Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Top US general summoned

WASHINGTON - THE top US commander in Afghanistan has been summoned to Washington to explain his controversial comments about colleagues in a recent interview, an Obama administration official said Tuesday.

The official says General Stanley McChrystal, who has since issued an apology for his comments, has been directed to attend the monthly White House meeting on Afghanistan and Pakistan in person Wednesday rather than over a secure video teleconference, so he can discuss his comments with President Barack Obama and top Pentagon officials.

An article in this week's Rolling Stone magazine depicts General McChrystal as a lone wolf on the outs with many important figures in the Obama administration and unable to persuade even some of his own soldiers that his strategy can win the war. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the general's schedule.

In the interview, General McChrystal is described by an aide as 'disappointed' in his first Oval Office meeting with President Barack Obama. The article says that although McChrystal voted for Mr Obama, the two failed to connect from the start. Mr Obama called McChrystal on the carpet last fall for speaking too bluntly about his desire for more troops.

'I found that time painful,' General McChrystal said in the article, on newsstands on Friday. 'I was selling an unsellable position.' In Kabul on Tuesday, General McChrystal issued a statement saying: 'I extend my sincerest apology for this profile. It was a mistake reflecting poor judgment and should never have happened.'

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen talked with General McChrystal about the article on Monday night, Captain John Kirby, Mullen's spokesman said on Tuesday. In a 10-minute conversation, the chairman 'expressed his deep disappointment in the piece and the comments' in it, Captain Kirby said. -- AP

No comments: