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. Larry S

    It is so great to see the comments from the liberals . . . it proves the facts they are ignorant and have no concept of keeping America safe . . . so keep up the stupid comments . . . as I said, it proves my point.

    September 22, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  2. GetReal

    Obama will do the right thing, I am confident of that.

    September 22, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  3. Rose

    Wasn't it Obama said he would listen to the commanders on the ground during his campaign?? Obama never wore a uniform and has no idea what he is doing. What I worry about is the military that are still in Afghanistan, they are out numbered and have very little support. Obama also said this was a war that was necessary. I am certainly not in favor of having more of our military in harms way but those poor guys there need help. Of course we want our military home but if they have to be there then give them help!!!

    September 22, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  4. Mark F., Loganville, Ga

    McCain has a disconnect. He still has figured out that he lost. I heard on MSNBC today that soldiers in Afghanistan are more worried that an over-abundance of troops will mean an overwhelming number of American troop deaths.

    September 22, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  5. Linda.. WI

    McCain is just a poor washed up loser that always made terrible war decisions, with his neo-con buddies, so he is certainly a very poor choice to give any advice to anyone, especially to our intelligent Prez. Obama will do the right thing and clean up the mess that the Reslugs made.

    September 22, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  6. Susan in NC

    Actually, I don't understand John McCain. He appears to think "war" will solve all of our problems. Well, it won't and it's time for him to understand that. He seems to think nothing of spending billions of dollars each month on war, but balks at the idea of spending billions onthe health of the U.S. Citizens. I think the election of President Barrack Obama reinforced the belief that John McCain has it all wrong on all fronts... the war, the economy, the health care cricis, etc., etc.

    September 22, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  7. dan

    You add troops to speed up the afghans being able to take over. You need to get an Afghan army on their feet. McCain wants more troops so we can get out sooner. McCain voted against the Lebanon war in 1982.

    McCain wants to transfer the power to the afghan military and the only way you can do that is getting them up and ready. Obama is putting off the decision for political reasons. McCain has one son who has served twice overseas and another about to go over. The hatred of McCain by the left is creepy for what this man has given this country.

    September 22, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  8. Norm

    Obama is listing to requirements and will then provide strategic direction and then the generals will carry out the tactical end of it. Hopefully it will eventually end the war the GOP blew by starting another needless war in Iraq and blowing that one.

    September 22, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  9. John

    McCain got it backwards. First you need a strategy and then deceide what troop level is required to carry it out.

    September 22, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  10. Florida Joe

    Thank God the idiot McCain did not win the election. He has shown he is prone to making snap, uninformed decisions (Sarah) and is a one trick guy WAR WAR WAR. I cannot imagine how many more conflicts we would be involved in if this war lover had won. I find it amazing that there is no money for Healthcare but plenty of $$ for WAR.
    We finally have a President that will insure he FULLY understands the situation before more lives are sent into harms way... unlike BUSH..........The President is the Commander in Chief and the Generals need to await his orders.

    September 22, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  11. Chandler

    McCain is just using this for cheap shots. Obama hasn't said that he is opposed to sending more troops or that he won't. He said that he wants to evaluate the situation, and address the GOALS of the mission. Simply sending more troops isn't going to do any good if you don't use them wisely.

    September 22, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  12. Mississippi Miss

    Commander in Chief? I think not.

    September 22, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  13. Len Smith

    JUst why does the Senator think he is a know it all? On so many things he doesn't have a clue.

    September 22, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  14. chuck

    This is one topic where McCain holds a lot of weight. He was also critical of Bush on troop strengths way before the decision to "surge". McCain usually has a nasty habit of simplifying and breaking things way down into tiny, digestible one-liners for the ignorant masses to understand. Problem is, the people that care and are paying attention don't need him to cut their meat before they eat it. We understand, we get it. The meat cutting should only be for the disconnected voters during campaign seasons. Talk substance, no generalities, just the meat please. We are paying attention and we do want to hear from McCain on this one subject for sure.

    September 22, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  15. ran

    Fear/hate it must be a Republican talking again.

    September 22, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  16. James

    Not as bad as the disconnect between Republicans and reality.

    September 22, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  17. Scott

    I seem to recall a similar disconnect between the Bush Administration and the generals in Iraq and Afghanistan. Does the Name Petraeus ring a bell?
    C'mon Senator McCain....the bell tolls and it tolls for thee.

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

    any suggestions on the economy and health care in America?

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

    Now that Obama is in the White House, some liberals have started admitting that their previous support for the U.S. efforts in Afghanistan was just a political ploy... in essence, the Left cannot be trusted in matters of national security, because they will lie about ANYTHING in order to gain and keep power.

    I find this honesty from the Left refreshing.

    September 22, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  20. victim of republican greed

    If John McCain would have pulled this crap three years ago, Sean Hannity would have called anyone speaking against President Bush unamerican, a criminal, and a terrorist.

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

    Bring the soldiers home this is not cut and ran! nothing we can get from Afghanistan except popeye!. Let them solve their internal problems first! remember even Nato is there we are not the only one!

    September 22, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  22. Jose

    I'm glad to see Obama quesiton the standard routine and norms in the military. Someone needed to! Maybe McCain wants to send his foreign policy expert McPalin to handle the job.

    September 22, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  23. Jalek

    Maybe they can get the President's voicemail, he's busy with the Palestinians, announcing that the 4% of the stimulus money spent has saved the economy (while ignoring 40+ states reporting more job losses), and telling Europe they're behind on environmental restrictions on industry.

    I wonder how much the Taliban will demand for reparations after the surrender?

    September 22, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  24. Big Ed

    Senator McCain, I want to bring your attention to the obvious disconnect with not only the voting public (thanks for Palin!), but your obvioulsy infrequent visits to the planet we like to call Earth... Nanu, nanu!

    September 22, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  25. candice

    yes, the military is not the government and.....there are twice as many of our soldiers in afghanistan now as they were last year. think everyone needs to take a deep breath and let the administration access all options.

    September 22, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
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