Are standards for granting a clearance lowered in times of war or great need?

I had a friend of mine in the military who had been fired from every job he held, has a small criminal record, had a DUI while his Secret investigation was underway (clearance was granted), and he currently has a TS/SCI. (However, he was completely honest during his investigations) All of this happened in the past few years when there was a troop surge in Afghanistan a few years back, with the TS/SCI being granted about a year ago.

Do they lower or relax standards for being granted a clearance during times of a troop surge during war or time of great need? Or are the standards the same no matter what the climate is?

The book answer is no, regardless of wartime or not standards are not lowered. In rare cases where someone has expertise in a certain field if significant issues are present a clearance might be granted with conditions attached. For those on active duty military service, the fact that warfighters are needed in certain locales may also play a part in it. Without knowing the full details and any mitigating factors it is impossible to play armchair quarterback.