Did the Secretary of Defense chastise General Stanley McChrystal, America’s top commander in Afghanistan, for publicly rejecting a suggestion—favored by Vice President Biden—to narrow American focus in the war? Sec. Robert Gates, speaking at a meeting of the Association of the United States Army, told an audience that “all of us taking part” in the discussion about U.S. options for the war in Afghanistan “provide our best advice to the president candidly but privately.” Gates’ statements, along with comments made by National Security Adviser James L. Jones on Sunday on CNN, were parsed as a subtle scolding of General McChrystal, who spoke out last week in London against scaling back the military’s effort in Afghanistan and focusing on the fight against al Qaeda over the Taliban. The Obama administration is continuing to debate McChrystal’s request for 40,000 more troops to the country on top of the 68,000 already deployed.
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