Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley says the decision of President Obama to accept the resignation of the commander of the U.S. forces in Afghanistan was made based on the chain of command and not any policy issues. General Stanley McChrystal submitted his resignation after comments he made in a magazine article critical of the president and others. Obama has nominated General David Petraeus to take over.
Braley says the comments made by McChrystal and his staff undermined the authority of the president and “had the potential to endanger the mission that they were currently trying to execute.” Braley says he has had some disagreements with Petraeus in the past, but believe Petraeus has a long record of serving the country and is confident he understands the chain of command. Braley says he has had concerns about McChrystal in the past, going back to when Braley served on a committee that looked into the death of soldier Pat Tillman.
He says McChrystal was put in charge of the paper work to award Tillman a silver star and put that together and submitted a final draft of the medal recommendation, even though Braley says it contained no mention of “friendly fire” and “included the phrase ‘in the line of devastating enemy fire’ and was also accompanied by fabricated witness statements.” Braley says he has been able to see Petraeus in action in his handling of the Iraq war.
“I think that he has the respect of commanders and troops on the ground, based on my observations of his interactions with them. He has demonstrated in the past an ability to avoid getting into partisan political disputes, and focusing instead on what his mission is, and I think that will be a quality that serves him well in this new responsibility,” Braley says. Braley is a Democrat from Waterloo.