs? I think the American people have spoken on this and it's time to go and deploy our resources in more productive areas.

    Less teachers, more war is probably not the best answer we can come up with.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  22. Mr. Rook Newlie


    Confidence in the war will not be affected, there is no victory there to be won. We just had a bomb planted in Times Square that did not detonate. Indicating Alqueda does not have a safe place to properly train terrorists to effectively attack us.

    That is the victory we are trying to achieve in Afghanistan and Pakistan keeping them disorganized and on the run. Hopefully Gen, Petraeus can soldier on and not grant interviews.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  23. Ken Wallace Calgary AB Canada

    Dear Jack and all Americans – As there is not one good reason to even be in Afghanistan – Why are the good people of the "Good Old USA " not demanding that the clowns in Washington do something for America – Like get serious about the worst disaster in world history or enforce the laws on illegal immigration, etc, etc, etc – this government is the epitomy of Taxation Without Representation. It is raining oil in many places already! Please tell people to wake – (the alarm has been ringing far too long). Best of luck to us all. We are going to need it more than ever. The visible facts cannot be called a conspiracy and we are certainly not nuts.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  24. Nancy, Tennessee

    Afghanistan was out of sight and out of mind for most Americans until this little incident with General McChrystal. It has brought our attention away from the oil spill while we look at the General and think “How stupid can you be?” The American people will focus their attention on Iraq and Afghanistan now that General Petraeus commands the front in both wars. It certainly didn’t take President Obama 60 days to handle the situation caused by the printing of an article in “Rolling Stone”. This was far more pressing than oil on our beaches and marshes which is causing thousands to lose their jobs and livelihood. This was a demonstration by President Obama that when needed he can be decisive and act quickly. Kudos to General McChrystal – you got his attention.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  25. Bruce

    We have NO justification to be there, spending the dollars and lives, and creating more terrorists and making so much money from the drug trade!

    June 23, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  26. Rw

    We have a chain of command that carries through the war efforts, thus the general's dismissal will not have any effects. His leadership abilities have been destroyed by his own self ego. Had not his ego and self' righteous interfered , he might have accomplished our country's objectives.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  27. John

    I doubt anything will be affected....it is not a "war" per se. At least I don't think so, Congress has declared no war. We have our favorite "battles" we like to partake in...like Drugs, Terrorism. We are not in these countries to "win", what is there to win? We should not be in Iraq or Afganistan, the good old USA needs the troops here, we are being invaded(illegals)....at least our brave men and women have a JOB because without our world wide involvement in everybody else's business they sure wouldn't have one here at home.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  28. Butch in SC

    It was widely reported that 4-star Gen. McCrystal was the ONLY man who understands the situation in Afghanistgan and he's was sorely needed there. That was a comfy feeling. I think Obama should have swallowed his hurt pride, and kept him on the job!
    What does Obama want? – to WIN this war....or to demonstrate his power and stroke his big ego! So, he ends up making a huge misjudgment call himself, the very same infraction he blames Gen McCrystal of committing, as a new man on the job now will be only "a second string" player which will delay getting this war over-and-done with!

    June 23, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  29. kathi

    McChrystal's ego was too big for the job. We don't need that in this type of war. To nation-build requires diplomacy not personal egos. Our Constitution put the US military under civilian control for a very important reason. McChrystal seemed to forget who he works for.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  30. Ralph Spyer

    McChrystal approved the Silver Star Citation for Pat Tillman when he knew Pat was killed by American fire . General McChystal is not Douglass MacArther and even he was replaced by Matthew Ridgeway. In war, Obama must either trust his general or sack him

    June 23, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  31. Scott Stodden

    This episode with General Stanley McChrystal is crazy, what General in this world who is in charge of fighting a war would say the things that he said about the President, Vice President & other administration officals its wrong and he should be fired most definetly! But to the American people this incident makes it look like the Obama administration is losing control of everything, at least that's how I feel but Im very proud and feel alot better know that David Pattraues will be in charge and maybe just maybe there's hope for this war yet but it is a major setback in my opinion!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    June 23, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  32. T. Giger

    Taking McCrystal out is bad timing. It brings bad moral to our solders
    and our allies who support us.
    Have we not learned anything from WW1 and WW2?
    By the time it hits our "History Books", we will be long gone.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  33. Ben

    Our country is being led by numerous high power buisiness persons who have already displayed their inneptitude in their own affaris. That leaves a community organizer to draw up and initiate military affairs. My confidence was already shaken, now add the fact that the actual lifetime military leaders are disgruntled and that concern only deapens.

    Now how are we going to protect the "black gold" of the Left (lithium)?

    June 23, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  34. Bill

    Jack one wonders now what happens, they say the general was removed from office, I disagree he was allowed to resign. What happens to him now if this was a low private you can bet he would not be allowed to resign, he would face some form of discipline upto and including cortmartial. Now does the general just fade away, still in the service, retire with full pension gee what a punishment

    June 23, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  35. Ernie Naples Fl

    McChrystal screwed up for sure. But it gives you an indication of how the military feels about the administration. When you think the hihger ups are morons, eventually it'll leak out. This war is a fiasco, and its not becuase of the generals.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  36. Chad from Los Angeles

    I think McChrystal leaving is just what we needed. He was not right for the job. Time for Petreaus to mop up the mess and get us out of there! Americans can now see an end in sight with a leader that will finish the job and END the War.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  37. Tim in Texas

    Given that Obama replaced McChrystal with Petreaus who is admired by both the left, the right, and the center, the episode will serve to strengthen the public's view of Obama as a decisive leader. Letting a head roll every now and again, particularly a big head, is good politics and McChrystal deserved it.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  38. Paul Austin, Texas

    Maybe now the war in Afghanistan can go on this time in an honest role. McChrystal made a big story about the Arizona football player so Bush could keep the war going at full guns. That was as false as his support for the whole war game. I think he wanted out and got it bigger than he thought. This guy was bad for Afghanistan and the war on terror. It is kinda like the song I am on the cover of the Rolling Stone! McChrystal is not worthy of the cover or even a story now that he is out of the way maybe the U.S. can get this done.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  39. Samuel, N.C.

    Great. Another potential Blackwater Worldwide covert operative recruited in the midnight hour. I'm sure this dude isn't going to sit at home on the couch. Eyes need to be on this dude now.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  40. Chris - Houston

    I am ex-military, 8 years in the USAF. Unfortunately, General McCrystal did this to himself and he let down the troops and the American people. He knew better and his staff should have known better. A sad commentary on a remarkable military career.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  41. Peter Yanover

    If the McChrystal's leadership of the strategy was so great, the results would be incontestably successful. If that were the case, he and his staff would have more respect for the civilian colleagues who shared the responsibilities for it. Their disdain proves that McChrystal wasn't that successful. We need a military leader who can implement and coordinate with the civilian government policy-makers. It is key to Obama's strategy for that region.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  42. Paul D.

    McChrystal has questionable ethics (Pat Tillman cover-up) and a huge ego. He should have been investigated and sacked a long time ago. He seems like a general who leads an Army of one, himself.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  43. Wm Scot Ellis Tacoma Washington

    How about we just get the hell out of there and deal with our own border issues and economy. We can always use our drones to kick them in the ass when they get out of line.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  44. Tony P. Fremont, ca.

    A change in personell really couldn't affect the confidence of America about this war. War is hell...and the mission bigger than any one individual. If any factor changes confidence in the war; it would be the mission or lack of. I personally believed General McChrystal was playing partisan games with President Obama from the start. It was unexcusable about the annynomous leak to the media regarding the General's recommendation for Afghanistan policy before the President announced his deciding policy to the public. his disregard for his civilian Superiors was astounding. He needed to fired..........

    June 23, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  45. Delia, Katy, TX

    I never had confidence in winning the Afghan war to begin with, so this incident doesn't change anything for me. Other countries have tried and failed - why do we think we'd be any different?

    What I want to know is what Mcchrystal might have said to Karzai. Had they gotten so chumy that he would allow himself or his staff to say something derogatory about Obama or Biden - scary, huh?

    June 23, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  46. Steve G from Virginia

    The rules of engagement that are currently in place are definitely a bigger issue. If those are packed up with his luggage, then the resignation will have major impact

    June 23, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  47. Wendy from Albuquerque

    How does the McChrystal episode affect Americans' "confidence" in the Afghanistan war?
    Confidence? Who says we have confidence in this "war"?
    We have no more right to be in Afghanistan than we did in Viet Nam (terrorist/smerrorist)!
    The only difference in Afghanistan, is that, we can potentially plunder billions of Afghan's natural resources eventually.
    As far as President Obama's firing of McChrystal, (or allowing McChrystal to save face and resign if you insist) he had no choice. McChrystal sealed his own fate when he undermined his own career when he made those statements for the Rolling Stone interview.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  48. Travis Kellar

    Ideally, this should boost the confidence in the Afghanistan war. Today Obama showed that he is the man in charge and he's out for the best man for the job in Afghanistan. Stars and stripes don't mean anything if the man wearing them can't act accordingly.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  49. Mike

    What do any of us know about how ground operations are managed in Afghanistan? How will any change in our confidence in the war change anything that happens over there?

    June 23, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  50. Ed from MD

    None at all. When (according to UN data) I found that the Taliban had eradicated the opium crop prior to the war and opium soared to 90% of the world supply right after the US invasion. Half a trillion dollar/yr business, so I figure they're there for the long term to protect the cash crop for God knows who. McChrystal is probably right in his opinion.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  51. Helen Kolodey

    We should get out of Afghanistan. . . if they won't fight for their own country – why should our young men and women fight and die? We need to get out and leave them to their own defenses.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  52. Markeis Mccray

    This doesn't effect my confidence what so ever. Military officers are held to a higher standard than the enlisted corps. General McChrystal should have known better. How can you get thousands of people to follow you when you don't practice following yourself?

    June 23, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  53. nathan

    Jack, as bad as McChrystal's sacking could potentially be there's a bigger possible problem that could have come out of this stupid situation–what if all the comments and opinions expressed by the General and his staff are true?

    How far does this opinion of the administration spread into the military and what does it say about this civilian leadership in time of war?

    The implications of all that are far more frightening than a few off-color "soldier talk" comments.

    Monmouth, Oregon

    June 23, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  54. Theressa

    So many are shouting about the freedom of speech. I wish the media would point out that there is no freedom of speech in the military. There are ranks and orders. You don't publicly disrespect your boss or someone who outranks you. It's the basis of a strong military. Obama did what he had to do. I'd say McChrystal is lucky he doesn't have to face court martial.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  55. Annick B.

    President Obama did the right thing, but this war should be brought to a quick end. It is a fruitless and pointless endeavor, and is bankrupting this nation.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  56. taylor

    A. i think he had this comming, this was not the reason, but the exuse to get rid of him.. B confidense should go up, petrause will prevail and karzai is in no position to ditctate the friendship we put in front of his country, they are lucky to have us. This is a great move and in my opion the only move we had!!

    June 23, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  57. George Granger

    Although I believe the general's actions to have been insubordinate, I do believe that he was likely clumsily expounding on a subject that he feels strongly about, and is supported in his views by his peers. The President needed to accept his resignation, but he also needs to recognize and address the underlying problem. This war is not winable.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  58. Joe

    Joe Elberta, AL

    Everyone has to row in the same direction. It's ok to fight internally, but you can't have have someone constaintly stiring the pot with the public. If people hear that the guy incharge on the ground doesn't think the people running the war know what they are doing, it will kill troop moral and degrade effectiveness in theater. It has to look like everyone is pulling together. It is also clear that there is no way the useless afgan people will ever be able to run thier own country.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  59. Brad

    I have100% confidence in the war but none in the President.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  60. John K

    Jack it has been my experience that most Americans give little thought to the war at all, Mc Chrystal or no Mc Chrystal. My thought about this is that most who do think about it consider our milit\ary is at war not our country. This feeling is due to the fact that there is NO DRAFT. I'd like to see the playing field leveled a bit and the Draft activated. Get the country involved or lets get the hell out.

    John K
    Cushing, Ok.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  61. gerry oldach

    I think that while Obama made the correct decision in firing McKristol, I wonder how much of the comments made in the magazine are right on target.
    Several people who have be interviewed (not just Republicans) seem to think that many of the comments made in the article are accurate. There seems to be some real issues with the civilian people involved in the conflict and strong hints were made that Obama needs to make some changes in the civilian staff.
    Don't make a big deal out of Obama's decision because it was the only one he could make. He still does not have my confidence as a solid, well organized and stable LEADER.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  62. Joe in VA


    It will likely have little effect on peoples opinion of the war. Like the Russians, and British before them, and whoever before them, Afghanistan is best left alone. It is not called the graveyard of empires for no reason. If they want to live in the 13th century, so be it. We need to declare victory and leave. Put those 90,000 troops providing stateside security against anything Al Queda may try. Stop putting lives and money down a rat hole.

    Chatham, VA

    June 23, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  63. jim

    When BiN Laden was surrounded and then allowed to walk free the Afghan War became a sideshow and anyone who didn't lose confidence that we were trying to win wasn't paying attention. Iraq wa the goal then and we need to leave before we become another casualty of that hell hole like so many before us. Just ask the people of Russia whether it was worth the effort.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  64. btchakir

    As it was, confidence in the Afghanistan War was pretty low. To have to keep experiencing an expensive and useless military commitment to a country that does not seem to even want to come together as a nation is very difficult. To see young Americans die for the cause of President Kharzai is pretty dismal to all of us.

    Getting rid of McChrystal only adds to the mess... since he was the General who demanded so many more troops, but gave us so little in return. Now we are stuck in a military involvement that no one seems to be able to get out of.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  65. John Geheran

    The good news is that US Military bench stength is a helluva lot deeper than our civilian leader bench depth.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  66. Stephen Jones

    I refuse, for now, to second guess the U.S. Policy in Afghanistan. I assume there remains a strategic necessity. I am angered by a rogue military structure, still a minority, I'm sure, that seems not to understand that it has a constitutional obligation to shut up and follow orders from a civilian government. McCrystal should consider his gentle ouster a lucky break. Were I President he'd be facing something stiffer.

    Stephen Jones
    New Mexico

    June 23, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  67. Derryck

    I think this helps show that the President is willing to do what it takes to put the right people in place to get the job done. McChrystal's comments and interview seems calculated and removes him from a war that he was no longer willing to lead and win. Let's not forget his black ops background. And to the people who are bent on attacking the President's decision; accepting his resignation was another smack on the wrist. Lets not forget his crime is punishable under UCMJ.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  68. Jim Blevins

    I now have some confidence that we might be able to make a graceful exit. The war was looking like a forever thing prior to this. Petraeus seems to have set the stage for a graceful exit from Iraq. Hopefully he will do the same thing for Afghanistan.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    June 23, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  69. AJ

    Americans didn't like the war before the this episode and they defiantly don't like it now.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  70. Marty

    Vietnam? You almost hit nail on head Jack.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  71. Susan from Idaho

    The guy is a dufus. good riddance to bad rubbish. How could he have not known that what he said was inappropriate? If the general running the show in a country that we are so vulnerable in shows disrespect to our government why would we expect the heads of state there to feel it?

    June 23, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  72. Ray

    I think the replacement of McChrystal was needed and will have little effect on the war in Afghanistan. The policy remains the same and will be implemented, only without the sidetalk that disrupts morale and shows contempt for authority.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  73. Will V.

    I am more confident now. Despite his political affiliation with the Republican party, Petraeus will not undermine the President's command. He puts his country before politics. McChrystal apparently couldn't do that. Where were these voices when the U.S. was making the most terrible decision to go to Iraq?

    June 23, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  74. Lyn

    I feel much better with Petreas in charge.
    McChrystal did a terrible thing to the President, the Troops and all of the Americans.
    I'll bet the rest of the world wanders what kind of General was leading the Afghan war.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  75. Mark

    Negatively for sure. What was he saying all along behind his back? This is going to hurt the moral of our soldiers.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  76. Michael, Springfield VA

    Americans have confidence in our Afghan war strategy? When did that start? McChrystal, Patreaus and every last soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan, bring them home. This political quagmire has gone on long enough. ENOUGH! as Obama cried out during the campaign and yet the insanity continues. We can't financially afford it and nothing good has come from the loss of American lives.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  77. minnesota stanley

    I have some hope it will improve our confidence by bringing back to the table the fact that the President is in fact part of the problem, and then maybe in the middle of the night some of these comments about him will register and he will find a way to get rid of his silly withdrawal time-table talk.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  78. Sean B from near Los Angeles

    I have read parts of the Rolling Stone article and it made me sick. McChrystal comes off as an arrogant, immature fool who should have no business in such a high position. What does that say to our allies and our enemies that a man like that can oversee a war? It destroyed the sliver of confidence I have in this joke of a war.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  79. Jeremy D.G.

    We've killed 500,000+ people in the two wars already. We never should have sent troops into the middle east. The general's comments reveal that the troops are starting to realize we shouldn't be there and we won't be able to succeed in Afghanistan. You can't take over a country and expect the people to go along with it willingly. It would be like if Russia invaded us, and no Americans fought back.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  80. Richard Fairview, Texas

    Jack I think that most Americans already believe that this war in Afghanistan is a lost cause. It has put us in debt for decades to come and perhaps a debt we can never escape from. Then there is the loss of life on all sides of this issue. Between Iraq and Afghanistan the number of lives lost far exceeds the number killed on 9-11 and Bin Laden is still a free man 10 years later. I think the General may have given us an out in Afghanistan. Unfortunately I don't think Obama is smart enough to take it.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  81. leroy l holbron

    Its sad because it seems to me that he's the only one who knows what he's doing.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  82. Rahmond McCoy

    I think it has an even more negative effect than before. I know firsthand of troops questioning his command very similar to articles such as the Rolling Stones. We as the military have a standard to uphold and when we fail to do this we are held accountable regardless of how many medals, ribbons, and achievements we have in our career. Where is the Moral courage in our leaders today, what happened to setting the example for others to emulate?!

    June 23, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  83. jz

    "McChrystal's job was to implement the President's war plan on the battlefield" WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

    It is the Presidents, Vice Presidents, the Congress and the Senates job to represent the interests of the people which they have not done for years and they all need to be replaced.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  84. CJ

    The war on Afghans was lost before it began ten years ago, but we could spend another 10 or more years losing it. We'll certainly never win it, no matter who's in charge. As for McChrsytal: Obama, 1; Keith Olbermann, Zip. Now if only Obama would fire himself with respect to the war on Afghans. By the way, troops already know the war is lost but can't say so publicly.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  85. Nancy Lee

    The war in Afghanistan was going badly; perhaps McChrystal wanted to blame it on the President. I think that President Obama made the right decision in putting Gen. Patreaus in charge. If Obama allowed McChrystal to stay he would have been perceived as being weak. Our president looked strong and determined today.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  86. Shannon Bell

    There has been no major turning points in the afgan war so far, maybe now with McChrystal gone and some one new in, we might finally see some positive results in the afgan war..... In the end McChrystal and his staff should have kept their thoughts to themselves....

    June 23, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  87. SeaDog

    Every day I have less confidence in the Afghan war. The McChrystal episode confirms that what we are doing is an exercise in futility.

    Why are we sacrificing our Sons & Daughters blood and money on people who by their own beliefs would prefer to see us all dead anyway?

    June 23, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  88. Bernie Kline

    The canning of McChrystal will improve the morale of our troops in the field, because they don't beleive in his theory and it will fuel the argumenst of the right wing that the President can't fight the war. There are no winners in war.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  89. taylor

    A. He had this comming, this was not the reason, but the exuse to relive him of his duties! B. Confidence will rise, petrause will prevail. And C, karzai is no place to dictate the frindship we put in his country to lead our troop, he is lucky to have us.
    Dallas, 23, taylor

    June 23, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  90. Bethany

    After eight years it has become clear that we are wasting our children and our treasure on a war that cannot be won – for long. I believe that as soon as we leave Iraq and Afghanistan they will revert to way life as has been for centuries – ruthless and chaotic and cruel. So, I say get out now before we lose any more young men and women to death, dismemberment, and depression.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  91. Tom

    I think General Stanley McChrystal was a hotdog general, who has mislead the american people. But I am also sure my old party of the gop is fumming once more and will soon start calling General Patraeous General betray us again. I think the wars are wrong and we as a country better start learning to listen to other people instead of assuming all right and never wrong attitude

    June 23, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  92. Bob Kobs

    It doesn't. The loud mouth needed to be fired. Now that he is gone, Patreaus can do the clean-up.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  93. Michael

    I agree that General Stanley McChrystal should have been replaced. After being in the military, I know it was going to happen. But, I hope that what he said is looked at and see if what he said is true. I hope what he said isn't push under the rug, and ruled as a bad judgment. because our troops need the best leadership and plan to win the war. Me personally, I am not surprised by his comments, due to the lack of experience at the top (The President).

    June 23, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  94. Mark W. Ellis


    McChrystal was in fact failing in Afghanistan. This war is not "winnable" in the traditional sense, much as Vietnam was not winnable, at least not without some serious nation building which is out of the question. The best we can hope for is a "holding action" that will continue for a long, long time. McChystal had to go as he was far more of a liability than an asset in this effort. Obama did the right thing.

    M.W. Ellis

    June 23, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  95. Wilberforce Johnson

    If The US has only one general who could persecute this war then their enemies must be laughing.Report suggest that the General has made significant progress yet the death toll is rising with no end in sight. What about the lessons of Veitnam. The longer this went on the worst it would have been. There is no time for indecision and political correctness.Leading is about decisive strategy .

    June 23, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  96. Xander

    The confidence in the Afghanistan war has always been shaky at best. To say that American's do have confidence in the war is an optimistic thought. However, this new change could demolish any hope for the war altogether. But we won't know for certain.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  97. P. C. Sanders

    56% disapproval rate for the American people on the Afghanistan war.... maybe Gen. McChrystal "deliberately" got himself removed as he knows that if the USSR couldn't beat the Afghanis (we went in and rescued them and helped run the USSR out, remember?) – what makes us think we can? It's another VietNam – costing us a fortune, and losing us lives of our young military. We need to GET OUT!

    June 23, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  98. Sandy Nelson

    I think that President Obama made the best possible decision in replacing McChrystal with Gen. Petraeus.

    Gen. Petraeus knows the area, was reasonably successful in Iraq, and is a professional. Unfortunately, Gen. McChrystal demonstrated that professional behavior was not a major priority for him. He behaved in a way that was totally unacceptable for military personnel.

    I don't care if you like the President or not, you do not denigrate your leaders to the rest of the world, especially while involved in fighting a war.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  99. Phil-Eastern WA

    I think we have lost confidence in the Afghanistan war (I did long ago). A constant "battle" between a rogue general and the Commander in Chief is a recipe for disaster. This isn't the first time he has bucked the system. If you can't work together as a team, it's time for change. My definition of "change" is to withdraw from an unwinnable situation. With only a handful of Al Qaeda and a corrupt government in disarray with no hope of improvement, why are we still there? Time to come home.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  100. art

    This does nothing to the confidance of the war in afganistan It just shows the adminstrations lack of confidance in their ability to govern.none of the adminstration know how to lead or take caare of the people of this country all obama cares about is trying to make himself look good. It will not work the american people are starting the real obama His adminstration will end but not soon enough

    June 23, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  101. Eric H

    this reacent epsiode will drope the cnfidence in this war even more because this war is not as poplure as it was some 9 years ago. from castleton VT

    June 23, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  102. Melinda

    Hey Jack, this one is easy-more confidence now because when a General can't even trust his aides to keep their mouths shut to reporters or keep his his own shut then one wonders who else is hearing what that they shouldn't. Some people need to realize that Freedom of Speech doesn't always mean we should talk-there is also a thing called "private thoughts" and sometimes they should be kept that way. Melinda from McLean, Va.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  103. Al Williams (Miami)

    Among former and currently servicing members of the military the exit of Gen McChrystal is unfortunate, but completely appropriate! No matter what your personal views the conduct of the General and his staff was wrong.

    As for the war in Afghanistan, this is only a minor "hiccup" in the operations. No member of the chain-of-command is irreplaceable; that's why when we make (train) Generals, Admirals, Officers, Non-commissioned Officers and Enlisted members, we make spares...plenty of them!

    Military service and personal politics are not compatible and will never mix. If you want to voice your opinion choose another line of work!

    June 23, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  104. charls

    It was absolutely necessary but it surely could not have happened at a worse time. Our country needs to defeat the Taliban and kill/capture Bin Laden. I sure hope that things improve soon.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  105. steve

    Today America just got weaker poor leadership from our president has cost a man that dedicated himself to our freedom his career. I have fought for this country in the past but would never do it under this CIC. This insanity has to come to an end.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  106. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    I am totally against this war and I do not like the way Bush just up and left the job unfinished to go to Iraq. I'd like our military to come home tomorrow but that is not the case. General McCrystal definitely needed to be replaced. He no longer fit with the management team Obama assembled to persue this war. When his one foot went in his mouth the other one went out the door.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  107. jerry

    Gen.Mc Chrystal forgot the oath he took when he went in service of his country.I think his senior aids
    need to be investigated too that made statement to R.S. mag.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  108. id, Raleigh, NC

    Keeping the enemy confused about our strategy is a good idea. Our military and administration is doing a great job keeping everybody confused.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  109. Mike in Sachse TX

    The President answered your question when he said –war is bigger than anyone man or woman. I am not fully supportive of the Afghan war as I was once but I am as supportive of our troops as I ever was. McCrystal is an embarrasment to himself, the Army and this country. He needs to go and his departure causes and nearly undetectable ripple in the larger ocean.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  110. Kevin L

    Obedience is what makes the soldier, not the mission. Good choice Pres, sorry for the Gen...a lot of experience that's not on the team now but the US will continue to march. Setting a bad example is that; bad no matter who does it. True...there's more to this war than terrorism; resources. The energy policy, enconomics, ect. keeping an EYE on the prizes, those are the real enemies.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  111. Ketch

    My confidence, quite low previously, is now much like a snake's belly in a wagon rut. The comments reported in Rolling Stone pretty much reveal the frustration and disgust being experienced by the General, his staff and, in all likelihood, the vast majority of the troops. It must be terribly difficult to conduct the conflict when getting orders from a bunch of inept nincompoops who don't know the difference between 'About Face!" and !Right Oblique!"

    June 23, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  112. Carla garbin

    I am exceedingly disappointed in McCrystal. The president did what he had to do and thank you to General Petraus for accepting the position. Because of his record and skill, I believe that the McCrystal affair, culminating in the appointment of General Petraus, will result In the American people feeling more, not less, confident that there can be a reasonable resolution to the Afghanistan war.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  113. Eric Wasek

    This McChrystal episode does not negatively affect the confidence with the War in Afghanistan. This episode actually has a positive affect of the American public's confidence in the war. The new commander of forces in Afghanistan will soon to be General David Petraeus who is one of the most highly respected and battle tested combat leaders in the United States Military to date. The American people now have a commander who is greatly admired and trusted by both the American people and the Commander in Chief.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  114. George

    What does it say about America that a rookie with virtually no experience can fire a 35-year war hero?
    Bedford TX

    June 23, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  115. Gigi Oregon

    I don't see anything going wrong with the firing of McChrystal. Nor did I see anything going right concerning the fighting in Afghanistan. His judgment may have been no better in plans for fighting the Taliban or Al Qaeda war. After nine years something needs to happen to end this war. Or it will receive a new name the twenty year war etc.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  116. Joel Tampa Florida

    The President's choice to relieve McChrystal of command was a smart move. As a former petty officer in the US Navy, public criticism of the comander-in-chief was totally unacceptable and forbidden to service members of all ranks; if i wasnt allowed to then why should he now? I dont believe this would have any significant effect on Americans view of this war, the public is clearly against it already. The real question should be how much has this done to further damage our image overseas, especially among our allies.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  117. Andy in Austin

    Patraeus is proven effective at implementing counter-insurgency strategy, and as the Commander of CENTCOMM, he is already prepared for Afghanistan.

    The only American's whose "confidence" will wane due to this are those who seek to denigrate our President at any opportunity.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  118. Theresa

    What has changed? My confidence in the Afgan war has not been very high for some time now. Most Americans wanted our troops to come home, but McChrystal's strategy required that we send even more troops to Afganistan. So far, his strategy has not been working, so why should our confidence be shaken now that he is being replaced?

    June 23, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  119. Tod

    Pres. Obama had no other choice and did what needed to be done.

    Whether this affects the war will be up to how Gen. Petraeus responds and executes. The President made it crystal clear the policy (i.e. strategy) wasn't changing. However, I expect that Gen. Petraeus will have a 30-45 day window with which to influence or modify that strategy in a way that allows HIM to be successful and subsequently own the outcome.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  120. Amarjit

    Mr. Obama has taken right decision in accepting resignation of Gen. Mc Charystal. Mr. Chrystal comments in News week about legitimate & legal Authority which appointed him for Afgan war & typical instinct of conduct depicted in the comments are belittling the highest authority established under the constitution. It is also a serious deviation from the standards of behaviour, attitude & conduct of Military Officers learnt & taught in the Military Academy during Commission Training Course. Gen with his inferior let out undermined his own effectiveness as well those whom he represented in battlefield which is a serious deviation punishable under MIlitary Act as per procedure. Had there been other officer, he could have been Court Marshaled. Accepting resignation of such a senior officer for so serious error is just a reprimand rightly dispensed.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  121. Pat Poole

    Actually, I have more confidence in the Afghanistan situation than previously. President Obama certainly could not tolerate McChrystal's undermining attitude towards himself and his staff. I'll bet some of the hot air has gone out of McChrystal's egotistical head about now.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  122. Paul

    This iincident will temporarily hamper the war effort. Many of the remarks were by McCrystal's staff, so get this: New leader but same staff = disdain for Obama's appointees. The real question is: are the general's staff right? If so, Obama better clean house or he will be a one term president with the Afghan and Iraq wars still going on.
    If Obama cleans house and sets Petraeus to the task, then he can still come out on top and look good going into the election. Note: McCrystal knew what he was doing, it was a shameful way to say I quit! Do I forsee a run for the tea party roses?

    June 23, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  123. Michael H. in Albuquerque, NM

    I doubt that their is a thing as confidence or victory in an Afghan war.
    McChrystal didn't have the confidence of his troops. By shooting off his mouth McChrystal undermined the confidence of the President. By choosing a counter insurgency policy that didn't work he undermined Americas position in Afghanistan. It is good that he finally resigned.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  124. Roger - Arizona

    I think General McChystal is not a politician. He is a soldier who loves his troops. The general would give up everything so not one of his soldiers would die. I do not know what is going on over in the middle east, but I do know he was standing up for the armed forces. I feel everyone in the United states should at least go through boot camp. Then you would get it. Lead, follow, or get out of the way. DUTY- HONOR – COUNTRY.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  125. Jesse Warren - Port St. Lucie, FL

    The impact is only to affirm the shortfalls that McChrystal pointed about about the President and the President's men. If the general on the ground feels that the war he is charged with carrying out, is the plan of fools then the American public should be deeply concerned. Generals fight wars which have no politics except when a bullet is headed your way. I believe that the only way for McChrystal to expose this poor battle plan was to take the opportunity to be heard worldwide, resign and go home. If that was the case I support the general, whose demise a commander over there may indeed save lives if the current administration has the courage to rethink their plan. I do not support General Petraeus who take the job for the very people that dubbed him General Betrayus. If he were a man he'd have said no thanks looking Hillary and Joe right in the eyes. let's hope our confidence is shaken and get someone with experience running the country to come up with a better plan that assures victory for the Afghanis and the defeat of the Taliban and Al Queda.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  126. M Linver

    I do believe that it will be better in the long run for the U.S. if not for Afghanistan to have someone who will work with this administration.
    I heard on news show after news show what a good relationship McChrystal had with Karzai and Afhanistan, but maybe that was the problem. His loyalties may have been misplaced and therefore a detriment to the war in Afghanistan. Was it not McChrystal who initiated the cover up concerning the death of young Tillman? What more do we need to know about him?

    June 23, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  127. vince cami

    Obama did the right thing in sacking the general. However, the underlying message is most troubling. That is, the apparent lack of respect this key general has in this adminstration's many interrnational "experts" What has he witnessed that we have not heard about
    Vince Cami
    Duluth, Ga

    June 23, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  128. tim

    As a vet i feel the general's comments were out of line for use in the media. however, i trust in his opinions and thoughts. McChrystal is a brilliant general and he wouldn't have gotten to that 4th star without being the best at what he does. if he has doubts about the civilian leadership, or the progress of the war; i feel confidant that there is doubt to be had. i have little confidence in the war in Afghanistan and less now. the president putting Petraeus on the job does not change the facts on the ground.

    All that being said, I would still fight under McChrystal.

    Tacoma, WA

    June 23, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  129. Kathryn

    The military chain of command is specifically designed for this exact situation. If Gen. McCrystal is retiring/relieved/reassigned for any reason there is always an alternative for a seamless transition. McCrystal behaved like an arrogant self-serving power-tripper. And it indeed tripped him. Any confidence, or lack thereof, in the Afghanistan war should not be affected by a personnel change. The focus should remain on the brave women and men carrying out their duties and the Commander in Chief making decisions based on victory and the safety and unity of the collective allied troops.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  130. Brett

    It's a shame that a few comments would ruin the career of a lifelong warrior/servant. McChrystal showed remorse and admitted his mistake (who among us have said things we wish we could take back), yet the ego's of elected politicians and political appointees apparently trump a lifetime of service.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  131. Joyce

    We look bad no matter what we do. Obama is in a no win situation....but so is our troops in Afghaistan. So does it really matter who takes over for McChystal's... we're still at a loss.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  132. Richard

    Your right jack,this is another vietnam.It doesn't matter if we stay or if we go,the taliban will always be our enemy.The problem is when we go they will start coming over here.This war was meaningless from the begining and for every taliban person we kill they probably recuit a hundred more but when our President starts replacing Generals we are showing poor leadership to the enemy and thats not good either.What I want to know is what is a music magazine like Rolling Stone doing in a war zone to begin with?This sounds like a set up if you ask me.


    June 23, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  133. John in 29 Palms, Ca

    Jack, replacing the General in Charge in Afghanistan is unfortunate situation, however the men and women on the ground will continue to perform their duties to accomplish the Counter Insurgency (COIN) Mission's regardless. They are there because the Armed Froces is an all volunteer force and, fighting for the freedoms that make this country free. Freedom is no free, lets remember the men and women who lost their lives and are in harms ways today!

    June 23, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  134. Andre

    Does anyone really believe that a 4-star gen. would repeatedly call out his commander-n-chief, v.p., national security team, etc., unless he had an agenda... as in "I'm not going to take the fall for and have my legacy branded with the inevitable failure in Afghanistan so if I say enough outrageous stuff they'll just replace me and hang this millstone around somebody else's neck". McChrystal wanted out, plain and simple.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  135. Reenkhan

    While the McChrystal incident may not have much of an impact on the already low confidence in the Afghanistan war, it certainly strengthens the public's faith in the president. Obama not only acted quickly in his deliberation of the situation, but decisively replaced McChrystal with as little drama and delay as possible. This action will be looked well upon in the public's eyes. Hooray, Obama!

    June 23, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  136. Don (Belleville, Canada)

    The Afghanistan war has, as so many people predicted before it even started, become hopeless. America and its coerced allies are now seen as occupiers, not saviors.
    This demoting of General McChrystal has no significance.
    America's military is being decimated with PTSD.
    A full pullout in 2011 is the only viable option.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  137. Vincent Johnson

    Our efforts in fighting a NO WIN situation are even further hampered by dissension in the ranks making us look like an even weaker enemy. Why do some think that we can do better than the Russians? Will we eventually pull out as we did in Viet Nam where the French failed before us? Look at history!

    June 23, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  138. Barb from Oklahoma

    I am from a military family and live near a military town and have seen first hand the lasting results of this long war on military families. I voted for President Obama in the hopes of ending the ill-advised wars from the previous administration. I am cautiously encouraged by the removal of General McChrystal whose conduct seems to indicate he thought his views so important to get out that he would break time honored codes of loyalty to get them into print. I feel that General Petraeus will do the best he can to fulfill his mission so that we can hopefully get our troops home as quickly as possible.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  139. Harvey, FL

    McChrystal sold the counter insurgency to the people in Washington, but failed to sell it to the troops who see their fellow soldiers getting killed as a result of it. Either go in big or get out.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  140. Keith

    Hey Jack what about the Injunction the Judge in Utah put into effect against the foreclosure companies that operate in all states without registering with the corporation commissions. They have no legal standing to foreclose so he halted their foreclosures . How come this didn't make it into the news.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  141. Nick C in SD

    Well, I don't know what anyone else thinks about it Jack, but I think that this was a great move by the President because McChrystal's actions were not simply disrespectful. They were an example of a failure to implement the policy, which includes a major political and civilian component–of which in this case at least, he appears to have underestimated. If he can't manage to keep the politicians and pundits happy in Washington, how's he supposed to help manage a new government in a country that appears incapable of managing itself–I'm referring to Afghanastan.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  142. Ken in NC

    What confidence Jack? I have every confidence that as long as we are in their country fighting, someone over there is going to fight back.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  143. Sandra Griffin

    Thank you, Jack, for asking the tough questions. Personally, I think we're toast regardless of whether Top Dog Obama asked for the general's resignation or not. I am sorry I helped vote in President Obama; the change I expected to see is not happening, it is getting worse. "We can" pertains to: focusing on appearance rather than deeds, selling out the American culture to those south of the border, enforcing the war effort and the zlllions of bucks that are tied to this sad cause, and making up your own set of rules to appease your devoted followers instead of what is right. I have zero confidence in anyone besides myself. I wish Obama would have slayed BP's acts of horror,bloated egos and stupid comments like he swiftly took care of the general.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  144. Drew from Philadelphia

    This move is a huge mistake by Obama. McChrystal may have spoken his mind out of place, but he only reflected the view of the soldier – most likely any soldier you can speak with serving in Afghanistan. Like all historically relevant military commanders, we need his fresh and no sugar coating perspective to get a realistic feel for the situation.

    I can only say the "hurt feelings" political reaction from our president and staff to McChrystal's comments resembles the demeanor of a failed American Idol contestant sobbing on stage as opposed to intelligent and constructive behavior that we should demand from our political leadership. Resolution of the war should be first priority, not "who" said "who" is stuck in 1985.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  145. Brian Smith PhD - San Diego CA., USA

    It is clear the Afghan war was an ill advised knee jerk reaction by a undisciplined unthinking President that didn’t know what else to do. Unfortunately, the war has turned into a cash cow for the Industrial-Military complex. Until fat cat big business squeezes every dollar out of the war, it will continue regardless if we have confidence or not.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  146. fayce booque

    McChrystal screwed up and forced himself to resign. McChrystal flaked out. The President is still in the game and doing the best he can with what he has to work with. McChrystal probably fears something that is on the horizon, like not being able to win the war, or some big casualties approaching and he started getting wet feet. Americans see this episode through their prejudices: If you don't like Obama, you still don't like him and blame him for everything. If you like Obama, you see it as I do, frankly. I hope Petraeus and Obama are able to regain the confidence of the troops. They are the ones we should all be concerned about at this time. If they didn't have poor morale before, they surely have it now. Let's get the troops geared up, have them do what they need to do, build up the house of cards, take a picture and get the heck out of there.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  147. larry wi

    Petreaus is no doubt a good replacement, but I think a more appropriate choice would have been McChrystals 2nd in command. There will some wounds to mend with Afghanistan over this, McChrystal was pretty tight with Karzi!

    June 23, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  148. Ronda (from Canastota, NY)

    Pres. Obama was right in replacing McChrystal with Petraeus, but there's a much bigger issue here than McChrystal's inappropriate comments to Rolling Stone. If he and his staff believe that the Afghans and our troops have lost this war's purpose and initiative, then what are we still doing in Afghanistan? And while we remain there, when are we supposed to regain them? The big problem that Karzai's government is corrupt and until that changes, then our efforts are no more than an exercise in futility. Whose side is Karzai on? No one trusts him. Let's hope that Petraeus does the best he can to reinforce initiative on both sides. If he can't, then it's time for us to bring the troops home once and for all.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  149. David Scott Doherty

    My confidence hasn't been effected one iota, when there was none from the start, it's hard too diminish it. When will we learn that if Afganistanie wanted us there they would be doing a lot more to help root out the enemy, do you really believe that the Afghan people don't know who or where the enemy is, and find it more palatable too watch American troops die than their in-laws kids! Now that it has been made public that Afghanistan is sitting on tons of mineral wealth (like that was a real secret from the start) I guess it's just a matter of time till we set up permanent bases there to protect our interests

    June 23, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  150. Tom in Illinois

    Soldiers follow leaders they respect. They respected McChrystal because he was one of the few leaders that would actually go out in the field with the troops during combat. He motivated soldiers long after he left their area with his military conduct.

    Soldiers aren't politians. McChrystal would make a better President than Obama would a General.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  151. Bob Mears

    This will have no effect at all. The American public is used to watching the Dems, GOP, fight like mad dogs. The US military does not work that way. You follow orders, into harms way when need be. Call it "blind faith" but that is the reality. A change of personell in the service is in my experience is the strongest asset in the service. This is a good thing.While Congress sits around bickering, fighting for thier seat, the service rotates you if you like it or not. Too bad the voters don't think like the military.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  152. Margaret von Steinen

    President Obama had no choice. We simply cannot have military commanders spouting off to the media in such an inappropriate manner. What I'd really like to hear the media reporting about is the total cost of the wars to date and the fact that we've never put into a place a real funding mechanism to cover the costs. Isn't this part of our deficit problem? from Kalamazoo, Michigan

    June 23, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  153. R

    It indicates to me Jack that we need to vacate a place we never belonged in. We can't afford these wars any longer.Bring home our boys and seal our damn borders already.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  154. deeb lteif

    obama wins : hurray

    June 23, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  155. David Hourdequin

    Jack, as an Ex Captain in the Army, I find Pres.Obama's action encouraging. The insubordination was inexcusable. It sends a strong message out to the entire military. And, it opens the door for Gen. Patreaus to negotiate for additional support in the war effort if he feels its needed. Frankly, as a constitutional conservative, I was impressed by Pres. Obama's decision and I think the incident will solidify our resolve to win this war and come home.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  156. greg texas

    It makes me wonder what kind of twisted thought processes this general has. The current policy is his policy and the president gave him everything he wanted against the wishes of his party and his advisors. I think Mchrystal is another one of those tea party people who are just pissed off that a half black man is in the oval office.

    It is time to get down to basics. Our national interest is preventing terrorists from using Afghanistan as a staging ground for attacks on our nation and our interests. We can do that without nation building and it does not matter who runs the country as long as they know that if they don't keep terrorists out they will be crushed.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  157. Jim from LA

    While I disagree with the decision made regarding McChrystal, I support the President. The resignation was not the President's choice, but his perrogative given the public forum that McChrystal chose for his critical comments. The decision, as the President stated, was a difficult one. I am sure he got advice from Secretary of Defense Gates, Vice President Biden, and the Joint Chiefs. General Petraeus has a distinguished career with changing the course of the war in Iraq, and I have confidence that he can make similar progress in Afghanistan. McChrystal has served the country well, but he overstepped the bounds of good judgment with respect to his Chain of Command.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  158. George in Texas

    What does it say about America that a rookie with virtually no experience can fire a 35-year war hero?

    June 23, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  159. Karl from SF, CA

    McChrystal is a war soldier and that isn't what we need in Afghanistan. It's a losing battle, always was and always will be. Petreas will get us out safely and on schedule.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  160. jim

    Actually I believe that it confirms the current public feelings

    June 23, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  161. Andre in Los Angeles

    The country lost faith in this war a long time ago and the sideshow of squabbling by administration officials with each other, with the military, with Karzai, the media, etc., stands as a prime example of the futility of the war effort and its inevitable failure. Americans inherently have a "winners" attitude but the interminable nature of one crisis after another and our inability to quickly dispose of them in good 'ol American kick butt fashion has worn the "can-do spirit" of this country down to a dull "can we?" nub.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  162. Mz, (pronounced eM-Zee).

    How can the President be "accused of undermining his own strategy" if the guy he put in charge, (to make sure that the strategy works – the guy whose ideas formed the strategy), lacks discipline? In a situation like 'Afghanistan,' (discipline trumps everything). President should be applauded, (for it's lack of discipline that will undermine the strategy).

    June 23, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  163. Mark in San Francisco

    The McChrystal situation will only serve to lower American's confidence in a war they truly don't understand. Until Obama can tell the war rationale story in GWB "black and white" style, Americans will be further confused and retreat to their red vs. blue safe zones.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  164. JONIQUE

    Please, please please. If President Obama gave every negative person amillion dollars of his own money, they would complain. Listen negative Americans. HE IS THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. READ THE CONSTITUION. I TAUGHT 12TH GRADE GOVERNMENT. He is the head person in charge. Live with it. It was his decision to remove the arrogant loose lips fool. Have you ever heard of a professional doing something so stupid? I would trust Mckrystal whatever with my child's life in Af–.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  165. Bruce

    Come on, Jack! The general was insubordinate – if you were in the military, you know insubordination is not accepted from anyone E1 and above. We are a country that is increasingly influenced by the military, but the coup hasn't yet occurred. Obama's firing of the general may have prevented the eventual coup from happening!

    June 23, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  166. ann perry

    I think the Pres. did the right thing and I hope he can get us out of there in next year or so.There is no time or place for this kind of mouthing to go on.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  167. NSHSDad

    The Afghanistan policy merits a serious and careful look. Perhaps McChrystal felt he was in a bind and the end was preordained. In this case, even if Obama had wanted McChrystal to remain, it wouldn't have done any good. He (McChrystal) wanted "out" and to make a splash on the way. This is good for a book deal, etc, which I'm sure isn't far off.

    I doubt that the day to day operations of the current policy are going to be strongly affected because they're are stalled in any case.

    Petraeus at least has the liberty of shifting things around. Example – he could change the rules of engagement in the Western Provinces, which evidently were causing problems for the marines fighting there.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  168. Jen in Nevada

    Does it really matter who is in charge of chasing the Taliban or Al Qaeda, while companies with the support of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) are busy privatizing Afghan State-owned enterprises and targeting Afghan mineral profits?

    June 23, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  169. AKS

    General McChrystal deserved this. He probably developed superior complexity. President Obama has done the right thing. This will provide a lesson to all military bosses to realize that it is the people of the country who are the real boss. We should all be proud of our President. Let us follow his policy; get Osama and get out of Afghanistan and NOT LINGER this war. That will be good military work. If can't do that, confess and bring all our soldiers home and then plan how to get Osama. Our soldiers are risking their lives and WE MUST keep that in our minds and not see our personal gains by lingering the war.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  170. guy from NM

    What confidence in the Afghan war? McChrystal was another Rambo type, good riddance. But it doesnt change the fact that this war is a dead end, and another general is not going to make any better

    June 23, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  171. Peggy from Arkansas

    Keeping them Honest, what does General Stanly McChrystel say happen? you have to remember this is a reporter saying and written his views of what someone said: Has the President told David Petraeus to watch what he says,? or does the President let Petraeus tell him his views on what going on..You have to remember they are very close friends.Not everyone agrees with Petraeus views on this war.This appointment of Petraeus with his hot temper and vocabular will cause our enemies to be emboldened against us. which im sure theyre allready here trying to take use over comminist ruleing. just look at the foriegn ship that we let in and dock in California,what did that prove, our allies will be unnerved to turn theiir back on us. but do you blame them..

    June 23, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  172. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Jack, as a 22-year veteran and military retiree, and a Vietnam vet. (real one), I know that the military leaders live to command troops in a war. I also know that the military learns to love their war, no matter how they got into it.
    This fiasco in Afghanistan has gone on too long. I lost confidence in our mission shortly after the priority switched to Iraq. The military leaders learned from the Bush White House that they were not fighting to win a war, but were trying to build a nation. That's not the military mission.
    If Gen. McChrystal has a problem with anyone it should be his former CINC, not President Obama. I think the troops in Afghanistan will be better served with another commander.

    June 23, 2010 at 5:53 pm |