Afghan strategy 'not changing' after McChrystal fired
Published: 24th Jun 2010 04:55:29
US and Nato strategy in Afghanistan will not be affected by the sacking of the top US military commander there, US President Barack Obama has said.
Mr Obama said there was a "change in personnel but not a change in policy".
Gen Stanley McChrystal was forced to step down following critical comments about senior administration officials.
The UK's Lt Gen Nick Parker has taken interim command of Nato's Afghan forces until US Gen David Petraeus is confirmed by Congress.
Gen Petraeus was the architect of the troop "surge" in Iraq.
Other Western powers engaged in fighting Afghan insurgents also insisted that strategy would not change.
Nato Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that although Gen McChrystal would no longer command multi-national forces in Afghanistan, "the approach he helped put in place is the right one".
"The strategy continues to have Nato's support, and our troops will continue to carry it out," he said in a statement.
The current counter-insurgency strategy in Afghanistan, put in place by Gen McChrystal, is a combination of increased troop numbers, greater protection for civilians and more responsibility for Afghans.
"Peaches" [Petraeus] is something of a darling of the politicians on the Hill
Gen McChrystal's dismissal has not altered his rank but his future in the Pentagon is unclear, the New York Times reports.
US and Nato forces are engaged in a key operation against the Taliban in and around the southern city and province of Kandahar.
Gen McChrystal said earlier this month that the Kandahar operation would move more slowly than planned in order to ensure the support of local people.
The US strategy also envisages foreign troop numbers in the country peaking at 150,000 by August.
In a profile in Rolling Stone magazine, Gen McChrystal and his aides were quoted making disparaging remarks about Mr Obama and senior US officials.
Gen McChrystal described the period last year when President Obama slowly moved towards approving the deployment of thousands more US soldiers to Afghanistan as "painful".
And referring to a key Oval Office meeting between Mr Obama and Gen McChrystal a year ago, an aide of Gen McChrystal said the president "didn't seem very engaged. The boss [Gen McChrystal] was pretty disappointed".
The announcement that Gen McChrystal was standing down came after he met Mr Obama at the White House on Wednesday to discuss the damaging article.
Mr Obama said he had made the decision to replace Gen McChrystal "with considerable regret" but added that he had failed to "meet the standard that should be set by a commanding general".
"I don't make this decision based on any difference in policy with General McChrystal... nor do I make this decision out of any sense of personal insult," he added.
He said he welcomed debate within his team, but would not tolerate division.
Gen McChrystal said in a statement he had resigned out of a "desire to see the mission succeed".
"I strongly support the president's strategy in Afghanistan and am deeply committed to our coalition forces, our partner nations, and the Afghan people," he said.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2010. Afghan strategy 'not changing' after McChrystal fired. [Online] (Updated 24 Jun 2010)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news.php/69806-Afghan-strategy-not-changing-after-McChrystal-fired [Accessed 19th May 2013]
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