September 22nd, 2009
06:27 PM ET
11 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. Marcus

    That war cannot be "won."
    It is impossible, except for those arm chair Generals.

    September 22, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  2. Marie MD

    Jason/Marie, and . . . . . mccain on military . . . . . crashed five jets and spent the Vietnam war as a POW.
    bush was never seen at the NG post yet we entered into two wars because of his presidency.
    You don't have to be a general to run a country just have some smarts which have been missing for the last eight years in the WH!

    September 22, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  3. Rich in Az

    Quiet Johnny boy, you're insignificant. Credibility has deserted you, at your own hand.

    September 22, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  4. fellow from chicago

    The Libs are correct, Senator McCain ran for President and lost. The American people won't make that mistake again. Whoever runs against the idiot now in the WH will win handily in 2012.

    September 22, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  5. DJ

    Last time I checked we are a Democracy and our elected President calls the shots. If the military decided everything that would be a fascist form of government.

    September 22, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  6. Joe

    McCain is still running his campaign

    September 22, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  7. Never Repub again

    For those of you who didnt know. The President gives the orders, the generals are to carry them out. NOT the other way around. Repubs wants Papa Bush Weapons Mfg Co's to make some govmt dough. The connection is not Pres – Generals. The Connection is Pres – People. OBAMA-BIDEN 2012 POWER to the People. Big corps dont want that.

    September 22, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  8. Robin in Tampa, FL

    McCrystal just got assigned the job back in June, it's a bit hasty to talk about his resignation before the President has made his decision on what our long-term strategy should even be at this point.

    September 22, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  9. Busy MN Mom

    There are no good options for Afghanistan. At least our current President is taking time to weigh the options that do exist and make the best decision he can. Other countries that have tried to occupy or win a war against Afghanistan have not been successful and as our very intelligent President has said WE NEED TO CONSIDER OUR OBJECTIVES AND MAKE SURE WE KNOW EXACTLY WHAT THEY ARE BEFORE PUTTING MORE AMERICAN SOLDIERS IN HARM'S WAY. Just because a general says that more troops are needed for what HE considers to be the objectives does not mean that we shouldn't make changes to those objectives or consider other options. The general says more troops so give him more troops is just a knee-jerk reaction. Thoughtful consideration (Obama) vs. knee-jerk decision-making (McCain) - I'll take the thoughtful consideration any day.

    September 22, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  10. Jane

    Sen McCain – Shouldn't there be clear strategy & goals before asking the troop to rick their lives – or are you using the old Republican action to reaction before you determine the action needed?

    September 22, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  11. Lisa

    As if someone who picked Palin as a running-mate has any credibility at all!

    September 22, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |

    WOW... I am sure glad he didn't get elected...

    September 22, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  13. victim of republican greed

    We currently have a room at work named after McCain. It is the John. I can only tell you that it deals with a lot of things that are like what McCain says: crap.

    September 22, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  14. yuri

    The knee jerk reaction of a troop surge, as in Iraq, may seem like a
    " one-size-fits-all " strategy. From what we heard, if the General wants more resources, it may not always translate to more boots on the ground. That might put more Americans' lives on the line too.

    McCain should not sound the alarm and he needs to slow down on his hasty military like macho response which may elevete a lot of risk factor levels. We salute him a lot for his contribution to the nation, but his comments remain arguable, even if he is a ranking senator. This request, we are sure, will be examined at its entirety, by all in the house and senate, aptly.

    September 22, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  15. John, Brooklyn, New York

    Mr. McCain is under the misconception that our military actually runs wars. Fortunately, the US does not run by junta but, rather, a cicilian head of state elected by the people. He/she is responsible to the electorate...even about issues of foreign policy and defense.

    McCain might be an Annapolis military elitist, but I'd rather trust a commader and chief who is responsible to the public than having our wars (and, indeed, our foreign policy) run out of the Pentagon.

    September 22, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    If McCain had won we'd still be DEEPLY trenched in Iraq and still totally ignoring Afghanistan, as our current President is NOT doing.

    I'd say - nice try, Johnny. We don't want any.

    September 22, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  17. jdp

    Why does CNN continually keep interest in anything that McCain says? He is not news... of course he disagrees. It would be un-republican of him not to. McCain is more insignificant than the party itself. This isn't news, it's wasted kilobytes.

    September 22, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  18. Tim

    I thought Obama was ready on day 1? Sounds like he needs some on the job training.

    September 22, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  19. Tom L

    Why so much hate for a man that his made his life about serving his country? He has an opinion, much more qualified than any one here. You talk about showing respect but your actions certainly don't follow that mantra.
    I get it, Democrats won the last election but that doesn't mean that 100% of Americans voted for you. I'm just waiting for the next post "I won, you lost! You ate the apple sauce!" It certainly seems like you are just childish enough to say something like that.

    September 22, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  20. GOPer

    How many jets did this clown crash? He couldn’t run a campaign, picked a nut for VP and now wants to criticize the WH?

    September 22, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  21. NC

    A letter to Senator McCain: You are such a sore loser and becoming a very vindictive old man. Is this what you want to be remembered as? Being shot down in Nam does not make you an expert on war. I lost friends in Nam that actually were on the battlefield. They were drafted right out of high school because they did not have a father or grandfather to get them in the Naval Academy like you did. I used to respect you but lost all respect for you when you selected Palin. You are not President and need to stop being so unpatriotic. If you can't support our President stop whining and complaining everyday. It is not becoming for someone that we once thought of as a hero. Had President Obama lost the election he would not play polotics as you do with our lives.

    September 22, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  22. Sherry

    This from someone who, had he been elected president would surely have had the USA blown off the face of the earth by now. He needs to put a sock in it and let the president & the generals do their jobs. It seems McCain thinks HE won the election with his continued commentary.

    September 22, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  23. oh come on know

    John McCain your a loser and have been for years, Hang it up and do us all a favor. You and those other loud mouth Republicians can really start the fires raging, where the hell where you all during the Bush years? NOW you all have the answers. all want to see this man fail....and badly I might add. Get some backbone and work and support your PRESIDENT! You loud mouth, old, tanned, hoodies, from the past need to let some younger, smarter, and clean take over. your all dirty and you know it.You all had your chance, let it gotand let us move foward. BESIDES WE DON'T WANT ANY OF YOU AROUND ANYMORE....the voters will let you all know....sooner than you think....Bye cutie pie. RIP.

    September 22, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  24. JJ in Chula Vista, CA

    I agree that President Obama needs to make a decisive decision on the war in Afghanistan. If there was anything that I did once agree with President Bush on was action in Afghanistan in the wake of September 11th, with the focus of bringing Al Qaida to some semblence of justice...but since then the focus has faltered, we've been distracted in Iraq, and today we're not certain how the war matters to us and why we should be spending so much money.

    This is the point where we MUST remember Septemeber 11th and refocus on the hunt for those real terrorists that were behind the attacks, but making certain to move forward rationally and intelligently, unlike the Bush Administration's verisimilitudes.

    September 22, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  25. Dar

    The goverment is not our military, but the military has to listen to our goverment, and most in goverment are fools that dont understand what they need. Finish the job we started and finish it in the way we started it, We gave the Taliban everything we had and they ran like a bunch of cowards they are. We started holding back little by little and now they have re grouped and started killing again. If the General wants 30,000, send 60,000 and get this war over with now!
    God Bless Our Troops, for they are why we are FREE
    God Bless All

    September 22, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
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