Without McChrystal, Afghan Strategy Could Change

CBS News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Lara Logan and "CBS Evening News" Anchor Katie Couric discussed what could happen in Afghanistan should President Obama accept the resignation of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, Mr. Obama's top commander there.

McChrystal submitted his resignation following Tuesday's publication of disparaging comments he and his staff made to Rolling Stone magazine about the Obama White House. McChrystal has been called back to Washington to meet with Mr. Obama Wednesday.

Couric: Lara, if Gen. McChrystal's resignation is, in fact, accepted, how will it change the way the war is executed?

Logan: Well, Katie, there are basically two schools of thought on this. One says that commanders change all the time, this doesn't affect the strategy; the mission goes on.

The other school of thought says that this will have a huge impact, that you have to have continuity of command and that right now McChrystal's top leadership in Afghanistan are sitting watching this in horror, and they're waiting to see where the ax will fall next, particularly if McChrystal is replaced, and in that climate and with so much political opposition and politics riding on this, they will be reluctant to move forward, which leaves the soldiers on the battlefield somewhat in limbo, right in the line of fire. There are some who say this could potentially cost American lives.

Couric: Gen. McChrystal, Lara, is the architect of the current policy in Afghanistan. What has he been able to accomplish with that policy, including the 30,000 additional troops? Is this going to be a major setback?

Logan: Well, one of his main achievements has been reducing the number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan, and that's significant because when McChrystal came into this war he inherited it at a time when the U.S. had lost much of the goodwill of the Afghan people it enjoyed from 2001 and in the early years of the war, so that was a central point of his strategy. However, the strategy needs McChrystal to fight for it, and with so much political opposition in Washington, it's unclear it will be able to survive.

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