The Washington Independent

Posts by Spencer Ackerman

With Petraeus Pick, Obama Clarifies His Afghanistan Strategy

By | 06.23.10 | 2:20 pm

“This is a change in personnel,” President Obama said, announcing Gen. David Petraeus’ takeover of the Afghanistan war, “but not a change in policy.” Yes and no.

As I wrote earlier, Petraeus’ return to theater command indicates that an ambiguity in that policy has been clarified. It’s never been More…

McChrystal Speaks on His Resignation/Firing

By | 06.23.10 | 2:04 pm

The cashiered commander of the Afghanistan war just emailed this to reporters:

This morning the President accepted my resignation as Commander of U.S. and NATO Coalition Forces in Afghanistan. I strongly support the President’s strategy in Afghanistan and am deeply committed to our coalition forces, our partner nations, and the


Petraeus Rides Again: What About July 2011?

By | 06.23.10 | 1:42 pm

If you wanted to underscore the continuity in strategy that exists for Afghanistan and Pakistan now that President Obama has fired Gen. Stanley McChrystal, there is absolutely no more potent symbol of doubling down on that strategy than to place Gen. David H. Petraeus — the foremost counterinsurgent in More…

If McChrystal’s Out, What Should Change in Afghanistan? A Guide

By | 06.23.10 | 11:24 am

President Obama and Gen. Stanley McChrystal began their decisive one-on-one talk in the Oval Office at 9:51 a.m., according to ABC’s Jake Tapper. Whether or not McChrystal loses his command, all signs point to Obama sticking with his current Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy. If so, that means that operational and More…

CIA Just Straight Throwing Money at Blackwater

By | 06.23.10 | 9:52 am

It’s like they’re in a strip club, according to Jeff Stein:

The Central Intelligence Agency has hired Xe Services, the private security firm formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide, to guard its facilities in Afghanistan and elsewhere, according to an industry source.

The previously undisclosed CIA contract is worth about


Obama Unlikely to Use McChrystal Flap to Change Course on Afghanistan

By | 06.23.10 | 6:00 am

By the time you read this, Gen. Stanley McChrystal may very well have lost his command in Afghanistan. McChrystal is headed to a White House Situation Room meeting with President Obama on Wednesday; Time’s Joe Klein reported Tuesday afternoon that the general offered to resign after making disrespectful comments More…

McChrystal Reportedly Resigns

By | 06.22.10 | 5:11 pm

Joe Klein of Time just told that to CNN. Will President Obama accept his resignation if so?

Update: On Twitter, Joe clarifies through Time Magazine that McChrystal offered to resign. Hasn’t actually tendered his resignation.

Gen. Mattis on Those Rumors About Taking Over for Gen. McChrystal

By | 06.22.10 | 3:04 pm

Almost as soon as Gen. McChrystal’s Rolling Stone comments went into the internet ether, speculation started about a replacement as commander of the Afghanistan war. And quickly there came, in email debates and blog posts and on Twitter, a frontrunner, at least in the minds of wags, speculators and analysts: More…

‘Angry’ President Will Meet McChrystal Tomorrow, but Strategy Likely to Remain the Same

By | 06.22.10 | 1:43 pm

“He was angry,” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said just now about President Obama’s reaction after reading Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s comments to Rolling Stone disrespecting several senior administration officials. Gibbs said he didn’t want to “prejudge” tomorrow’s Situation Room meeting between the general and the president to see More…

Ex-Military Commissions Prosecutor on McChrystal: ‘Surely the Buck Doesn’t Stop at the Aide Level’

By | 06.22.10 | 12:28 pm

Some thorough legal analysis by Eugene Fidell of Yale, solicited by Adam Serwer. Fidell thinks that Gen. McChrystal’s comments were “disrespectful” but they don’t rise to the level of insubordination under Article 88 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. (The operative word in the definition of an actionable offense More…