TP reports, “Speaking from the White House Rose Garden this afternoon, President Obama announced that he has accepted Gen. Stanley McChrystal resignation as head of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, following the four-star general’s unprofessional remarks in a Rolling Stone interview.”
Okay, this decision is only indirectly connected to clean energy, although the Pentagon very much wants us to understand that Afghanistan is “the Saudi Arabia of lithium,” an element that will be crucial to electrifying the transportation system in this country and the world (see “Plug-in hybrids and electric cars “” a core climate solution“).
But if it signals that the Obama is going to assert himself more as President this summer, than this could be a leading indicator that he is finally prepared to put some muscle behind comprehensive energy and climate legislation.
You be the judge:
Obama said McChrystal’s remarks did not “meet the standard that should be set by a commanding general” and eroded trust among his national security team. McChrystal had reportedly acknowledged, “I’ve compromised the mission.”Obama emphasized that McChrystal had served “faithfully,” that he was “grateful” for his service, and that the replacement is not a “personal insult.” In McChrystal’s place, Obama has nominated CentCom Commander David Petraeus, the general who oversaw the Iraq surge, to take charge of the upcoming Afghanistan surge. “I welcome debate among my team, but I won’t tolerate division,” Obama said. “It is a change in personnel, but it is not a change in policy,” he added, noting that Petraeus helped “design the policy that we have in place.”
Conservatives are likely to cheer Obama’s decision. Yesterday, The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol advised Obama to “ask Gen. David Petraeus to give up his CENTCOM post and take command of the war in Afghanistan.”
Watch video of Obama’s remarks:
Speaking on MSNBC, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) called it a “historically-significant moment in the Obama presidency,” heralding Obama for a “decisive show of presidential leadership.” “This was a Commander-in-Chief,” Lieberman declared. “He found the best person to replace McChrystal.”The National Review‘s Rich Lowry calls Obama’s decision a “home run.” “I’m not sure how Obama could have handled this any better,” Lowry writes, adding, “In short, Obama has made the most of a rotten situation.”