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What they're saying about McChrystal's ouster

"I don't think the president had any other option. That is not to say that I disagree with Gen. McChrystal's thoughts. There's something there that caused this man to risk what is otherwise a tremendously successful military career."

Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Indian Shores, referring to apparent tension with the diplomatic team in Afghanistan. He added he would like to see the general appear before Congress.

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"It's important that the commander in Afghanistan has the confidence of the president, and I think that confidence has been breached."

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., adding he was concerned about changing leaders amid war, but "it is what it is," and "we've got to move on."

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"There is a role for the military in our society, and that role is that you not only obey civilian leadership, but you respect civilian leadership. And if you don't, then you resign."

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

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"We lost a good general, but the president, in my view, had no other choice, because to keep him there would have blurred a line that served this country very well for a very long time. … Dave Petraeus is our best hope. If things don't change, nobody can pull it out in Afghanistan."

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

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"Gen. McChrystal was a fine soldier and a partner for the Afghan people, but we believe Gen. Petraeus will also be a trusted partner."

Waheed Omar, spokesman for Afghan President Hamid Karzai

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"I understand that if you win the population, you win the hearts and minds and you stop terrorism. But our influence is limited. We're not out there in the villages 24/7. … I think McChrystal's approach was a good approach, but it was too soft. We were all under (Petraeus') command in Iraq, and the job got completed."

Cpl. Brian Baumgardner, 24, with 1st Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment at Strongpoint Belanday, a small outpost about 6 miles southwest of Kandahar

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"They picked the best, the top turnaround specialist in the military. If there's one guy you can trust to get the job done, it's Petraeus."

Max Boot, Council on Foreign Relations fellow for national security studies

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"Personally, I think either way, the mission is going to stay the same. Logically, if a plan is in place and working, it makes little sense to change it. A lot of people, although they didn't like (McChrystal's approach), understood that it's working. I think it's going to be too much to change."

Staff Sgt. Sterlin Richardson, 31, of Brooklyn, N.Y., also at Strongpoint Belanday

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"Our operations in Afghanistan are continuing and will not miss a beat."

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen

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"It is not going the way that the architects had hoped, and they are encountering opposition that was stronger than they anticipated. Some of the greatest requirements for success are simply not there. You can mobilize as many military forces as you want, but you need to have the other elements to hold and build, particularly the police and civilian institutions."

Kai Eide, former U.N. chief in Afghanistan, who added that McChrystal's ouster will lead to an increasingly intense policy debate.

Information from Times staff writer Alex Leary was used in this report, along with information from the Associated Press, Stars and Stripes and the Guardian.

What they're saying about McChrystal's ouster 06/23/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 23, 2010 10:54pm]
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