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

McCain blasts 'disconnect' between WH and military leaders

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. in WI

    Know what McCain? You aren;t the one in charge thank goodness. You think your decisions are gold because you were in the military playing army.

    September 22, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  2. Jack in Florida

    No one is listening John..........time to retire.

    September 22, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  3. victim of republican greed

    Once again McSurge speaks first without facts and incites the hate crowd. There are a lot of military experts that are not sure McCrystal's assessments are correct. It would be better to get it right this time.

    September 22, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  4. John Sorrenson

    ...that was my first reaction yesterday when the News said Obama planned to put together a strategy before receiving the Gen's request for troops: For Goodness' sake, how in the world can you put together a reasonable strategy when you don't even know what all the requirements are? How did we get such a goofus in the White House? Stand by, Americans, it's gonna get crazier!

    September 22, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  5. phoenix86

    Dear Senator McCain,

    I am intent, repeat INTENT on NOT repeat the mistakes of past presidents in fighting costly wars. Adjusted for inflation, the wars of Presidents Wilson, FDR, Eisenhower, Kennedy, JFK, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, Bush 1 & 2 could have paid for healthcare reform AND my daughters' school. War is bad bad bad (except for the Civil War, of course).

    If you even try and stop me from retreating from Afghanistan or Iraq, I'll personally campaign against you in the next election.


    B. Obama

    September 22, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  6. Jenn, Philadelphia

    This President campaigned on the vow to listen to the "generals on the ground" and criticized the last administration for not doing so. Now, the General he personally appointed asks for more troops and he has reservations. Oh yeah, "change you can believe in". More like "politics as usual".

    September 22, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  7. Ken

    McCain has better 'blasts' from his hind end. Just remember all you neo-tards, he was your SECOND choice behind the clown G. Bush back in 2000. Given the pathetic performance of your clown, why would we give the time-of-day to your 2nd team?

    September 22, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  8. ICARE

    Well, this war is going to go on for a very long time. So, Obie, just take your time to set the course right. The rush to victory should have been done 10 years ago when Afghan's fierceless warrior, Mahmoud, was still alive. Now, we'll just have to play the waiting game and wait for the next generation of Mahmoud, Afghan warrior, grows up to want to live for freedom.

    September 22, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  9. Nick The Photographer

    Out of Afganastan! End the War Now! Korea, Vietnam, Iraq... When will we learn?

    September 22, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  10. Mike in MN

    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.

    September 22, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  11. Angie in PA

    For a Party that was a complete FALIURE In Iraq Invaded a Country based on lies and no stragety they need to hush up the mouth they have made enough of a mess with Iraq and Afghanistan Thank you!

    September 22, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  12. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    It's not as simple as that Sen. McCain. I think the president first needs to get the troop levels down in Iraq before sending a significant amount into Afghanistan. I understand the importance of Congress getting briefed, but if the administration is working on a new strategy, maybe they want one together to brief Congress when Gen. McCrystal gives his report.

    September 22, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  13. victim of republican greed

    8 years with no plan for success in Afghanistan and McSenile said nothing, and now he is worried about implementing this as soon as possible. How can he look at himself in the mirror?

    September 22, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  14. Rick in OP

    Perhaps Obama should spend less time on the television talk shows and more time conferring with his generals about developing a strategy for the war in Afghanistan.

    September 22, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  15. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    You have to bet that the White House doesn't want the general to testify, because then we'll hear the truth. Every day Obama waffles more troops die. If he's going to surrender and pull out, do it now. if he's going to fight to win, send more troops. Come on Obama, yes or no? Win or surrender? Make a decision already!

    September 22, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  16. CAL

    Why don't the mccains, boehner's and cantor's of the world shut the hell up. They don't know what the President is doing, they just like to get in front of a camera and run their stupid mouths. It's not like the President will let them in on everything he is doing, he will do that with the important people involved.

    September 22, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  17. the GOP are Racists!

    When John McCain gets through with all of his "Blasting" and comments about "Disconnet" with White House and Millitary Commander, Barack Obama is still President and Obama's word is law and not John McCain!

    September 22, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  18. jpspec

    The problem that Obama has is that he forgot and left his "present" button in Chicago. It is time for Obama to get off the fence and make a decision.

    September 22, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  19. Tony in Maine

    John McCain has no particular expertise in military matters that wasn't gained while a Senator and is the same as any other Senator with his seniority on committees dealing with military matters.

    His father and grandfather were four star admirals. He was a legacy appointee to Annapolis and his own career was mediocre at best. He got as far as he did because of the "good old boy" network in the Navy. Had he not been blessed with high ranking forebears, he would have been passed over twice on promotions beyond Commander which would have meant a separation from active duty with but three stripes on his arm.

    He should stop pretending he has the expertise of Sestak, a Vice Admiral who earned his stars.

    September 22, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  20. Ren from Baltimore

    Sen McCain,

    Knock it off! You should know as well as anyone in this nation that the military solution is only one of several perspectives that have to be taken into account in global-level operations of this kind.

    The White House is relying on Generals, on Secretaries Gates and Clinton, and on their career staffs to deal with the situation from a long-view perspective. You guys need to stop your heckling, period. This is not helpful.

    And you, as a former Naval officer, still report to your Commander-in-Chief, whoever is in that position. Again, knock it off!

    September 22, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  21. Duck Fallas

    McLoser- Don't criticize the Commander in Chief during a time of war, traitor!

    September 22, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  22. Husman

    In unison,the Republicans are screaming amaggedon about Afganistan because that is where their bread and butter is meshed,but to them the issue of heath care for Americans is a waste of money.When Bush diverted the war from the base at which terrorist attacked our country to Iraq,they did not scream blood.Guns and bullets alone are not the instruments of war please give other options a chance and stop the hypocrazy jives...

    September 22, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  23. Steph

    There is no disconnect...they all seem to be talking just fine. What on earth is wrong with taking time, evaluating the situation and then making a decision??? The problem with both wars in the past was a lack of planning and coordination on all levels.

    The days of prematurely annoucing "mission accomplished", sending our men and women to war without the proper armed vehicles, and torturing anyone with a Muslim-sounding name are over. President Obama worked with the commanders in Iraq, and their plan is working. He will do the same thing in Afghanistan (and I believe they will send more troops).

    September 22, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  24. Cindy

    Amazing. John McCain is prodding the General to resign so he can punish the President.

    I am sooo glad he didn't get elected. We'd be bombing the entire Middle East by now...

    September 22, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  25. Vets4Obama

    "McCain blasts 'disconnect' between WH and military leaders"
    You mean we should take Bush as an example? As in "Hey WMD's!"

    Republicans have no IDEA how to connect reality to the white house, let alone the military. Republicans, every time you open your mouth, a soldier is murdered. McCain is by far the biggest traitor this country has ever had, he is now grand standing at the expense of the lives of our american soldiers. That's pretty much par for him though, after all he did help put to death many of his fellow comrades. Go find it "McCain the Canary".

    Sick of watching McCain bashing and seeking to murder our military personnel. He saved his hide by sacrificing his fellow soldiers and he's doing it again.

    September 22, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
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