On Obama's Removal of McChrystal

By James Fallows

Three quick points about his speech this afternoon (previously this item yesterday):

See web-only content:
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/06/on-obamas-removal-of-mcchrystal/58626/

1) I thought Obama's presentation of the decision was exactly right in both tone and substance. Firm but not peeved-sounding. Making clear that the nation's strategy and its interests are bigger than any one person. Generous and laudatory to McChrystal the man and the soldier, harsh on his offense. Love the sinner, hate the sin. (Clive Crook to the same effect here.)

2) What a coup to have persuaded David Petraeus to step back into this role.

3) What an honorable decision on Petraeus's part to take on this duty. It is hard to see any conceivable benefit to him in agreeing to take responsibility for what is by all accounts an increasing mess -- except in, well, duty and "service." I am skeptical of the Obama-Petraeus-McChrystal policy in Afghanistan. But all three men, in different ways, have acquitted themselves well in these past 24 hours, and that needs to be noted.

Now, back to the policy itself...

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/06/on-obamas-removal-of-mcchrystal/58626/