America

Secretary Of Defense Says Gen. McChrystal 'Made A Significant Mistake'

Secretary of Defense Gates Makes Unexpected Visit To Kabul

hide captionSecretary of Defense Robert Gates (L) speaks with Commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan General Stanley McChrystal (R) during a meeting March 8, 2010 in Kabul, Afghanistan. 

Pool/Getty Images AsiaPac

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has responded to controversial comments by Gen. Stanley McChrystal and members of his staff in a Rolling Stone article, called "Runaway General."

In a statement, Gates said he believes "that Gen. McChrystal made a significant mistake and exercised poor judgment in this case."

We are fighting a war against al Qaeda and its extremist allies, who directly threaten the United States, Afghanistan, and our friends and allies around the world. Going forward, we must pursue this mission with a unity of purpose.

Our troops and coalition partners are making extraordinary sacrifices on behalf of our security, and our singular focus must be on supporting them and succeeding in Afghanistan without such distractions.

Gen. McChrystal has apologized to me and is similarly reaching out to others named in this article to apologize to them as well.  I have recalled Gen. McChrystal to Washington to discuss this in person.

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