Obama Asks McChrystal To "Scrub" Troops Request

Posted: Sep 24, 2009 2:15 PM

Gen. Stanley McChrystal formally asks Defense Secretary Robert Gates for more troops this week. Gates' answer won't be a surprise, according to Roll Call.

House Armed Services ranking member Howard McKeon (R-Calif.) said Wednesday that Gates told him on a July trip to Afghanistan that Obama “wasn’t inclined to send troops over there.”

McKeon said Gates also told him that, in light of Gen. David Petraeus and McChrystal being asked to submit assessments to the president on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, respectively, Obama had “given instructions” to them to “scrub everything, to make sure they didn’t ask for more than they needed.”

That conversation prompted McKeon to ask McChrystal if the directive sent “a chilling message” that the U.S. and NATO commander should ask for less troops than he needed. “He said, ‘No, I’m honor-bound to ask for what I need,’” McKeon said.

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