I'm not really sure why, but in the lead-up to the Senate hearings today, Republicans seemed to be eager about the possibility of manipulating Gen. Stanley McChrystal into somehow dissing President Obama
by implying he had under-resourced the mission in Afghanistan.
(Obviously, there's something ironic about Republicans criticizing
"under-resourcing" after the past eight years of Republican stewardship
of the war.) In any case, McChrystal was unequivocal in his praise for the president in his opening statement:
The Afghanistan-Pakistan review led by the President has provided me
with a clear military mission and the resources to accomplish our task.
The clarity, commitment and resolve outlined in the President’s address
are critical steps toward bringing security to Afghanistan and
eliminating terrorist safe havens that threaten regional and global
I think to a far lesser extent, some people also believed that Ambassador Karl Eikenberry might somehow find it difficult to reconcile his leaked
criticisms of the Afghan government with the president's decision to
send 30,000 more American troops to Afghanistan. Those who thought
Eikenberry would reveal the decision as folly will also be
disappointed. Spencer Ackerman writes:
Eikenberry explained that “all the participants in this very vigorous review process” were encouraged to be blunt. “I’d like to clarify that at no point during this review process, Mr. Chairman, was I ever opposed to additional troops being sent to Afghanistan,” Eikenberry said. “I shared [McChrystal's] views about the security situation.” There was a question “about the number of those troops, the timeline for those troops, the context for those troops.” And then the mission “was refined, the way forward was clarified, and the resources” are sufficient. “I am unequivocally in support of this mission and I am exactly aligned with Gen. McChrystal here to my right.”
Did anyone really think that either of these guys was gonna throw the president under the bus? Either way it doesn't seem like some people are going to stop trying to make it happen.
-- A. Serwer