USA — McChrystal Statement Expresses Support for Policy

WASHINGTON, June 23, 2010 — Short­ly after Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma announced today that he had accept­ed Army Gen. Stan­ley A. McChrystal’s res­ig­na­tion as the top U.S. and NATO com­man­der in Afghanistan, the depart­ing gen­er­al released a writ­ten state­ment express­ing his sup­port for the president’s Afghanistan pol­i­cy.

McChrys­tal stepped down after remarks crit­i­ciz­ing admin­is­tra­tion offi­cials were attrib­uted to him and mem­bers of his staff in a Rolling Stone mag­a­zine arti­cle.

“This morn­ing the pres­i­dent accept­ed my res­ig­na­tion as com­man­der of U.S. and NATO coali­tion forces in Afghanistan,” McChrys­tal said in his state­ment. “I strong­ly sup­port the president’s strat­e­gy in Afghanistan and am deeply com­mit­ted to our coali­tion forces, our part­ner nations and the Afghan peo­ple. It was out of respect for this com­mit­ment and the desire to see the mis­sion suc­ceed that I ten­dered my res­ig­na­tion.”

McChrys­tal assumed com­mand in Afghanistan in May, with an assess­ment of the war effort as his first task. Based on McChrystal’s assess­ment, Oba­ma ordered an addi­tion­al 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan.

Before serv­ing in Afghanistan, McChrys­tal was the direc­tor of the Joint Staff at the Pen­ta­gon. He also had served as the com­man­der of U.S. Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Com­mand. He spent the major­i­ty of his mil­i­tary career com­mand­ing spe­cial oper­a­tions and air­borne infantry units.

NATO Sec­re­tary Gen­er­al Anders Fogh Ras­mussen issued a state­ment on the NATO Web site, thank­ing McChrys­tal for his ser­vice.

“While he will no longer be the com­man­der, the approach he helped put in place is the right one,” Ras­mussen said. “The strat­e­gy con­tin­ues to have NATO’s sup­port, and our forces will con­tin­ue to car­ry it out. Our oper­a­tions in Afghanistan are con­tin­u­ing today, and they will not miss a beat.”

The pres­i­dent said he’s nom­i­nat­ing Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, com­man­der of U.S. Cen­tral Com­mand, to replace McChrys­tal. Petraeus was a key par­tic­i­pant in help­ing to design the strat­e­gy that led to the Afghanistan troop surge, the pres­i­dent said. As Cent­com com­man­der Petraeus has over­sight of the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Before tak­ing Centcom’s reins, Petraeus com­mand­ed U.S. and coali­tion forces in Iraq.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)