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Replacing McChrystal: Obama's Move to Restore "Civilian Control"

It was the debate that occupied the news cycle for the better part of the past two days -- but in the end, it was still a surprise.

Not only did President Obama relieve General Stanley McChrystal of command in Afghanistan, but he named McChrystal's boss and the architect of the Iraq surge in 2007, General David Petraeus, as his replacement.

In a web-only analysis after the President's statement Wednesday, CBS News Senior White House Correspondent Bill Plante had this to say: "What he did was probably the smartest thing he could do. He replaced General McChrystal with General Petraeus whom everybody in Washington likes and respects."

CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent Bob Schieffer added, "This is going to be roundly praised. I can't think of a single member of the Republican or Democratic party who's going to take issue with putting General Petraeus in this post."

With respect to the president's motives, Mr. Obama said that statements by McChrystal and his aides "undermines the civilian control of the military that is at the core of our Democratic system."

Schieffer also noted that the president followed the basic coda of our country.

"That is after all the basis of our democracy and how it works, that the military takes orders and serves as advisors to civilian leaders on matters involving war and military matters, but they do not dictate the policy," he said.

Schieffer and Plante also noted how Petraeus was an under-the-radar choice because, after all, this is somewhat of a "demotion" since Petraeus had been running U.S. Central Command.

"This is a step down as it were, for him," said Plante. "But look, in the ways of this town he will be rewarded. You can count on that."

Watch the analysis above.

"Washington Unplugged," CBSNews.com's exclusive daily politics Webshow, appears live on CBSNews.com each weekday at 12:30 p.m. ET. Click here to check out previous episodes.
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