WASHINGTON — President Obama removed Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal from his position as the top commander in Afghanistan on Wednesday and tapped Gen. David H. Petraeus to lead the war effort there, a White House official said.
The news of General McChrystal’s ouster and his replacement by the head of Central Command, the architect of the 2007 surge in Iraq, came moments before Mr. Obama was set to make an announcement from the White House Rose Garden.
Earlier Wednesday, General McChrystal met with President Obama for about 20 minutes after coming under harsh criticism for contemptuous remarks he and his staff members made about top administration officials in a magazine article that became public a day earlier.
He and Mr. Obama began their one-on-one discussion just before 10 a.m., after the general had met with his bosses at the Pentagon. General McChrystal had prepared a letter of resignation.