Many Predict Obama Will Fire McChrystal

Pointing to signs within the administration, pundits say his time is up

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General Stanley McChrystal's controversial comments during interviews with Rolling Stone have put his job in jeopardy. Despite earlier reports that McChrystal had offered his resignation, the general denies this. Many have argued that President Obama should fire McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. Others say Obama should keep him. Whatever happens, it will most likely be today. McChrystal arrived in Washington last night and meets face-to-face with the president this morning, when Obama will make his decision. Many pundits are predicting that Obama will decide to fire McChrystal. It's possible that other commentators believe McChrystal will be retained, but they're mostly staying silent about it.

  • Politico's Mike Allen "Public and private signs from the administration point to President Barack Obama firing -- or accepting the resignation of -- Gen. Stanley McChrystal after careless, smart-aleck comments he and his staff made to Rolling Stone."
  • Foreign Policy's Tom Ricks "My bet is that Gen. Stanley McChrystal will be gone within a week or so. Defense Secretary Gates canned Admiral Fallon as Central Command chief in the spring of 2007 for less pointed remarks, so he will look like a hypocrite if he does less here."
  • ABC News' Jake Tapper "Officials described the reaction within the West Wing as immediate anger and certainly that McChrystal be fired, followed by a willingness to hear the counterargument given the importance of the war."
  • The Washington Monthly's Steve Benen "For every reasonable prediction forecasting McChrystal's professional survival, there's an equally reasonable prediction forecasting the opposite. As of this morning, though, most of the signals seem to point to the general's departure."
  • The Washington Independent's Spencer Ackerman "By the time you read this, Gen. Stanley McChrystal may very well have lost his command in Afghanistan. ... But if Obama has a chance to use the McChrystal controversy to overhaul his strategy, all signs indicate that he's not interested."
  • Foreign Policy's Blake Hounshell "It's hard to imagine how McChrystal survives what is going to be an epic sh*tstorm all week long."
  • Dissent from Steve Hynd "There's certainly enough reason to do so, but I don't think so, reading between the lines of SecDef Gates' statement ... In my experience, that's the kind of statement managers issue when they're giving a petulant jerk a final, written, warning. It's not the kind they make when they're looking to fire someone. It's full of language suggesting the miscreant realises his mistake, is sorry, and won't let it happen again. What it doesn't contain is anything suggesting the miscreant has crossed a line. So, I expect that McChrystal will get some kind of reprimand on his record, but won't get canned."
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