Obama was expected to make an announcement on McChrystal’s future after the meeting but there was no immediate word on whether McChrystal would keep his job as top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. Though, significantly, McChrystal left the White House before Obama convened a regularly scheduled war planning meeting there.
Another indicator to consider is the presidential spokesman’s prepared reaction to the article, which was remarkably revealing, even for the normally coded language of Washington. Press secretary Robert Gibbs repeatedly declined to say McChrystal’s job was safe, and questioned whether McChrystal is “capable and mature enough” to lead the war. In a formulation typically used when one person is about to leave, Gibbs told reporters, “Our efforts in Afghanistan are bigger than one person.”