SHOULD HE STAY OR SHOULD HE GO NOW…. President Obama spoke briefly in the Cabinet Room late yesterday afternoon, and was asked one question by a reporter: “Mr. President, are you going to fire Mr. McChrystal?”

“Gen. McChrystal is on his way here and I am going to meet with him,” the president said. “Secretary Gates will be meeting with him, as well. I think it’s clear that the article in which he and his team appeared showed poor judgment, but I also want to make sure that I talk to him directly before I make any final decisions.”

And with that, the guessing game about what happens next continued.

For every reasonable prediction forecasting McChrystal’s professional survival, there’s an equally reasonable prediction forecasting the opposite. As of this morning, though, most of the signals seem to point to the general’s departure.

America’s top military commander in Afghanistan is unlikely to survive the fallout from remarks he made about colleagues in a magazine profile to be published Friday, according to a Pentagon source who has ongoing contacts with the general.

Gen. Stanley McChrystal will likely resign Wednesday, the source said.

By all accounts, the president’s paramount concern is with the larger mission in Afghanistan, and if Obama concludes that he still has confidence in McChrystal’s ability to do the job, the general will be in a position to keep his command. The key question, then, is whether McChrystal’s locker-room-style derision has undermined not only his reputation, but also the larger war effort.

The general seems to believe he has.

During his round of phone calls to top officials of the Obama administration whom he and his team disparaged to a Rolling Stone reporter, Gen. Stanley McChrystal said, “I’ve compromised the mission,” a senior administration source tells ABC News.

Whether he did so irrevocably is at the top of the agenda in his Oval Office meeting with President Obama this morning…. “He’ll have to have some pretty good answers to some tough questions,” a senior White House official tells ABC News.

Jake Tapper added, “But if McChrystal by his own admission has compromised the mission, where does that leave him?”

It’s a good question.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.