Here’s the statement by Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), which suggests they think Gen. McChrystal ought to offer to resign, and that the president should probably accept the offer:
“We have the highest respect for General McChrystal and honor his brave service and sacrifice to our nation. General McChrystal’s comments, as reported in Rolling Stone, are inappropriate and inconsistent with the traditional relationship between Commander-in-Chief and the military. The decision concerning General McChrystal’s future is a decision to be made by the President of the United States.”
If Gen. McChrystal does step down, there are undoubtedly many able general officers who could replace him. Here’s one unconventional suggestion, though: Ask Gen. David Petraeus to give up his CENTCOM post and take command of the war in Afghanistan. President Obama should also accept the resignations on the civilian side of special envoy Richard Holbrooke and ambassador Karl Eikenberry; he could then ask Ryan Crocker to come out of retirement to head up the currently dysfunctional civilian effort.
In any case, if Gen. McChrystal does step down, President Obama should use this as an opportunity to recommit his administration to success in Afghanistan, and to correct the impression he may be more concerned to end our involvement there quickly rather than make sure it ends successfully.