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September 28, 2009

Obama And McChrystal Have Spoken One Time Since McChrystal Took Command In Afghanistan

You can not be serious.

Gen. Stanley McChrystal says he's talked to President Obama only once since taking command of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan over the summer, a revelation that drew swift criticism from some who are concerned that the president is putting off McChrystal's request for more troops.

"It's startling," Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., told FOX News.

McChrystal talked about his interaction with the president in an interview with CBS News.

"I've talked to the president since I've been here once on a (video teleconference)," he said.

"You talked to him once in 70 days?" CBS' David Martin asked.

"That's correct," McChrystal said.

...Gregg said that former President George W. Bush spoke with his then-top Iraq commander, Gen. David Petraeus, on a regular basis. He said that while Obama may be speaking regularly with Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Petraeus, who is now head of Central Command, the president should still keep in regular contact with McChrystal.

"I would think you'd want to hear one-on-one from your field commander more than once in six months," he said.

Yeah, you'd think. Someone, I can't seem to remember who it was, called Afghanistan the "central front' in the fight against terrorist. Oh yeah, it was Obama.

Maybe Obama will find 10 or 15 minutes to give Gen. McChrystal a call from Air Force One while on his way to his way to Denmark to lobby for Chicago's Olympic bid.

Meanwhile back in Iraq (the bad war), Obama's choice to be ambassador there seems to be screwing things up royally.

American insiders in Baghdad say the relationship between the top U.S. commander there, Gen. Raymond Odierno, and the top civilian official there, Amb. Christopher Hill, is deteriorating rapidly. Old hands say the chill between the two brings to the bad old days of Sanchez vs. Bremer, when those two unfortunates barely would speak to each other as the American position fell apart in early 2004, along with Iraq itself.

What I am hearing is that Odierno is profoundly frustrated with Hill, who despite knowing almost nothing about Iraq has decided after a short time there that it is time to stand back and stop influencing the behavior of Iraqi officials on a daily basis. In addition, I am told, the ambassador believes the war is an Iraqi problem, not something that really concerns Americans anymore, despite the presence of 125,000 American soldiers. On the other hand, the diplomats respond, the military guys believe they have good relationships with Iraqi officials, but, the dips add, how would the soldiers really know?

It's almost as if electing a left-wing President with no executive experience (and precious little experience of any kind) might endanger national security.


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posted by DrewM. at 09:42 PM

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