08/15/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

McKiernan 'Embarrassed' By Removal From Top Post In Afghanistan

General David McKiernan was "dismayed, disappointed, and more than a little embarrassed" when he was ousted as the commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, he said at his retirement ceremony Wednesday at Fort McNair in Virginia.

McKiernan took over the post of International Security Assistance Force Commander in June 2008. Just a year into his appointment, however, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates asked for McKiernan's resignation, citing a need for "new thinking and new ideas" in Afghanistan.

"If you had asked me 30 days ago if I would be here today at my retirement ceremony, I probably would have said no, maybe in a bit stronger terms. Make no mistake -- I was dismayed, disappointed, and more than a little embarrassed," McKiernan said.