Jump to content
Washington Football Team Logo

Politico: Gates Replaces Top Afghanistan Commander


Recommended Posts


Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced on Monday that he was replacing the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan with Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who’ll now be in charge of the expanding the U.S. military mission there.

Gates said he was removing Gen. David McKiernan after only 11 months in command after deciding that “fresh thinking” and “fresh eyes” were needed to implement the expanded counterinsurgency strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan ordered by President Barack Obama.

In announcing the change at a Pentagon news conference, Gates would not go into detail about why he had lost confidence in McKiernan. “Nothing went wrong, and there was nothing specific,” Gates said.

But for months, Pentagon officials have hinted there was dissatisfaction among some senior civilian and military officials over whether McKiernan, the top ground commander in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, was the right commander to carry out the new strategy now being implemented in Afghanistan.

Gates noted he made the decision after consulting with Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and with Gen. David Petraeus, head of U.S. Central Command, which oversees military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

McChrystal was responsible for the highly successful special operations effort in Iraq and is close to Petraeus, who was the top U.S. commander in Iraq when McChrystal was there.

Gates also announced that Lt. Gen. Dave Rodriguez, the former commander of the 101st Airborne Division, was being sent to Afghanistan to serve as the day-to-day ground commander under McChrystal.

Gates just returned from Afghanistan, during which he said he had informed McKiernan of the switch.

McKiernan, who is now expected to retire from the Army, would normally have stayed in command for 18 to 24 months

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It'll be interesting to see what Petraeus' reputation is in 20 years:

A. Iraq hero that utterly failed in Afghanistan

B. Hero of the post-9/11 wars that then fades away

C. Great general; not so good (to awful) President

D. A real national hero in the mold of Ike (or at least semi-Washington like if you don't like Ike).

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...