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Obama Fires McChrystal -- Petraeus to Take Command in Afghanistan

Obama just addressed the nation, saying he's replacing General Stanley McChrystal. He added that he has no policy differences with the general, and isn't making the move because of personal offense, but because the chain of command has to be respected. MSNBC reported this earlier:

President Barack Obama has decided to relieve Gen. Stanley McChrystal of his command over all U.S. military forces in Afghanistan, sources tell NBC News...

Earlier, McChrystal was seen leaving the West Wing and climbing into a van after his nearly half-hour private showdown with the president.

Summoned to Washington to explain himself, McChrystal arrived from Kabul in the early morning and met first at the Pentagon with Defense Secretary Robert Gates. After his next face-to-face, with Obama, the general was not seen returning to the White House for a scheduled Afghanistan strategy session, as had been expected. It was not known where he went, as he did not appear at his Pentagon office, either.
Petraeus is the guru of COIN -- our counterinsurgency "strategy" -- and credited with the "surge" in  Iraq. As I argue on the front page, it's not a strategy at all. It's a set of tactics, and there is no strategy. In his address, Obama again laid out his "strategy" for "moving forward": defeat the remnants of the Taliban and build the "capacity" of Afghanistan's central government. It is a fool's errand, but the administration has long embraced the conflict in Afghanistan as its own. They could reanimate the corpse of George Patton and it wouldn't change the situation a bit.
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