I guess they just couldn’t figure out the seating chart for this morning’s meeting of the national security team in the Situation Room.
Have McChrystal sit between Gen “Clown” Jones and Richard “Wounded Animal” Holbrooke?
Instead, after meeting President Obama for 30 minutes, McChrystal returned to his home in Ft. McNair, Washington, D.C. He is being replaced by Gen David Petraeus.
The decision to put Gen. Petraeus in command sends a signal that the president stands behind the counterinsurgency tactics pushed hard by Gen. McChrystal and championed by Gen. Petraeus.
Mr. Obama said his acceptance of Gen. McChrystal’s recommendation didn’t reflect a disagreement about strategy or personal insult. “We are in full agreement about our strategy,” he said Wednesday, expressing “great admiration” for the general.
“But war is bigger than any one man,” Mr. Obama said. He said the change was necessary to maintain a “unity of effort” in Afghanistan. “I welcome debate among my team, but I won’t tolerate division.”
As for sentiment among US troops on the ground, that might have been best summed up by a US Marine at Combat Outpost Hanson in Marjah:
A lance corporal from Denver explains that political news tends to trickle down slowly among Marines with limited access to the Internet, newspapers and other creature comforts readily available at rear bases. “Half of these guys don’t even know why we’re here in the first place,” he said with a laugh.