Eikenberry: No Opposition to Afghan Escalation

Democracy Now!
December 9th, 2009

The Obama administration's two top military and civilian officials in Afghanistan appeared on Capitol Hill Tuesday to make the case for President Obama's escalation of the Afghan occupation. It was the first congressional appearance by General Stanley McChrystal and Ambassador Karl Eikenberry since Obama announced the deployment of at least 30,000 additional troops last week. A protester with the group CODEPINK was removed from the hearing after holding up a sign reading “Surge, Big Mistake.” Eikenberry meanwhile addressed the controversy over his reported opposition to deploying additional troops, saying he in fact supported the escalation all along.

Ambassador Karl Eikenberry: “It was not a question of additional troops. It was the question, as we all had, about the number of troops. What would be the time lines for those troops? What would be the context that those troops would operate in?…With that, at this point in time, as I said in my opening statement, Mr. Chairman, I am unequivocally in support of this mission, and I am exactly aligned with General McChrystal here to my right in moving forward now to vigorously implement the assigned mission.”