Before the surge in Iraq, we had the Petraeus hearings, which were nothing if not informative, and helped form consensus. Two generations earlier, we had the Fulbright hearings on Vietnam, which were in their way the first formal, if deeply and inevitably contentious, airing of what was at stake there and what our position was.
Why are we not doing this now? Why are we treating Afghanistan almost like an afterthought, interesting and important but not as urgent a question as health care?
Fact is, a prominent Missouri congressman has been trying for months now to get McChrystal to testify before Congress.That official is Missouri Rep. Ike Skelton, the powerful chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. Skelton is bent on getting McChrystal to testify about what direction the nation's eight-year-long war in Afghanistan is taking. So far, the 77-year-old Democratic lawmaker has been fighting a pretty lonely battle.
More than two months later, Gates has not yet replied.
Asked why, Skelton told Riverfront Times yesterday: "I don't know. It's probably because Gen. McChrystal is not coming back for awhile."
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