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. Jim

    Obama has a disconnect with creating jobs, creating jobs, creating jobs.

    September 22, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  2. Roger

    hey Johnny got your tail kicked by a gracious loser.......and please shut up.

    September 22, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  3. Philip

    Christian Values–yeah. Republicans have no idea about war. Eisenhower was completely incompotent...oh wait. Wasn't it Lyndon Johnson who escalated Vietnam? Wasn't it Nixon who ended it? Please learn some history before spouting off against Republicans

    September 22, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  4. Jasmine in Germany

    With all due respect, Senator McCain, I believe you are the "disconnected" one. Our troops are not a "dime a dozen" to be sent off on a GOP whim. Obama is correct to use brainpower instead.

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

    So we have a President that thinks before he decides vs. Bush who ran misinformed into IRAQ. Pretty much a no brainier.

    September 22, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  6. Stephee

    McCain, now is not the time to start another (long, boring, meaningless, annoying) complaint.

    September 22, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  7. Jacob

    IF the White House wasn't run by the farest left part of the democratic party it would not be a problem. But since the far left wing of the White House/DNC seems to despise the military I am sure it is proving harmful to communication. What did you expect?

    September 22, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  8. Dave

    Just another way to point out that Obama cannot make the tough decisions. He likes to talk alot,but there has been no action on anything.

    September 22, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  9. alex african man from congo

    i am obama supporter for change on some factors but i don't trust him on fight against terror,

    September 22, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  10. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Obama has had 8 months to plan a strategy. The strategy for WWII was determined in less time. Why ihas he sat on the report for weeks now, taking a vacation while troops are dying? There are only 3 ways to go: surrender and pull out (and have Al Queda back in a week), keep doing what we are doing (and have troops dying without a chance to win), increase troops like the general on the ground has asked and have a chance to win. If we're not fighting to win, why are we fighting? Make a decision Barry!! You can't vote 'present' this time!

    September 22, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  11. Art

    After this bozo picked Sarah Palin as his running mate, how could anyone take him seriously...Even Glenn Beck knows that we would be in deep deep crap if this guy wetre ever elected...He's just plain stupid.

    September 22, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  12. AEK

    During the Bush administration that type of rhetoric coming out of the Democratic party would have been considered as giving aid and comfort to the enemy and phones and email would have been monitored. Interesting as the Repugs amp up the criticism of the President, Al-Qaida gets bolder and bolder. Thanks again for keeping America safe, you know, just like you were doing when the towers and Pentagon were attacked nine months after you took office.

    September 22, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  13. JA/TN

    what business do we have in Iraq or Afgan, and who led us there

    September 22, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  14. Steve

    Unlike Republicans, Democrats actually like to think before they act. Didn't the GOP learn anything from Iraq? We were lied to and mislead.

    Remember McCain's "suspension" of his presidential run during the economic collapse. This is how they lead – they react instead of act.

    I applaud Obama's measured and deliberate approach. It may take a little more time, but it is certainly more effective. For example, the GOP rush into Afghanistan has gotten us where? Eight years later and we are actually worse off.

    The GOP left the world (and our own country) in a mess. They have no right to critisize the ones cleaning it up. Don't they even realize THEY are the owns who made all the problems.

    September 22, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  15. eliot from chicago

    A strong backbone should be flexible.

    September 22, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  16. Dieter Zerressen

    Wow, at least John Kerry had the decency to fade into the background after he lost (by a smaller margin) in 2004. Word to McCain: the country spoke loud and clear back in November and you LOST. Shut up and go away.

    September 22, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  17. rednekhank

    Old Man McLame will be back with a new complaint, as soon as he GETS THOSE KIDS OFF HIS LAWN!!!!!!

    September 22, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  18. RNC = DNC = politics as usual


    – more trrops in Afghanistan
    – troops left in Iraq to guard the oil
    – assassinations in other countries
    – terrorists still operating in the US – they didn't get the love memo

    Obama – a War President

    September 22, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  19. LacrosseMom

    Thanks to Ronald Reagan, whose administration trained and armed the Mujahideen, we have the Taliban!

    We are NOT going to win the war in Afghanistan, its not possible. We have MORE Troops there today, than when Bush was president, and still we are not gaining ground.

    President Obama HANDPICKED Gen. McCrystal, he choose this general to help him with the Bush war he inherited.

    We have been at war for EIGHT years, longer than WWI & WWII. We have paid dearly, our nation is bankrupt!

    Its time to consider other options. The last poll showed that.......... 64%.... of Americans DO NOT SUPPORT THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN!


    September 22, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  20. Stu

    One thing is certain, Obama is perhaps the most unqualified politician ever to serve as Commander in Chief. How can one make sound military decisions when one has never served in the military? Perhaps military service should be a requirement to be the President.

    September 22, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  21. Obamapapa

    With regard to McCains comment on the disconnect between the White House and the military, there was one noteworthy example in the past. It was when Truman sacked a very outspoken General.

    September 22, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  22. Jeff, Huntington Beach, CA

    Thank God this warmonger is not in the White House. War seems to be his specialty and we have had enough with 8 years of George W. I still remember when McCain echoed George W by saying that "the underpinnings of the economy are strong" about a week before the markets collapsed. Then there are those who say that war is good for the economy...

    Good riddance to these old fools.

    September 22, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  23. Fred the Moderate

    Odd, where was this comment when bush was in office? Why were we in a war with Iraq anyway? Who authorized that war? Oh Mr. McCain huh.

    Really, John lost relevents last year around August. He contributes nothing and if he wasn't a Senator, what could he possibly do?

    I do find his comments about anything funny though.

    September 22, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  24. kit

    You may not want Obama answering the call at 2am, but I certainly don't want Palin in the room with THE PHONE.

    September 22, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  25. jon,philadelphia

    I wonder just what the old geezer would do. or Sarah for that matter? It's nice to sit on the sidelines and whine about things without having to make the decisions.

    September 22, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
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