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McChrystal out; Petraeus picked for Afghanistan

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By The Staff

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama sacked his loose-lipped Afghanistan commander Wednesday, a seismic shift for the military order in wartime, and chose the familiar, admired — and tightly disciplined — Gen. David Petraeus to replace him. Petraeus, architect of the Iraq war turnaround, was once again to take hands-on leadership of a troubled war effort.

Obama said bluntly that Gen. Stanley McChrystal's scornful remarks about administration officials in interviews for a magazine article represent conduct that "undermines the civilian control of the military that is at the core of our democratic system."

He fired the commander after summoning him from Afghanistan for a face to face meeting in the Oval Office and named Petraeus, the Central Command chief who was McChrystal's direct boss, to step in.

By pairing those announcements, Obama sought to move on from the firestorm that was renewing debate over his revamped Afghanistan policy. It was meant to assure Afghans, U.S. allies and a restive American electorate that a firm hand is running the war.


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