By Amanda Carpenter on Sept. 28, 2009 into The Back Story
The military general credited with capturing Saddam Hussein and killing the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, says he has spoken with President Obama only once since taking command in Afghanistan.
"Iíve talked to the president, since Iíve been here, once on a VTC [video teleconference]," Gen. Stanley McChrystal told CBS reporter David Martin in a television interview that aired Sunday.
"Youíve 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 Washingtonís 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 2012 summer games.
Former U.S. Ambassador for the United Nations John R. Bolton said the lack of communication with the general was indicative of Mr. Obamaís misplaced priorities.
"I think itís very clear, and has been during last yearís campaign and in the eight months the president has been in office, that he just doesnít 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 Timesí "America's Morning News" on Monday.
He went on: "If you think there are no threats, then itís not illogical to pay no attention to the rest of the world. The problem is in his [Obamaís] basic reading of the international environment where we do continue to face massive threats for international terrorists and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, among others."