CNN Pentagon Producer
The intrigue surrounding Gen. Stanley McChrystal's plans for Afghanistan is making him a popular man on Capitol Hill. But for now, Congress is going to have to wait to talk to the top commander in Afghanistan.
McChrystal's plans for turning the tide in Afghanistan have been turned in to his bosses at the Pentagon and to President Barack Obama, but little has been shared yet with those on the Hill. So they want to talk to the man...now.
"What I support right now is getting Gen. McChrystal here to help us all understand what the situation on the ground is and what the strategy for success in Afghanistan is," said Rep. John Boehner, the House Minority Leader.
The head of the House Armed Services committee wrote a letter to the defense secretary requesting McChrystal come talk.
"As you know, there is significant interest in Congress and among the public in the outcome of General McChrystal's assessment and any resulting changes in our strategy or operations in Afghanistan," wrote Rep. Ike Skelton, D-MO, on August 13th. "I hope that we can agree that a good way to address this desire for information would be to have General McChrystal appear at a hearing before the House Armed Services Committee."
So far, Skelton has not gotten a response, according to his spokeswoman.
Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, passed his request to Adm. Michael Mullen when the country's highest uniformed officer appeared in front of the Senate Armed Services committee earlier this week.
"I would strongly recommend that we do as we have in the past and ask General McChrystal and General Petraeus to come before the committee and testify so that we can better understand the situation both there in Afghanistan and what we can expect in the future.
But they should not hold their breath. Pentagon spokesman told reporters on Tuesday that for now, McChrystal is staying in Afghanistan.
"I have heard very emphatically that the secretary does not believe now is the time to bring General McChrystal back to testify," Geoff Morrell said. "I mean, he is dealing with a very difficult fight right now in Afghanistan. And the secretary believes his focus and attention should be there and not back here in - in a political process."
Of course, there is a way to talk to Gen. McChrystal – go to Afghanistan. As for his Afghanistan review, Sec. Gates said it will soon be made available to members of congress but for now, the president deserves a chance to review it first.
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