THE BACK STORY BLOG
The military general credited for capturing Saddam Hussein and killing the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq says he has spoken with President Obama only once since taking command in Afghanistan.
“I’ve talked to the president, since I’ve been here, once on a VTC [video teleconference],” Gen. Stanley McChrystal told CBS reporter David Martin in a television interview that aired Sunday.
“You’ve talked to him once in 70 days?” Mr. Martin followed up.
“That is correct,” the general replied.
This revelation comes amid the explosive publication of an classified report written by the general that said the war in Afghanistan “will likely result in failure” if more troops are not added next year. Yet, the debate over health care reform continues to dominate Washington’s political discussions. On Monday, the White House announced President Obama would travel to Denmark to lobby the International Olympic Committee to select his hometown of Chicago for the 2016 summer games.
Former U.S. Ambassador for the United Nations John R. Bolton said this was indicative of Mr. Obama’s misplaced priorities.
• Iran conducts third round of missile tests
• Gates: Afghan exit timeline ‘a mistake’
• Obama will make Olympic bid in Denmark
“I think it’s very clear, and has been during last year’s campaign and in the eight months the president has been in office, that he just doesn’t regard foreign policy and national security as important as domestic issues, like reforming the health care system,” Mr. Bolton told the hosts of The Washington Times’ “America’s Morning News” on Monday.
He went on: “If you think there are no threats, then it’s not illogical to pay no attention to the rest of the world. The problem is in his [Obama’s] basic reading of the international environment where we do continue to face massive threats from international terrorists and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, among others.”