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What losing McChrystal means for Afghanistan
What are the consequences of replacing the controversial general as President Obama's commander in the Afghan war? Pundits weigh in
 
Stanley McCrystal talks with Afghan defense minster Abdul Rahim Wardak.
Stanley McCrystal talks with Afghan defense minster Abdul Rahim Wardak.
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Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who angered President Obama by criticizing administration officials in a Rolling Stone interview, has been relieved of his duties as commander of the Afghan war. Will replacing McChrystal damage the war effort — or give the president an opportunity to replace McChrystal with a more effective team player? (Watch a Russia Today report about the Afghanistan war's future)

Letting McChrystal go will set back the war: Gen. Stanley McChrystal "was hired — and his predecessor fired — by Obama precisely because 'new thinking' was needed for the war in Afghanistan," says Azia Poonawalla in BeliefNet. McChrystal is "the" expert on counterinsurgency, the architect of the U.S. "shift away from killing bad guys to protecting civilians," and the strategist behind the surge. Removing him now would be a major step backward.
"Obama should not fire McChrystal — here’s why"

Replacing McChrystal will help us win: The general should go, says Byron York in The Examiner. Not because he showed disrespect for the commander-in-chief, although that's a firing offense. The bigger problem is that the general's "devotion to unreasonably restrictive rules of engagement [is] resulting in the unnecessary deaths of American and coalition forces." To win, we need a new commander committed to annihilating the enemy.
"McChrystal’s real offense"

McChrystal is the wrong man for Obama's war: McChrystal isn't committed to doing the job Obama hired him to do, says Peter Beinart in The Daily Beast. This "single-minded general" is committed to "winning the war in Afghanistan (whatever that means) no matter what it takes," but Obama's policy is to stabilize Afghanistan and get out, so we don't go bankrupt trying to save Kabul. Obama must replace McChrystal to retake control of his own foreign policy.
"Gen. McChrystal's firing offense"

Update 1:40 p.m.: General David Petraeus will replace McChrystal, according to White House officials.

 

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