WASHINGTON, D.C. (ABCNEWS.COM) -- President Obama today fired embattled Gen. Stanley McChrystal from his position as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan after the general made disparaging comments in a magazine story about top administration officials.
The embattled general met President Obama for about 30 minutes this morning and returned to his home in Ft. McNair, Washington, D.C. McChrystal did not attend the national security meeting. Even before McChrystal's meeting with Obama, the White House had asked the Pentagon for a list of possible replacements, even though administration officials insisted a decision would not come until after McChrystal has made his case to the president.
Possible successors that administration officials are reviewing include Gen. James Mattis, U.S. Joint Forces Command chief; Lt. Gen. John Allen, deputy commander to Gen. David Petraeus at United States Central Command; Lt. Gen. David Rodriguez, McChrystal's second in command in Afghanistan; and Gen. Martin Dempsey, commander of the Army Training and Doctrine Command.
McChrystal was prepared to resign but did not want to decide until he had met with Obama, a source close to the general said earlier today.
McChrystal admitted during his round of phone calls to top Obama administration officials that he had "compromised the mission," a senior administration source told ABC News.
Whether he did so irrevocably was at the top of the agenda in McChrystal's Oval Office meeting with Obama this morning. The president likely pressed him as to what he was thinking when he made disparaging remarks about the president and his national security team that were reported by Rolling Stone. He was also asked whether he still had the ability to serve as commander of 100,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan after making remarks that, if said about the general by an underling, would ordinarily be grounds for a staffer's dismissal.
On Tuesday, Obama said McChrystal and his team showed "poor judgment," but that he wanted to meet with him face to face before making a decision on whether to fire him.
Officials feared that McChrystal's influence would be diminished and could jeopardize the momentum of the U.S. counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan. At the same time, officials realized how closely tied McChrystal was with the current counterinsurgency strategy, and the fact that Gen. David McKiernan was dismissed from the same job last summer could cause upheaval in operations on the ground. The war in Afghanistan has become the longest war in U.S. history, and more than 1,000 troops have died there since the U.S. invaded the country in 2001.
Despite the anger in the White House over McChrystal's comments, the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai threw its support behind McChrystal, portrayed in the article as one of the very few U.S. leaders on the ground who often sided with Karzai.
Read more from ABC News here.