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Obama kicks out war general


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Obama kicks out war general

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WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama ousted General Stanley McChrystal as the top United States commander in Afghanistan Wednesday, saying that his scathing published remarks about administration officials undermined civilian control of the military and eroded the needed trust on the president’s war team. Obama named McChrystal’s direct boss – General David Petraeus – to take over the troubled nine-year-old war in Afghanistan. He asked the Senate to confirm Petraeus for the new post “as swiftly as possible.” The president said he did not make the decision to accept McChrystal’s resignation over any disagreement in policy or “out of any sense of personal insult.”Flanked by Vice-President Joe Biden, Defence Secretary Robert Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in the Rose Garden, he said: “I believe it is the right decision for our national security.”Obama hit several gracious notes about McChrystal and his service, saying that he made the decision to sack him “with considerable regret”. And yet, he said that the job in Afghanistan could not be done now under McChrystal’s leadership, asserting that the critical remarks from the general and his inner circle in the Rolling Stone magazine article displayed conduct that did not live up to the necessary standards for a command-level officer. Obama seemed to suggest that McChrystal’s military career is over, including in his praise of the general that the nation should be grateful “for his remarkable career in uniform”. McChrystal left the White House following his Oval Office call to account, and returned to his military quarters at Washington’s Fort McNair. A senior military official said there was no immediate decision about whether he would retire from the Army, which has been his entire career. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak publicly. (AP)

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