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The McChrystal/Eikenberry Hearings Begin: Hey, Who’s the President Again

Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), chairman of the House Armed Services committee, told Gen. Stanley McChrystal and Ambassador Karl Eikenberry that he’s been long

Jul 31, 2020
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Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), chairman of the House Armed Services committee, told Gen. Stanley McChrystal and Ambassador Karl Eikenberry that he’s been “long anticipating your testimony today.” An uncertain ally of the Obama administration on Afghanistan, Skelton nevertheless praises the president for the extended troop surge and for “convey[ing] his commitment” to addressing the threat from al-Qaeda-allied insurgents in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Turning to the differences between the 2007 troop surge in Iraq and the 2009 extended surge in Afghanistan, “I don’t think such comparisons are wise are fair,” Skelton said, since “the increase ordered by the president in [troops] Afghanistan is much greater than in Iraq … “I do not have any doubt that we must succeed in Afghanistan,” Skelton said, and “that the new strategy provides a path to success.”
Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), the GOP ranking member, chided President Obama for “lacking a clear authoritative voice” during the weeks-long strategy review. But with “your testimony today,” he said, “I believe we have finally turned a corner” in the debate. “You, Gen. McChrystal, Ambassador Eikenberry … will demonstrate the will of this mission to defeat al-Qaeda, route the Taliban and conclude the mission … You, gentlemen, will have the pen … today, you will write the next chapter … Washington must step aside and let Kabul” take charge. Well, there’s our answer: McKeon is pretending that McChrystal and not Obama is the president of the United States. “Nowhere in your assessment did I see discussion of a date certain for withdrawal,” McKeon added, which is a curious way to describe the July 2011 “strategic inflection point” to begin transferring security responsibilities to the Afghan police and army.
Camilo Wood

Camilo Wood

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Camilo Wood has over two decades of experience as a writer and journalist, specializing in finance and economics. With a degree in Economics and a background in financial research and analysis, Camilo brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his writing. Throughout his career, Camilo has contributed to numerous publications, covering a wide range of topics such as global economic trends, investment strategies, and market analysis. His articles are recognized for their insightful analysis and clear explanations, making complex financial concepts accessible to readers. Camilo's experience includes working in roles related to financial reporting, analysis, and commentary, allowing him to provide readers with accurate and trustworthy information. His dedication to journalistic integrity and commitment to delivering high-quality content make him a trusted voice in the fields of finance and journalism.
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