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-resignationā€¦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. DonnaLee

    The American people have never seen such a "disconnect" between Senator McCain and reality. I don't remember anyone naming McCain as Secretary of the Defense.

    Secretary Gates and the President are doing a thorough job, and a go slow approach is better than the Rethuglican's rush to destroy all those Iraqi weapons of mass destruction that were never found.

    So we can really plan it correctly, or we can follow McCain's Rethuglican support for an unworkable missile defense shield designed to repel a non existant Iranian long range missile.

    Get a life John ... why have you moved so far right? Are the righty-tikes the only ones left who will listen to you?

    September 22, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  2. Bill

    Obama is not a leader, he is a wuss.........

    September 22, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  3. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    Oh, one last comment.....If anyone remembers Vietnam, it was a certain general named Westmoreland that kept asking for more and more troops....upto 500,000 and look what happened.

    September 22, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  4. Jimmy

    McCain understands war – Obama has NO clue. I think McCain knows what he is talking about, too bad it is falling on "present" ears.

    September 22, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  5. David

    Military leaders and WH blasts 'disconnect' between McCain and a functional brain stem.

    September 22, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  6. Sam Sixpack

    Obama needs your support if he's going to succeed in taking that $500 billion from your Grandmother's life support. So, he needs to dangle your kids in front of the Taliban for just a little while longer.

    September 22, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  7. Tom

    Riddle me this Batman...

    McCain asserts that Obama is "putting American lives at stake by not immediately increasing the troop levels in Afghanistan".

    If this is true, then why did McCain say back in 2003 or 2004 that we "can muddle along in Afghanistan" with the troop levels in country at the time, because in his words "Iraq is more important".

    Basically, if McCain is correct, then Bush and Team PUT AMERICAN LIVES AT RISK by underresouring the Afghanistan war for over 7 YEARS.

    September 22, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  8. Liz in Texas

    Ironic, McCain talking about disconnect. This from the guy who joked bomb, bomb, bomb...bomb, bomb Iran.

    September 22, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  9. nick

    happy trigger mcsane, glad he is not in command. obama is right! we need to evaluate the situation than, and now and find the best alternatives that is the most effective and in the best interest of the usa. this formidable decision is not to act on impulsive reaction but needs great surgical delicate balance so we can save as much lives of young men and women put in harms way. it just the right thing to do senator mccain. so why don't you cut obama some slack and let him do his job.

    September 22, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  10. gt

    obama ...on military matters.... clueless....but great on late night t .v ..... pityful....

    September 22, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  11. Independent in Missouri

    You know what they say about opinions... like a certain part of the anatomy, everyone has one... McCain apparently can't keep his closed and the same hot air keeps coming out.

    Retire, already. After showing your intelligence by picking Palin as a running mate, I wouldn't trust you to know where that opinion is located if you had both hands and a roadmap.

    September 22, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  12. Fred Mullins

    Sen. McCain, you have no judgement, you are not the president, and your party is the one that put us in this predicament.

    So please, sit down, shut up and let the people with a brain (the President) do their job. If you and Palin were in office, we'd be in world war 3, with the world against us. And without the president's stimulus package, you people would have put us in the great depression once again.
    I thank the Lord every day that you people are not in charge.

    So please, save it!

    September 22, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  13. jnkekoa

    McCain was out of his depth debating Palin. Of course, Palin is out of her depth ... period.

    September 22, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  14. Tom

    History Lesson.

    1960s.... Cuban Missle Crisis... Armed nukes 150 miles off the coast of Florida.


    General LeMay wanted to go in on a "pre-emptive strike" to retaliate for the Cubans shooting at one of his airmen and planes.

    Kennedy rightly ignored his recommendation.

    Lemay was FURIOUS.

    If Kennedy had "followed the advice of his generals", then WWWIII would have started and Nuclear Destruction for this planet would have occured.


    September 22, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  15. Jason

    Obama is clueless on military matters he never served this country in uniform. Also the stimulus was a waste and the TARP was a waste the FED put enough money in late september and that was enough all the rest was over spending and will lead to our credit ratings being downgraded, soaring debt, weak dollar and inflation. This one party power grab is bad for america.

    September 22, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  16. pc

    what is it that mccain doesn't understand? americans are sick of our men and women dying in an unjust war. if he had his way america would already be in iran, russia and anywhere else old man mccain could think up a war.
    our president is not going to shoot first and think later like the last war-mungers in office did. macain is not qualified to make sound judgement on anything our president is doing.
    the repubs just can not stand it that president obama is working stratigies to end the killing of our military. funny how the repubs don't want health care for us americans but think it is okay to send our military off to die for someone elses country. how republican!!!!

    September 22, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  17. Christi

    The military is not the Government.

    September 22, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  18. Jason

    Obama has held one meeting on McCrystal's recommendations. One meeting? Some thoughtful strategy planning in one meeting?

    September 22, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  19. Shirley

    John you weren't listening!

    The President said he was waiting for the election results to see who would be in charge before planning a strategy.

    September 22, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  20. Tom

    FACT: Obama HAS already granted an increase of troops into Afghanistan this year.

    Why are troop levels so important and "critical", now?

    Where were McCain and the rest of the NeoCons, back when we took our eye off the ball and diverted troops and resources to invade Iraq instead of crushing Al Qaeda when we had them in our sights?

    We put 100,000+ troops and tanks and helicopters into Iraq, instead of "FLOODING THE ZONE" in Afghanistan back in 2001-2002.

    Talk about a disconnect between leadership and the military.

    September 22, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  21. jon

    Everyday that President Obama waffles on Afghanistan costs American lives on the front lines. He seems more interested in trading laughs with David Letterman and glad-handing with middle-eastern dictators, then he does about securing the safety of the U.S. homeland. As predicted, his foreign policy has been a complete weak-kneed disaster and his domestic policy is not far behind. Elections have consequences.

    September 22, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  22. Peoples Voice

    Like John McCrash would know what to do. His brain has been baking too long in the AZ sun.

    September 22, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  23. D. Tree

    McCain is playing politics with this one – the President is updating and changing the Afghanistan strategy as he promised he would do in the campaign.

    September 22, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  24. aware

    Our dear leader is above his paygrade as usual! šŸ™

    September 22, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  25. Excuse Me

    Well, for those who think President Obama doesn't quite measure up: let me remind you that at the very least we haven't been hit again by terrorists eight months into his administration. Looks like we are a hell of a lot safer under his watch than the Bush-blame-game-lame administration who had the worst national homeland disasters times two (9/11 and Katrina) on their watch. Oh that's right, they were both Bill Clinton's fault which means that Mr. Obama gets to blame Bush should the remotely unlikely repeat of either disaster happen, right?

    September 22, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
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