Congress Calls For Top Afghanistan Diplomat and General to Testify

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


IMG_0354.jpg

Remember last September’s false promise that with the testimony before Congress of David Petraeus and Ryan Crocker, the highest-ranking U.S. general and diplomat in Iraq, some major change in the Iraq War was imminent? Nothing happened, of course, other than some very deft rhetorical deflection (evidence of Petraeus’ political talents?) and calls for more time for the “surge” to work. (Some, including John McCain, now argue that it has, others that it hasn’t.) If Joe Biden and Carl Levin, the respective chairmen of the Senate foreign relations and armed services committees, get their way, we’ll be treated to yet another media spectacle in coming weeks, this time focusing on U.S. strategy in Afghanistan.

More after the jump…

Yesterday, the Senators fired off letters to Condoleezza Rice and Robert Gates, requesting that they authorize U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan William Wood and NATO International Security Assistance Force commander, General Dan McNeil, to testify before their combined committees. The impetus for the request, say the Senators, is their concern that “the United States and the international community lack a strategy for success in Afghanistan.” The letters read:

The conflict in Afghanistan must also be a priority. It is essential that Congress hear from the commanding general and U.S. ambassador about the situation on the ground in Afghanistan. We are deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, based on both first-hand observations and the recent testimony of military experts, the intelligence community, State Department officials, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Among our concerns are that six years after the defeat of the Taliban, an anti-government insurgency is re-asserting itself in many previously-peaceful provinces, al Qaeda is regenerating along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, poppy production remains at record levels, international development and reconstruction efforts lack both coordination and resources, shortfalls continue in troops and equipment for NATO’s Afghanistan mission, and many of the Afghan people are at risk of losing faith in the ability of their government to deliver a better future.

Biden and Levin have asked that the testimony be given “no later than April 18, 2008.”

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate