September 22nd, 2009
06:27 PM ET
5 years ago

McCain blasts 'disconnect' between WH and military leaders

Sen. John McCain said he has never seen such a 'disconnect' between the White House and U.S. military leaders.
Sen. John McCain said he has never seen such a 'disconnect' between the White House and U.S. military leaders.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. John McCain questioned the Obama administration's approach in Afghanistan Tuesday, saying he has never seen such a "disconnect" between the White House and leaders of the U.S. military.

"Apparently the administration does not want Gen. McCrystal's recommendations on troop strengths," McCain said at a Foreign Policy Initiative event in Washington. "If you don't have a recommendation on the troop levels that will be necessary to implement a strategy, then how do you decide on the strategy? "

"...Every day that goes by if you are not pursuing a strategy for success and implementing it as quickly as possible it puts young Americans lives in more danger," said McCain, the ranking Republican member on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

In a sign that President Obama may be facing growing skepticism within his own party on Afghanistan, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer Tuesday joined the call made by several top Republicans on Capitol Hill, including McCain, for McChrystal to brief Congress on his recommendations for revising U.S military strategy.

Asked about speculation Gen. McCrystal is considering resignation, McCain said Tuesday the general doesn't have many options.

"(Generals) really have two choices," McCain said. "Carry out orders, or resign."

"...(but) I don't think that right now Gen. McCrystal is contemplating resignation or non-resignation…he's got his hands full," McCain said, repeating his calls for the general to return to Washington to testify before Congress.


Filed under: Afghanistan • John McCain • President Obama
soundoff (231 Responses)
  1. Mike in MN

    Obama is already the worst President the United States has ever had and he is just getting started.
    Obama wants to vote present on troop increases. He does not want to risk losing the left of his party and he does not want to risk re-election by not supporting victory in Afghanistan. Same thing with the health care public option. Says he supports but not essential. Votes present while his own party remains so divided on the issue that they can't pass a bill with or without it.
    Obama doesn't have the guts to lead when it matters most. He's totaly worthless. He's not fit to lead the greatest nation in the free world. Hillary was correct, he's not ready. He does not know the difference between running a campaign and running a country.

    September 22, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  2. Zap

    You are right about no strategy. Bush didn't have one for sure. I'll give you one. Go after Bin Laden, go after Al' Qada. Leave the rest to fend for themselves. Once you have Bin' laden, war won, go home. You honestly think the Taliban want to be in the hills of Afganistan? You get this strategy done and the Taliban won't have anyone to fight.

    I seriously believe, if it isn't your country, get out of it. You leave them alone, they'll leave you alone. If they don't leave you alone, send them an ICBM; compliments of the Red, White, and Blue.

    September 22, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  3. unshrub

    No one who had every lost the election has been a big baby about loosing. McCain should understand that the timing is important, but instead he whines about everything Obama does. McCain has demonstrated that he makes rash decisions.

    September 22, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  4. The new GOP party of NO, racism, and hate is emerging and least you Rightwing NUTS forget, Bush had 47 Czars

    McSame shooting off his mouth is the one who is putting our young soldiers in danger; the danger of starting an unjust war in Iraq under the pretense of finding WMD and killing thousands of US soldiers and innocent civilians in the process...if this dufus dont have anything better to say about our soldiers & the war in Afghanistan, he should do us all a favor and RESIGN!...

    September 22, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  5. John

    McCain should tsalk, when his stategy is to increase troop levels. The answer to al military problems, straight from the McCain playbok – SURGE.

    Thank goodness he didn't get elected.

    September 22, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  6. Victim f Democratic Scams

    Mr. McCain – Did you expect any more than that? I mean look what's supposed to be leading this country!

    September 22, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  7. The new GOP party of NO, racism, and hate is emerging and least you Rightwing NUTS forget, Bush had 47 Czars

    this idiot feels like he is royalty! – the last time I checked, you lost to president Obama...BIG TIME!...now you better shut up or RESIGN!!!!

    September 22, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  8. JP

    If McCain won we would have a commander and chief, now we have a commander and community organizer.

    September 22, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  9. RonC

    It seems as if Sen McCain cannot think of anything to complain about except war. Troops are presently underway to the Afgan area. Oh my, we have someone in White House that's actually going to look before he leaps. Unlike his predesscor and that just tears him up.

    September 22, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  10. Father Pfleger

    Don't be treasonous McCain, not like your VC PSAs

    September 22, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  11. usualone

    Mr. McCain is too quick to judge. If I understood President Obama on the Letterman show last night, he wants facts and suggestions before he makes a decision. The last President shot first before asking any questions. That is why we had the Iraq mess.

    September 22, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  12. Idiot_Pelosi

    Barry doesn't know what to do. A tele-prompter speech isn't going to help him this time. Just another liberal who couldn't find his way out of a paper bag.

    September 22, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  13. Jay T.

    If only it were all that simple, Senator McCain. If I remember correctly, acting quickly and without fully evaluating a situation is what got us into this Middle Eastern mess and has not only risked young lives, but cost them.

    September 22, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  14. howie

    Obama doesn't have a clue on what to do about the defense department. Hope he doesn't destroy our defense like Bill Clinton did during his two terms.

    September 22, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  15. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Senator McCain, if you don't like what's happening then run for POTUS yourself and fix it, oh, wait a minute, that's right, you did and you got hammered!

    Never Mind!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 22, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  16. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    McCain forgets that the Nixon/Kissenger administration had a pretty bad disconnect between the military and the Admin also...in fact it was so bad that under Nixon's Commander-In-Chiefmanship that more troops were killed than under LBJ....In fact the Vietnam war became just a backdrop for the Nixon/Kissenger political agenda in SE Asia....remember Nixon's so-called "plan" to get out of SE Asia? Did not really exist did it?

    September 22, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  17. Marie in California

    I agree with McCain. Obama knows NOTHING about the military....or, for that matter, world affairs.

    Heaven help us all!

    September 22, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  18. Robin

    Gen. McCrystal has requested 40,000 more troops to win a war that is CRUCIAL to our safety and our national security. We need to wipe out the taliban. Lives depend on it, that is not a scare tactic. It's a fact.

    What is the White House doing? Nothing. Yes, that's right NOTHING. Obama has never served in the military and has never led so much as a choir. What makes him think he knows more then our Generals?

    September 22, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  19. Simmy

    Get rid of the war hog Republican Generals and maybe these wars can end.....They always find a reason to stay....Those citizens were surviving before we got there....They will survive when we leave....All troops should be pulled out of the region.....There will be no peace in the middle east until the Prince of Peace returns....

    September 22, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  20. wisconsin

    You lost McCain . . . get over it!

    September 22, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  21. Concerned in North Carolina

    John McCain is a war monger and has proven this over and over again. After the last eight years, thank God that there is some real THINKING going on which should lead to a decision that is correct for both now and later on.....based upon intellectual decisions, rather than shooting from the hip!!

    September 22, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  22. An Ex-NC-Pub

    John, I just hope he does as good a job as you and Bush have done with these two wars... SHUT UP OLD MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 22, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  23. No Incumbents 2010

    Once again McCain plays politics with national security policy by suggesting that the military should control the executive branch. The constitution establishes that the Executive Branch shall be led by a democractically elected civilian. McCain needs to go back to elementary school to learn basic civic lessons.

    September 22, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  24. feddie

    John, you are absolutely right, Obama is out to lunch. Wonder what would have happened if previous generals of war were thrown to the wolves. Gen McCrystal needs to tell Obama to take his job and shove it !!!!

    September 22, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  25. Nan

    Obama is doing something that McCain and Bush never thought of doing. That is looking at the big picture and coming up with a strategy. Obama should not take too long but he should think things out. No matter what General McCrystal says, the POTUS is held responsible for the success or failure of any operation. He is also responsible for the lives of those in uniform. He needs a clear head and a clear goal in mind before putting lives on the line.

    September 22, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
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