Here's the Wall Street Journal's report on McKiernan's replacement, Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, "Success and Scrutiny Mark General's Career":
Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he wants a new commander in Afghanistan to fight the kind of complex counterinsurgency warfare that has come to dominate the campaign there.McChrystal's been around a good bit of controversy (he was responsible for the misleading reports of Pat Tillman's death by friendly fire in Afghanistan), although he looks like the perfect man for Gen. Petraeus.
His recommendation, Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, certainly fits that bill. Gen. McChrystal, a Green Beret who has spent most of the last year as the top staff officer to Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spent the previous five years commanding special operations forces in Iraq -- units that specialize in guerilla warfare, including the training of indigenous armies.
It was also those skills that officials said Adm. Mullen was counting on when last month he appointed Gen. McChrystal to head a task force to improve Afghan war strategy with a broad mandate to review the entirety of the campaign -- including, according to an agenda for the task force viewed by The Wall Street Journal, "appointment of key leaders."
Like Gen. David H. Petraeus, who will become Gen. McChrystal's new boss and is credited with turning around the Iraq campaign, Gen. McChrystal has won over converts in the Pentagon because of his intellectual rigor and a flexible decision-making process that lends itself to irregular warfare, senior military officers said. Gen. David McKiernan, the man Gen. McChrystal is succeeding, comes from the more traditional ranks of the Army, having commanded heavy armor brigades and divisions during his 37-year career.
More analysis at Memeorandum, and see especially, Fred Kaplan, "It's Obama's War Now: The ouster of Afghanistan commander David McKiernan could make—or break—the Obama presidency."