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All options on table: White House on McChrystal

Source: PTI
June 23, 2010 03:54 IST
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The top American commander in Afghanistan appeared to be on his way out after the White House and Pentagon took strong objection to his controversial comments against key aids of Obama administration in an interview.

General Stanley McChrystal, Commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, (in the picture) has been recalled to Washington to explain the President Barack Obama and Pentagon about remarks that were made in the Rolling Stone magazine article, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said in a statement.

Terming McChrystal's remarks inappropriate, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, said "all options" are on the table, when asked if McChrystal would be fired for his highly critical remarks.

"The President looks forward to speaking with him tomorrow about what's in that article," Gibbs, said adding he thinks McChrystal will meet Obama privately.

He said General McChrystal, has made "an enormous mistake, a mistake that he'll get a chance to talk about and answer tomorrow to both officials in the Pentagon and to the commander-in-chief."

Earlier Gates in a statement said he believes that McChrystal made a significant mistake and exercised poor judgement in this case.

"Our troops and coalition partners are making extraordinary sacrifices on behalf of our security, and our singular focus must be on supporting them and succeeding in Afghanistan without such distractions.

"Gen. McChrystal has apologised to me and is similarly reaching out to others named in this article to apologise to them as well. I have recalled Gen. McChrystal to Washington to discuss this in person," Gates said.

In another statement, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin said he is troubled by McChrystal's comments, which are inappropriate and also demonstrate an uncharacteristic lack of discipline on his part.

Three top Republican Senators, John McCain, Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham in a joint statement said McChrystal's comments, as reported in Rolling Stone, are inappropriate and inconsistent with the traditional relationship between Commander-in-Chief and the military.

"The decision concerning General McChrystal's future is a decision to be made by the President of the United States," they said. 

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