General McChrystal: What will Obama do with 'the runaway general'?
General McChrystal, commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, made derogatory comments about the Obama administration in Rolling Stone magazine's 'The Runaway General.'
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General McChrystal, the top US commander in Afghanistan, is on his way to Washington to attend Wednesday’s monthly White House meeting on Afghanistan and Pakistan. Normally he weighs in via video conference. But he’s in trouble for making derogatory comments about President Obama and other administration officials in an interview called "The Runaway General" in Rolling Stone magazine.
The piece quotes McChrystal as saying he was “disappointed” after his first meeting with Mr. Obama, and that the new US chief executive seemed intimidated by top military brass. It depicts the general as a lone wolf who has clashed with Obama and others about the direction of US strategy in the region.
Insubordination is a bad career move pretty much anywhere. Public insubordination is worse. Public insubordination in a magazine whose primary advertisers are beverages and body spray? That’s possibly a firing offense.
“The main question raised by the profile in Rolling Stone regards General McChrystal’s judgment. What did he think was going to happen when the article was released?” says Justin Logan, associate director of foreign-policy studies at the Cato Institute, a think tank.
"General McChrystal has apologized to me and is similarly reaching out to others named in this article to apologize to them as well," Secretary Gates said. "I have recalled General McChrystal to Washington to discuss this in person."
Generally speaking, Washington incidents such as this end in a number of predictable ways. Here are three scenarios for what might happen to McChrystal, in order from least to most harsh: