Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, made the following remarks in response to President Obama’s announcement that he had accepted General Stanley McChrystal’s resignation as commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan and that he will nominate General David Petraeus to take command.
“I support the President’s decision to relieve General McChrystal of his command in Afghanistan. The conduct and comments published in the media display a deliberate undermining of the civilian leadership of the military. I believe the President’s choice of General Petraeus, a proven and respected combat leader, to replace General McChrystal as head of our forces in Afghanistan is a solid one. In his current position, General Petraeus is intimately familiar with ongoing operations and he maintains an ongoing relationship with the major stake holders that should allow for a seamless transition.
“This change in leadership in no way alters our military’s goal in Afghanistan, to assist the Afghan government in their pursuit of the Taliban and other terrorist organizations. This also does not change my long-standing concerns about how our military is being utilized in Afghanistan and my skepticism about adding additional U.S. combat troops to perform the duties Afghans must do for themselves. I do expect that this personnel change will help ensure the mutual respect and trust necessary to move forward with the actions necessary for America’s national security.”