At their face-to-face meeting this morning, Obama relieved General Stanley McChrystal of his command in Afghanistan, and has decided to replace him with General David Petraeus. From a purely political standpoint, the decision to install Petraeus as the commander in Afghanistan will forestall criticism that Obama put his pride before the war effort by firing McChrystal, since Petraeus is generally unassailable.
Update: A little after 1:40 p.m., Obama emerged in the Rose Garden with Joe Biden and Petraeus at his side to announce the decision. After offering effusive praise for McChrystal’s service, Obama said he made the decision to relieve McChrystal not because of policy differences or a “personal insult,” but because “the conduct represented in the recently published article does not meet the standard that should be set by a commanding general.” Obama also declared that he would “welcome debate” but “won’t tolerate division.”
Obama to relieve McChrystal of command [MSNBC]
Source: Petraeus chosen to succeed McChrystal [AP via Houston Chronicle]