WASHINGTON (American Forces Press Service) –
WASHINGTON, June 23, 2010 - President Barack Obama today accepted Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal's resignation from his post as the top NATO and U.S. commander in Afghanistan and announced he is nominating Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of U.S. Central Command, to replace him.
McChrystal had been ordered to Washington to meet first with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and then with the president to answer for remarks attributed to him and members of his staff in a Rolling Stone magazine article.
In a statement released after the announcement, McChrystal expressed support for the president's Afghanistan policy:
"This morning the President accepted my resignation as Commander of U.S. and NATO Coalition Forces in Afghanistan. I strongly support the President's strategy in Afghanistan and am deeply committed to our coalition forces, our partner nations, and the Afghan people. It was out of respect for this commitment -- and a desire to see the mission succeed -- that I tendered my resignation. It has been my privilege and honor to lead our nation's finest."
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen issued the following statement:
"I have taken note that General McChrystal is stepping down as Commander of the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan. I thank General McChrystal for his service to NATO, and for the enormous effort he has put into leading the ISAF mission.
"While he will no longer be the commander, the approach he helped put in place is the right one. The strategy continues to have NATO's support, and our forces will continue to carry it out. Our operations in Afghanistan are continuing today, and they will not miss a beat. We have a strong military team in Afghanistan. My Senior Civilian Representative, Mark Sedwill will continue to direct our effort on the political side. And soon, a new Commander of ISAF will take up his position.
"The Afghan people should have no doubt that we will continue to carry out our mission in partnership with them. We will continue working to protect the Afghan population and to build the Afghan security forces, and we will stay for as long as it takes to do our job."
Army Gen. David H. Petraeus