September 17th, 2009
06:51 PM ET
5 years ago

Congress to Gen. McChrystal: Come on down!

Gen. Stanley McChrystal is the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan.
Gen. Stanley McChrystal is the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The intrigue surrounding Gen. Stanley McChrystal's plans for Afghanistan is making him a popular man on Capitol Hill. But for now, Congress is going to have to wait to talk to the top commander in Afghanistan.

McChrystal's plans for turning the tide in Afghanistan have been turned in to his bosses at the Pentagon and to President Barack Obama, but little has been shared yet with those on the Hill. So they want to talk to the man...now.

"What I support right now is getting Gen. McChrystal here to help us all understand what the situation on the ground is and what the strategy for success in Afghanistan is," said House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio.

The head of the House Armed Services Committee wrote a letter to the Defense secretary requesting McChrystal come talk.


"As you know, there is significant interest in Congress and among the public in the outcome of General McChrystal's assessment and any resulting changes in our strategy or operations in Afghanistan," Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Missouri, wrote on August 13th. "I hope that we can agree that a good way to address this desire for information would be to have General McChrystal appear at a hearing before the House Armed Services Committee."

So far, Skelton has not gotten a response, his spokeswoman said.

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, passed his request to Adm. Michael Mullen when the country's highest uniformed officer appeared in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this week.

"I would strongly recommend that we do as we have in the past and ask General McChrystal and General Petraeus to come before the committee and testify so that we can better understand the situation both there in Afghanistan and what we can expect in the future.

But they should not hold their breath. Pentagon spokesman told reporters on Tuesday that for now, McChrystal is staying in Afghanistan.

"I have heard very emphatically that the secretary does not believe now is the time to bring General McChrystal back to testify," Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said. "I mean, he is dealing with a very difficult fight right now in Afghanistan. And the secretary believes his focus and attention should be there and not back here in - in a political process."

Of course, there is a way to talk to Gen. McChrystal – go to Afghanistan. As for his Afghanistan review, Secretary Gates said it will soon be made available to members of Congress. But for now, the president deserves a chance to review it first.


Filed under: Afghanistan • Stanley McChrystal
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Moderate Democrat

    I will say it now, republicans. The reason we lost Vietnam is because of republicans asking for the military to share their thought process with retards, aka, republicans.

    He has shared it with the smart people...the president and his boss's. Try not to kill our soldiers by having this man come down to fill you retards in. He kind of has more important things to worry about, like keeping our soldiers alive.

    Republicans, always wanting to kill our soldiers.

    September 17, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  2. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    The real story is that McChrystal has asked for more troops, Obama said no, and they don't want the fact that the great pretender is overruling the advice from the senior commander on the ground to get out.

    September 17, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  3. Poles against Obama

    Today was the 70th anniversary of the Russian invasion of Poland and today we the American people have given eastern Europe back to Russia by defunding the anti-missile defense initiative.

    September 17, 2009 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  4. Bill in Illinois

    What a bunch of morons. Lets get the general up to testify and find out exactly what the plans are. We should, in the interest of fairplay let them know exactly what our plans are so they can plan accordingly.

    And these are the people we look to to run our country. My god – are we in trouble!!!

    September 17, 2009 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  5. They call me "Tater Salad"

    Yep! Found Saddam in a hole in the ground, tried him and executed him all within less than a year of invading his country, but, for some strange reason we can't seem to find Bin Laden after more than 6 years! Coincidence? Far from it! The reason he hasn't been found is because he's good for Republican business! He helps them keep the fear alive in the simple minded sheep that follow them! Look out! It's the "boogyman" he could be right around the corner, better watch out, he's out to getcha!!!!!! He told us that himself in the 600 "secret" video tapes that nobody else knows about except us brave Republicans! GIVE ME A BREAK!!!

    September 17, 2009 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  6. Alex

    People like Gates, Odierno and Petraeus are envisioning permanent garrisons in Iraq, Afghanistan, and who knows, maybe even Pakistan. McChrystal seems to share their view, as well as a history of running secret prisons, so I don't know that he will be too inclined to open his mouth and take part in the democratic process. These guys don't believe in the supremacy of civilian government over military affairs, one of the central tenets of our democracy. It seems like they already jerked Obama around a bit on the Iraq "withdrawal", floating word to the press that the partial withdrawal would take significantly longer than what Obama had publicly asked of them. My respect for Obama would go way up if he pulled a Truman and nuked Tehran... Oops, I mean if he pulled a Truman and called CENTCOM out like MacArthur on its projected plans for another 40-50 years of war in Central Asia.

    September 17, 2009 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |