Biden says he didn’t take McChrystal’s jabs to heart
WASHINGTON — Vice President Joe Biden says he never viewed ousted Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s mocking comment about him as a personal attack — but rather a reflection of Afghan policy disagreements.
Biden told ABC’s “This Week” that President Barack Obama’s decision to fire his military commander in Afghanistan over McChrystal’s remarks in Rolling Stone magazine was “the absolutely necessary thing to do.” And he said others in the military agreed.
Biden said he was asked to survey six four-star generals to seek their opinions about whether McChrystal should stay.
“Every single one said he had to go,” Biden said in an interview broadcast Sunday. The six generals included active-duty as well as retired four-stars, he said, but he did not identify them.
Biden said McChrystal viewed him as the “enemy” because he had argued for a strategy “different in degree” from the general’s counterinsurgency approach.
McChrystal was quoted in Rolling Stone as joking that he didn’t recognize Biden’s name.
In the article, McChrystal and his team disparaged Biden and expressed irritation with special regional envoy Richard Holbrooke. One of McChrystal’s senior aides was quoted as calling national security adviser James Jones a “clown.”
On July 4, Gen. David H. Petraeus replaced McChrystal, who had led the war effort for the past year. Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis was been picked to take over Petraeus’ U.S. Central Command post.