Washington, June 23 (IANS) US President Barack Obama Wednesday removed Gen. Stanley McChrystal as the top NATO commander in Afghanistan over a magazine article that portrayed him as dismissive of senior US officials for their concerns about the ongoing war effort.
McChrystal was summoned to Washington for a meeting with Obama that lasted less than 30 minutes Wednesday morning.
Obama tapped General David Petraeus, currently the head of Central Command and the former commander of US forces in Iraq, to replace McChrystal.
"War is bigger than any one man or woman, whether a private, a general or a president. And as difficult as it is to lose General McChrystal, I believe that it is the right decision for our national security," Obama said.
The president said he regretted the loss of McChrystal, but believed it was the "right thing for our mission in Afghanistan, for our military, and for our country".
Obama said the decision to replace McChrystal reaffirmed the chain of command, with civilian control of the military.
In a profile by Rolling Stone magazine, McChrystal is portrayed as critical of top US officials including Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, for their doubts about his war strategy.
On Tuesday, McChrystal issued an apology, saying the article "was a mistake reflecting poor judgment and should never have happened".
"Throughout my career, I have lived by the principles of personal honour and professional integrity," McChrystal said. "What is reflected in this article falls far short of that standard."