The conduct represented in the recently published article does not meet the standard that should be set by a commanding general. It undermines the civilian control of the military that is at the core of our democratic system. And it erodes the trust that's necessary for our team to work together to achieve our objectives in Afghanistan.(...)
It is also true that our democracy depends upon institutions that are stronger than individuals. That includes strict adherence to the military chain of command, and respect for civilian control over that chain of command. And that's why, as Commander-in-Chief, I believe this decision is necessary to hold ourselves accountable to standards that are at the core of our democracy.
I disagree with our continued presence in Afghanistan, but it is laudable that President Obama emphasized how keeping McChrystal on as commander threatened civilian control of the military. If Generals can use the media obsequiousness to dictate military policy, and then stay on as commanders after denigrating virtually the entire civilian leadership of the military, then we would be at an extremely dangerous moment for our democracy.
Now, being in Afghanistan endangers us in multiple ways too, but credit where credit is due on this matter.