June 21, 2010
Aides to U.S. General in Afghanistan slam Obama: report, Excerpt, Washington, Reuters, Mon Jun 21, 2010
The Rolling Stone article, which quoted several McChrystal aides anonymously, portrays a split between the U.S. military and Obama's advisers at an extremely sensitive moment for the Pentagon, which is fending off criticism of its strategy to turn around the nearly nine-year-old Afghan war.
It quotes a member of McChrystal's team making jokes about Vice President Joe Biden, who was seen as critical of the general's efforts to escalate the conflict and who had favored a more limited counter-terrorism approach.
"Biden?" the aide was quoted as saying. "Did you say: Bite me?"
Another aide called White House National Security Adviser Jim Jones, a retired four star general, a "clown" who was "stuck in 1985."
It quoted an adviser to McChrystal dismissing an early meeting with Obama as a "10-minute photo op."
"Obama clearly didn't know anything about him, who he was. The boss was pretty disappointed," the adviser told the magazine.
McChrystal, a workaholic said to sleep just four hours a day, was brought into Afghanistan a year ago after his predecessor was pushed out.
The article portrays his teams as disapproving of the Obama administration, with the exception of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who backed McCrystal's request for additional troops in Afghanistan.
Some of the strongest criticism was reserved for Richard Holbrooke, Obama's special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
"The boss says he's like a wounded animal," a member of the general's team is quoted as saying. "Holbrooke keeps hearing rumors that he's going to get fired, so that makes him dangerous."
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