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06.22.10

Day of Reckoning

As McChrystal heads to the White House reportedly ready to resign, James Carroll, Leslie H. Gelb, and more Daily Beast contributors weigh in on whether Obama should accept his offer. Plus, take our poll on McChrystal's future and view our gallery of other loose-lipped public servants.

Things aren’t looking good for General Stanley McChrystal: ABC News says he’s told the Obama administration that he’s “compromised the mission.” The two met for 30 minutes Wednesday morning, with no indication yet if the general had the president's backing. The White House has also reportedly ordered up a list of possible successors, though it insists it still has not decided whether McChrystal will stay or go. Both Time magazine and CBS News have reported that McChrystal has offered the president his resignation, but Obama has not yet decided whether to accept it.

James Carroll, Leslie H. Gelb, and more Daily Beast contributors weigh in on whether Obama should accept McChrystal's offer to resign. Plus, take our poll on McChrystal's future and view our gallery of other loose-lipped public servants.

Gen. McChrystal's Firing Offense
By Peter Beinart

The flap over the Rolling Stone article is much ado about nothing. But the general isn’t pursuing Obama’s Afghan policy. Peter Beinart on why the president needs a new commander to end the war.

It’s not the insubordination, stupid. It’s the war. Behind all the indignant huffing and puffing, what Stanley McChrystal actually said about his civilian superiors in Michael Hastings’ Rolling Stone profile was fairly mild. Sure, unnamed aides made juvenile cracks about Joe Biden and James Jones. But the most impolitic thing that McChrystal himself said was that he feels hectored by Richard Holbrooke. If that’s a firing offense, most of the Democratic foreign-policy class should start looking for work.

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McChrystal's Gift to Obama
By James Carroll

The general's gaffes may give President Obama the opening he needs to do what’s right: End the war in Afghanistan.

General Stanley McChrystal has given President Obama the opening he needs and—here’s hoping—the opening he’s been waiting for. The breakdown of discipline at the highest levels of U.S. military command is the latest, and perhaps most potent, sign that the American adventure in Afghanistan is already lost. It is one thing for Afghan President Hamid Karzai to treat the White House with contempt, but quite another for McChrystal to do so. And note that the contempt lies less in the locker-room denigrations of the president and vice president than in the deliberate display of snide and puerile disregard.

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The Real McChrystal Story
By Leslie H. Gelb

The basic truth is that the military just doesn’t like Democrats, says Leslie H. Gelb. But firing one general is enough for one war. Let him stay—and talk honestly about strategy.

Here’s the real story behind the nasty, anti-Obama remarks by General Stanley McChrystal and his staff in Rolling Stone. The U.S. military, officers and enlisted ranks don’t like and don’t trust Democrats and liberals. The bad feelings are mainly about values, style and constancy more than policy. The military feel the Democrats come at common problems from a different place and don’t stick to agreed plans when the going gets rough.

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Did the General Think of the Troops?
By Meghan McCain

The saddest thing about McChrystal’s reckless interview is its effect on our troops—who need leadership in Afghanistan more than ever.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan become more unpopular every day, and for people like me, who continue to support our fight against terrorism in both places, the General McChrystal incident only gives naysayers the ammo they need to think the worst about the war in Afghanistan.

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5 McChrystal Successors
By Elspeth Reeve

From an awkward deputy to a press-savvy Afghan recruiter to an expert in irregular warfare, The Daily Beast's Elle Reeve analyzes the leading picks to fill the shoes of our top general in Kabul.

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Karzai Loses His Only Friend
By Lloyd Grove

Should Stanley McChrystal go, his exit would hit Kabul even harder than Washington. Lloyd Grove talks to an Afghan media mogul who says the general is the only American official close to Karzai, which will make him very hard to replace.

In Washington, it’s a parlor game, an entertaining cable melodrama, grist for the chattering classes and the talking heads. But in Kabul, the resignation of loose-tongued commanding Gen. Stanley McChrystal—over reckless remarks he and his aides made about President Obama and his team to a freelance writer from Rolling Stone—is a looming catastrophe. "It's just really bad—really, really bad," media mogul Saad Mohseni, the head of Afghanistan’s biggest broadcast outlet, Moby Group, told me from Kabul.

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McChrystal Must Go
By James Hoge

The general’s poormouthing of Obama’s national security team is insubordination. Foreign Affairs editor James Hoge on why he must be fired—and how Obama is in danger of becoming a wuss.

The U.S. Commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, has a way with words, a way that should put his head on the chopping block when he personally appears at the White House Wednesday on orders from a "furious" president. In the current issue of Rolling Stone, McChrystal and his aides diss the president, the vice president, the national security advisor, the U.S. ambassador and the U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan.

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How to Fire a General
By Harold Evans

With the president ordering a face-to-face meeting with his Afghan general for publicly blasting the White House, Harold Evans on what Obama can learn from President Truman’s dismissal of General Douglas MacArthur.

President Obama, faced with the insubordination of General Stanley McChrystal, should take a look at the showdown between President Truman and his top general in 1951. General Douglas MacArthur, a hero of the Pacific War, had turned the Korean War around by a brilliant landing at Inchon to the rear of the apparently unstoppable North Korean invaders and then blundered by ordering U.S. troops to advance to the communist Chinese border.

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Click Below to View Our Gallery of Loose-Lipped Public Servants

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