Obama: ‘Democracy Depends’ on ‘Military Chain of Command’
June 23, 2010
(ChattahBox)—Standing in the Rose Garden shortly before 2:00 p.m., President Obama announced that he accepted Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s resignation as the top U.S. commander for Afghanistan “with considerable regret.” He called it a “difficult decision” that “saddened” the President. With Vice President Joe Biden and his top military aides standing by his side, he also announced the nomination of the current head of Central Command, Gen. David Petraeus, to replace McChrystal in Afghanistan. President Obama praised McChrystal’s service to our country, but said that his conduct in the Rolling Stone article violated the “standard that should be set for a commanding general.” Our “Democracy depends” on a “strict adherence to the military chain of command command,” said Obama.
President Obama’s speech was clear and decisive, as he told the nation that relieving McChrystal of his command was necessary for our mission in Afghanistan and for the men and women in uniform. “As difficult as it is to lose General McChrystal, I believe it is the right decision for national security,” the President said.
“The conduct represented in the recently published article does not meet the standard that should be set by a commanding general. It undermines the civilian control of the military that is at the core of our Democratic system. And it erodes the trust that’s necessary for our team to work together to achieve our objectives in Afghanistan,” said Obama.
Obama made clear, that the strategy for the country’s mission in Afghanistan would not change and he would not “tolerate division.” ‘We have to renew our sense of common purpose,” added the President.
“I’ve just told my national security team that now is the time for all of us to come together. Doing so is not an option but an obligation. I welcome debate among my team but I won’t tolerate division, said Obama.
Obama, said that his decision was not based on “personal insult,” but was made for the good of the country. And he reminded Americans that we are a nation at war.
“We need to remember what this is all about. Our nation is at war. We face a very tough fight in Afghanistan. But Americans don’t flinch in the face of difficult truths or difficult tasks. We persist and we persevere.”
President Obama thanked Gen. Petraeus for accepting the Afghanistan command and urged the Senate to confirm him “as swiftly as possible.”
Photo Source: White House Flickr Photostream
President Obama’s full statement can be found here.