Why was McKiernan fired? | guardian.co.uk

 The firing of top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David McKiernan, came as a shock to most analysts watching the new war strategy unfold. 

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by army.mil used under a Creative Commons license.  What was even more surprising was the justification given for his forced resignation by Gates and Admiral Mullen at a press conference Monday.    Simon Tisdall, in his article, The curious sacking of Gen McKiernan, wonders why U.S. news agencies weren’t more critical of the justification for the decision.  Why was McKiernan fired and what does McChrystal’s background say about the vision the White House has for the war?  Tisdall takes critical aim at Gate’s decision and points out that this does not necessarily signal a new winning strategy for Afghanistan.    The article reads:

The changes in command underscore the impression that Obama, abandoning long-term nation-building goals, is looking for quick, minimalist results in Afghanistan, chiefly containing and deflating the insurgency. His aides don't want the war dragging on when he stands for re-election in 2012. And the top brass increasingly believe the real counter-terrorism battle is centred next door, in the tribal areas of Pakistan. As military expert Max Hastings noted this week, Pakistan matters more. Afghanistan was becoming a sideshow; it was the "wrong" war. Now McKiernan has been fired for the wrong reasons.