Thursday, October 1, 2009

Senate Requires Generals to Testify

On Thursday, Senators voted 60-39 for an amendment by Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich) that requires Gens. Stanley McChrystal and David Petraeus, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and US Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairmen of the Joint Cheifs of Staff, to testify before the committee. However, they sidestepped a potential controversy by not setting a deadline. Voted down by a vote of 40-59, was the amendment by Senator John McCain (R-Az) the committee's co-chair that required a deadline of Nov. 15th. "The point is that we need to hear from the architects and the commanders," McCain said. "We as members of Congress, a co-equal branch of government, also have a responsibility in this decisoion making progress."

An internal assessment of the war in Afghanistan was leaked last week, with media reports on General McChrystal's request for 40,000 additional troops, which McCain supports. Obama already sent 21,000 troops to Afghanistan in January but has been under pressure to send more.

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