The top U.S. general in Afghanistan faced possible removal yesterday after he and his aides were quoted in a magazine article mocking President Barack Obama and his top advisors.
Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan and the architect of Obama’s war strategy, was summoned to Washington to explain his “enormous mistake in judgment” directly to the president, Obama’s spokesman said.
Asked whether Obama was considering ousting the general, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters, “I would say all options are on the table.”
McChrystal has apologized for the article, due to be published in Rolling Stone magazine on Friday.
It quotes McChrystal’s aides calling one top Obama official a “clown” and another a “wounded animal.” The general himself made belittling remarks about Vice President Joe Biden and the U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke.
The Pentagon blasted McChrystal over his comments and stopped short of expressing confidence in his ability to continue leading the nearly 9-year-old war, seen by many analysts as in a stalemate with the Taliban.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates said McChrystal had “made a significant mistake and exercised poor judgment.” Adm. Mike Mullen, who as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the top U.S. military officer, expressed his “deep disappointment.”