October 11th, 2009
11:59 AM ET
13 years ago

Feinstein urges Obama to decide soon on Afghan troop levels

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A leading Democrat on Capitol Hill urged President Barack Obama to heed the advice of his top commander in Afghanistan, who is calling for more troops.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Sunday that U.S. troops would be put in "jeopardy" if Obama does not listen to Gen. Stanley McChrystal.

"I don't know how you put somebody in who's as crackerjack as General McChrystal, who gives the president very solid recommendations, and not take those recommendations if you're not going to pull out," the California senator said on ABC's "This Week."

McChrystal is reportedly asking for up to 40,000 extra troops. Some reports say there is an option on the table to send 60,000 additional troops, almost doubling the U.S. force now in the country.

"If you don't want to take the recommendations, then you ... put your people in such jeopardy, just like the base in Nuristan," Feinstein said.

She was referring to the October 3 attack that pinned down U.S. forces at a remote base in Afghanistan's Nuristan province. The United States says about 200 insurgents had been planning the attack for days.

"We lost eight of our men," Feinstein said, of the Nuristan attack. "We didn't have the ability to defend them, and now the base is closing, and effectively we're - we're retreating away from it."

Feinstein was one of many members of Congress who sat down and discussed the situation in Afghanistan with Obama last week. Speaking on "Fox News Sunday," she called on Obama to make a decision "sooner, rather than later." That's a turnaround from her position two weeks ago when she expressed support for Obama's wait-and-see approach on Afghanistan.

"I think the president is correct to take his time, to really examine what the alternatives are at this time," she said on "Fox News Sunday on September 27."

Filed under: Afghanistan • Dianne Feinstein
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Lynne

    Has Feinstein actually read the WHOLE McChrystal report or is she just basing her opinion on the parts leaked to the press?? where was she and all the other mouthpieces from the Senate for the past eight years??

    October 11, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  2. Zebula

    Remember when Hillary asked who you'd want to answer the 3 am phone call? Obama would've let it ring for 2 months.

    October 11, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  3. lefty loosy

    At last a Democrat with a brain.

    October 11, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  4. Lilarose in Bandon, OR

    The AMERICAN people, I am referring to the citizens of the United States, want the troops to COME HOME!

    I don't care what members of congress want, they really want to be reelected.

    October 11, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  5. Jenn, Philadelphia

    It is naive of this Administration to suggest that they can work with the Taliban and it's only Al Queda who is the enemy. What role should a group who kills men who shave and women who dare to go to school play in the government of Afghanistan? When they said they only want to stay in Afghanistan and have no interest in any other areas, ask Pakistan how that worked out in the Swat Valley. The Administration is contemplating nothing less than appeasement and history shows that doesn't work. It just lets you enemies know your as weak as they think.

    October 11, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  6. Death Panel Sarah

    Better watch out, Dianne, you might just get the 'haters' to tolerate(but not like) you!!!

    October 11, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  7. Bpin

    Why, it is only our brave young dedicated US soldiers that are being sacrificed. We all know the next ekection is absolutely more important than our young men. But, I will give BHO credit for trying to find out how he should go. I got a call reguarding a survey the DNC is conducting asking me if I thought the Afgan. war should continue and if it does will it impact my past voting record. HMMMM. I am sure the results will be in soon so BHO can make his decision. God bless all of you that have young men fighting and especially those that will loose them while BHO is tracking polls.

    October 11, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  8. Gary

    I trust Obama's judgement and I think it is wise to take his time in making a decision.

    October 11, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  9. Louise in NC

    Diane Feinstein has not had anything good to say about Obama before or after he became President. She wanted Hilary Clinton to win and it shows in every statement she makes.

    October 11, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  10. On the other hand...

    I had to read this twice to believe that Dianne Feinstein actually came out for increasing the troops as necessary in Afghanistan. She is absolutely correct. It's time to take control of the fight, win and move along.

    October 11, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  11. Get real!

    Finally, a democrat with some sense!

    October 11, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  12. Enough

    Feinstein needs to go visit the farmers here in California that she cut off water to and put them in food lines and unemployment.............to save a stupid fish.

    October 11, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  13. Right wingnuts live in their parent's basement.

    Sen Feinstein-

    Do you realize that 45,000 American citizens are dying each year because of congress inability to act on health reform?

    October 11, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  14. Censorship in Practice form at CNN--S Callahan NYS

    Is there REALLY an alternative?

    In sending the troops over...please equip them with rifles/guns that do not clog in firefight ....there must be some type of thermal/element (sand?) guard to put on them....

    October 11, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  15. Nobel Prize for the Teleprompter!

    As your California constituent - I say to you, Senator Feinstein - you FINALLY got one right!

    October 11, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  16. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Wow, even ultra-liberal Feinstein wants Obama to make a decision. Doesn't she know that 'present' is the only way he votes?

    October 11, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  17. Dan G

    It is hard to believe that Diane Feinstein is from San Francisco.

    I think now would be a good time for her to just come out of the closet and pull a Specter. She acts more Republican then Democrat.

    We had our chance to win the war and the hearts and minds of the Afgan people and we let it slip away into Iraq.

    We now are losing the war and winning the battles. But at what cost.

    October 11, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  18. M. Felder

    McCrystal idea calls for bringing troop visibly into the population in Afghanastan, I think this puts our troops in more danger from snipper fire and IED mishaps than anything else. Additionally, I think there is a diplomatic solution to the situation in Afghanistan. It's clear that the Taliban does not want any foreigners, US or Al Geida in their region, so it stands to reason that if the Al queida came back to gain a stronghold, the Taliban would fight them off. Our best bet would be to have Afghanistan leaders come to an agreement with the Taliban to not allow Al guieda to get a stronghold. I think Afghanistan and and Taliban would be willing to come to some agreement without US interference. The reality is that the Taliban is did not Attack the US on 9/11, they are just protecting their territory from foreigners, US and Al guieda.

    October 11, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  19. Preston kath.

    mr obama take your time and make the right choice and don t become another vietnam bush took his time to go in afghanistan them bush forgot about afghanistan 40 mm kathy and preston

    October 11, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  20. zago

    I would agree with the 60000 troops increase only if the GOPers agree to levy some taxes to pay for it right now. Not sending them and pay for it with debt and whining about the deficit. It's not fair to have it both ways. It should be fair play. We have not paid for the wasteful Iraq war whereas we complaining the deficit is too high while all president Bush was doing is to swell the deficit in the name of national security and no one dared question it. Now is time to use our intelligence. More troops should be positively correlated to higher taxes for those who can pay it. Not tax cuts and more spending. Who's paying? Who's responsible?

    October 11, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  21. No Hillary = No Obama

    Wait, now I have to think about this. What kind of leader is this? One with no instiincts, no military savy, no experience, actually, only words. I say good luck because this guy doesn't have a clue.

    October 11, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  22. Ted Tartaglia

    Feinstein is getting to be a regular on Faux News. I wonder is she is a closet Repub. She has been acting like one lately.

    October 11, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  23. Adalbert

    After 8 – years, it is time for us to withdraw from Afghanistan. We are wasting valuable resources and accomplishing nothing.

    October 11, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  24. ICARE

    Whatever, W has not listened for 8 years. Suddenly, under Obama, when it is way too late, Obama is informed to qucikly act...

    Obie, take your time and figure out what the Afghan wants..

    October 11, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  25. Bill, MI

    40,000 more troops, Heck NO,we need that money here for more Welfare[ Spread the wealth ].........Right Democrats..

    October 11, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
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