Bi­den says he didn’t take McChrys­tal’s jabs to heart

Austin American-Statesman - - MONDAYBRIEFING -

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.

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