Tensions between Eikenberry, McChrystal will be focus of their Washington visit

By Joshua Partlow
Washington Post

They are both decorated generals, West Point graduates who studied at Harvard University and earnest taskmasters who would rather work than sleep.

The U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl W. Eikenberry, and the top U.S. military commander there, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, assumed their posts amid lofty expectations that they could re-create the hand-in-glove partnership that Gen. David H. Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker had while leading the war effort in Iraq.

But the Eikenberry-and-McChrystal team that returns to Washington this week, alongside Afghan President Hamid Karzai, has a much different dynamic.

Both men said in interviews that they enjoy a productive relationship and have built stronger bonds between troops and civilians across Afghanistan. Still, they have had significant disagreements over the course of the Afghanistan war and have struggled to align their visions for how to work with Karzai’s government, according to interviews with U.S., NATO and Afghan officials.

Few critics suggest that those differences have harmed U.S. interests in Afghanistan. People who have worked with both men said, however, that clear tensions exist at the top of the Obama administration’s most important military and foreign policy endeavor.

The article continues at the Washington Post.

H/T Michael Yon who has been embedded with the troops in Afghanistan until General McChrystal recently dismissed all embedded reporters there. Yon wrote this on his Facebook.com page:

This article is especially disturbing in light of the fact that a key person from top COMISAF staff spontaneously provided me with damaging information some months ago. That Information was designed to damage Eikenberry. The information came from deep with in McChrystal’s circle and caused me to wonder at the time what kind of command would provide me with such damaging information about a colleague.

Yon has offered a series of critical remarks about the General, like the one above, and the Obama administration’s handling of the war in Afghanistan in his Facebook and Twitter writings.

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