US Afghanistan commander ordered to White House
WASHINGTON (AFP) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ US commander in Afghanistan General Stanley McChrystal was ordered to the White House to personally explain his criticism of the president and his senior advisers, a top US official said.
“McChrystal has been directed to attend (Wednesday’s) monthly meeting on Afghanistan and Pakistan in person” rather than appear in a secure satellite teleconference “to explain to the Pentagon and the commander in chief his quotes in the piece about his colleagues,” a White House official told AFP.
In a profile in the magazine Rolling Stone, McChrystal jokes sarcastically about Vice President Joe Biden for his skepticism of the commander’s war strategy, and imagined ways of “dismissing the vice president with a good one-liner.”
McChrystal also told the magazine that he felt “betrayed” by the US ambassador to Kabul, Karl Eikenberry, in a White House debate over war strategy last year.
And an unnamed McChrystal adviser says in the article that the general came away unimpressed after meeting with Obama in the Oval Office a year ago.
“It was a 10-minute photo op,” the general’s adviser says.
“Obama clearly didn’t know anything about him, who he was… he didn’t seem very engaged,” the adviser added.
A McChrystal aide also called the national security adviser, Jim Jones, a retired general, a “clown” who is “stuck in 1985.”
McChrystal issued a statement late Monday apologizing for his remarks to the magazine.
“I extend my sincerest apology for this profile,” McChrystal said in a statement issued hours after the article entitled “The Runaway General” was released Monday.
“It was a mistake reflecting poor judgment and should never have happened.”
McChrystal, a former special operations chief, usually speaks cautiously in public and has enjoyed mostly sympathetic US media coverage since he took over the NATO-led force last year.