Wiser men have already tagged this (here and here), but one more time won’t hurt: if you haven’t already read it, go check out McKiernan advisor Paul Farnan’s spirited defense of his erstwhile boss in WaPo:
This struggle is not about killing insurgents. We have killed more insurgents than we can count over the past seven years and have moved no closer to victory by doing so. This struggle is about the Afghan population. Afghans must believe that their government will provide them greater security and opportunity for prosperity than the insurgency will. We are not naive; we know that military operations must continue and that some people must be killed — but under McKiernan a more holistic approach to winning the peace has been our focus. These are the ‘conventional’ tactics he has been employing.
At least one diehard McChrystal fan has regrets:
[…] I do know this: as excited as I was and am to see a real sense of urgency about Afghanistan, and as excited I was to see a certain ruthlessness in President Obama, Secretary Gates, and General Petraeus, I also have a tinge of sadness: General McKiernan was hard done by, and I think the U.S. Army officer corps and most commenters recognize that unless he was guilty of some kind of insubordination we do not know about, then his relief could have been handled in classier way by all parties.