Discuss as:

Obama agenda: Command and control

"President Obama yesterday replaced General Stanley A. McChrystal following the four-star general’s disparaging remarks about the White House leadership. The president turned to General David H. Petraeus, architect of the Iraq war turnaround, to take over the US and NATO command in Afghanistan," the Boston Globe says.

The New York Times gives the behind-the-scenes recap of the McChrystal firing, including that the president consulted with Colin Powell. "Mr. Obama, aides say, consulted with advisers -- some, like Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who warned of the dangers of replacing General McChrystal, others, like his political advisers, who thought he had to go. He reached out for advice to a soldier-statesman, Colin L. Powell. He identified a possible successor to lead the war in Afghanistan. And then, finally, the president ended General McChrystal’s command in a meeting that lasted only 20 minutes. According to one aide, the general apologized, offered his resignation and did not lobby for his job. After a seesaw debate among White House officials, 'there was a basic meeting of the minds,' said Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff and a major player in the deliberations. 'This was not good for the mission, the military and morale,' Mr. Emanuel said."

The AP notes Petraeus' prior health issues in a largely glowing article about his leadership style. "The post will mean another long stint overseas for a man who had three tours in Iraq. His return to the U.S. did not mean much more time with his wife, Holly, in Tampa, however. He spent more than 300 days on the road last year, even as he battled prostate cancer. He was later declared free of the disease after a course of chemotherapy."


The New York Daily News: "President Obama put a new face on America's longest war Wednesday, but the chances of victory in Afghanistan are grimmer than the odds Gen. David Petraeus faced in Iraq."

The Daily News' McAuliffe: "The explosion that flattened Gen. Stanley McChrystal began quietly enough Monday, with a subscriber to Rolling Stone magazine downloading a pdf from the latest issue a little before 5 p.m. That subscriber happened to work in the White House… "The awareness of the article and its explosive discussions spread quickly through the White House, with senior officials such as David Axelrod, Ben Rhodes, and Denis McDonough holding hasty discussions, and Rahm Emanuel and National Security Council Chief of Staff Denis McDonough being called back to work. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs was the one to break the news to President Obama, a little before 8 p.m. Officials said Obama only needed to read a few paragraphs of the of-the-reservation opus before his anger was readily apparent to the press secretary, and Obama quickly called for a broader meeting in the Oval Office. It soon became apparent that the off-script Ranger may have to go, even though the President wanted to look McChrystal in the eye and talk over his published blunder before making a final decision to give him the boot, officials said."

The AP looks at Obama's words in firing McChrystal vs. Truman's words in firing Douglas MacArthur.