Stanley Allen McChrystal (born August 14, 1954) is a partner and founder at the McChrystal Group. He is a retired United States Army general best known for his command of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) in the mid-2000s. His last assignment was as Commander, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Commander, United States Forces – Afghanistan (USFOR-A). He previously served as Director, Joint Staff from August 2008 to June 2009 and as Commander of JSOC from 2003 to 2008, where he was credited with the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, but also criticized for his alleged role in the cover-up of the Pat Tillman friendly fire incident. McChrystal was reportedly known for saying what other military leaders were thinking but were afraid to say; this was one of the reasons cited for his appointment to lead all forces in Afghanistan. He held the post from June 15, 2009 to June 23, 2010.
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates described McChrystal as "perhaps the finest warrior and leader of men in combat I ever met." But following unflattering remarks about Vice President Joe Biden and other administration officials attributed to McChrystal and his aides in a Rolling Stone article, McChrystal was recalled to Washington, D.C., where President Barack Obama accepted his resignation as commander in Afghanistan. His command of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan was assumed by the deputy commander, British Army General Sir Nicholas Parker, pending the confirmation of a replacement. Obama named General David Petraeus as McChrystal's replacement; Petraeus was confirmed by the Senate and officially assumed command on June 30. Days after being relieved of his duties in Afghanistan, McChrystal announced his retirement. Since 2010, he has taught courses in international relations at Yale University as a Senior Fellow of the University's Jackson Institute for Global Affairs.