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. V. Clausewitz

    Obama dawdles and meanwhile Soldiers die.

    September 22, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  2. David

    Mr. McCain, if you'd only go back to your pre 2000 ways of for the people and not for a party, I could vote for you.

    For those of you that criticize him for criticizing Obama and his ignoring his commanders needs, you're wrong. The president will not win this war by putting forth is ideologies. He has to listen to his commanders or face losing. Remember we are fighting the people who attacked us. This war is not Iraq. Iraq was not a threat. Have no doubt, this is a very different war for very different purposes. Don't delude yourselves into thinking otherwise.

    September 22, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  3. Richard

    For the past several, critics of the Iraq War (especially Obama and Biden) have unequivalently said George W Bush went to the wrong and risked US security by diverging resource from Afghanistan to Iraq . Afghanistan is the good war. It is the war of necessity. It is where US security is about. Well, this may be very true, but if this is true, then there is no reason not to fight hard in Afghanistan, is there? If it is not true, then these critics must have been lying all along. Their actions do not match their words. If Afganistan is essential, then let's fight. If it is not, then stop saying it is the good war and war of necessity. You cannot have it both ways.

    This is the future of our country. I don't care if you believe in this war or not, but at least be consistent about it. At least, when Bush said Iraq is essential to US security, he acts as if he really believe it. Obama said Afgahistan is more important, but he iappears to be putting it on the back burner.

    September 22, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  4. lori

    WAR WAR!!! That's the solution to everything in a GOP's PEA BRAIN!!!

    September 22, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  5. Dan

    Taliban and Al Qaeda have and likely will have for a long time a steady flow of recruits. Between religion, poverty and not much industry in that part of the world there are many young men looking for a purpose. We can surge the troops and get ahead of the curve for a moment but we can't keep up the surge forever.

    What is the end game we can expect to achieve. Any surge we do is only a temporary fix.

    Give the president time to reevaluate the long term strategy. There is no simple answer here.

    September 22, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  6. Greg in MO

    Yes, please shut-up Mr. McCain. Obama doesn't need advice from military officers concerning war. His law education and teaching experience is much more useful in war desicions and leadership than actual war training and experience.

    The liberal analysis is an amazing trainwreck of logic.

    September 22, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  7. Cathy in AZ

    Senator McCain can comment all he wants – no one is listening. The President is doing what he should do, listening before acting. Something the GOP should learn to do! The Joint Chiefs of Staff as well as Robert Gates are saying one thing and McCrystal another. Best listen to all sides before jumping in and get it right rather than follow the example set by Dubbya. Besides, where are you going to get the increase in troops? Asking those you are on their 4-5 tour and in Iraq?
    Senator McCain showed his judgement by choosing Sarah Palin – enough said!

    September 22, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  8. JOHN

    Sort of like Bush with the NIE reommendations ...

    September 22, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  9. obummer, 1 and done

    I think obummer is finding out being president is more than a constant campaign. You actually have to make a decision once and a while.
    That is why he is struggling, he's never made one.

    Secondly, you have to take ownership somewhere along the line. that's what great leaders do. obummer just continues to blame others.

    Sometime in the next 4 years he will have to make a decision and have to be the president, not just on the campaign trail. But then again, the koolaide drinkers might not care.

    September 22, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  10. lefty loosy

    o.k. Lets give Obama a break , after all his learning curve must be
    almost perpendicular in this area of Commander ansd Chief.
    Perhaps if he listens to his own mund instead of all the
    Democratic Doves he may come up with something workable.

    September 22, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  11. jt davis

    we should put as many troops in Afghanistan as possible and go after after the leadership of Al Queda, whether they be in Pakistan or running with the Taliban. Afterwards pull everyone out and bring them home.

    Forget about the nonsense of bring democracy to the world. It won't work in Iraq once we leave and won't work in Afghanistan. The have to forge their own way.

    September 22, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  12. Joe C

    Let's face it. For the next four years we do NOT have a Commander in Chief, we have another spineless "Jimmie Carter" like appeaser. AMercians have a short memory and the ramificationsof this very weak president will unfortunately , most likely, severly rattle those memories.

    September 22, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  13. LacrosseMom

    One more thing..........

    This is for all the GOPers who may doubt that Reagan helped create the Taliban:

    " These gentlemen are the moral equivalents of America's founding fathers." – President Ronald Reagan, said while introducing the Mujahideen, who were visiting the White House to the press. This quote is from 1985.

    Why did the U.S. train, support & arm the Mujahideen? Because they were fighting our enemies the Soviets! Now we are reaping what we sowed.


    September 22, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |

    Here's a person who came out with a "Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran" comment and who was almost last in his class at the Naval Academy – and now he thinks that he is a military advisor. President Obama, unlike the last Administration who "rushed to judgement" on Iraq instead of finishing the more important job in Afghanistan including capturing or killing Osama Bin Laden – is going outside of the military and asking other experts to help (with military input) put together a plan that will succeed. If Afghanistan didn't take a "back seat" to Iraq, we would not be talking about this subject right now!

    September 22, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  15. tombo

    Glenn Beck says your worse than Obama McCain. So stick that in your pie hole

    September 22, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  16. LLB

    I am 100% against war. Obama got elected because he said he was bringing the troops home. But if Obama isn't going to bring our them home, then he needs to make sure the folks there have plenty of support. Why doesn't he want to listen to the man HE put in to give him advice? Leave out the politics when you're dealing with the lives of our people. I can't stand how these politicians continue to handle the lives of the men and women serving our country so cavalierly. First Bush NOW Obama.

    September 22, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  17. Bomb, bomb, bomb

    Remember this guy singing about bombing Iran. All he knows is fighting.

    I'm sure glad most Americans voted NOT for McCain.

    When wil he get the hint.

    September 22, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  18. Joe C

    WOW!! I actually read a couple comments NOT from Obama worshippers!! Yikes, CNN blog approvers must be "drinking the koolaid" or out to lunch. Be carefull guys CNN will fire you if you don;t ONLY post PRO Obama comments.

    September 22, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  19. Richard Marks

    Just be quiet war mongering boy Mccain. Just shut up! What is need is a total reversal of dimwit W's war mongering. LEAVE Iraq and Afghanistan now. Yesterday was not soon enough. Just leave. Come home, open a REAL investigation into 9/11, hand the culprits, and be done with this silly
    endless war nonsense. Enough is enough.

    September 22, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  20. Justin

    Ever notice...McCain is always "blasting" about something?!! He's a chronic complainer.

    September 22, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  21. RUDY

    For some reason McCain still thinks America's royalty. All he does is complain.

    September 22, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  22. Duke in GA

    Both the Republicans, and the Democrats care only for them selves. Obama doesn't care about the troops, neither did Bush. Even though I hate McCain, but atleast he would have taken care of our young troops. As for Obama not wanting the Gen. advice, thats retarded. Shouldn't the Generals be running the war, not Congress.

    September 22, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  23. David-TX

    McCain has been "disconnected" for years!!!!

    September 22, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  24. Brian

    What a loser. Thank God he was not our President. We'd be at war with Iran by now.

    September 22, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  25. John

    I believe the statement was that he wanted to review the plan before he does anything. Isn't it refreshing to have an actual thinker in the White House.

    September 22, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
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