In the end, President Barack Obama had no choice but to relieve General Stanley McChrystal of command of American forces in Afghanistan.
After meeting privately with the general this morning, Obama announced from the White House that he had accepted McChrystal's resignation with "considerable regret."
Obama said he made the move not out of policy differences or out of "personal insult" from the controversial article in Rolling Stone, where McChrystal and his top aides disparaged Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and others.
Rather, the president said, the conduct shown in article was not becoming for a commander and undermined civilian control of the military chain of command. The Bee's editorial board made that point today in urging Obama to sack McChrystal if it wasn't crystal clear he could follow orders.
To replace McChrystal, Obama nominated General David Petraeus, who is credited with turning around the war in Iraq, with trying to do the same in the increasingly difficult war in Afghanistan. Petraeus had been promoted to head of the Central Command with oversight of both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Obama pointed out that the war is bigger than any man and that the U.S. is still committed to success in Afghanistan. Now, he is counting on someone else to make that happen. And a decorated general ends his career in disgrace.