Congressional Republicans just back from a trip to Afghanistan said that the Obama administration’s approach to the war has confused U.S. troops.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said the confusion was evident in his conversations with U.S. troops, and said it runs so deep that there are two different standards of detention, depending on whether the troops are under NATO command or not.
Mr. McConnell said the confusion among troops about detainee policy ran throughout the ranks. He said at one point he asked a general about policies and the general “didn’t want to answer the question without turning to his lawyer, who was also in the room.” (It has come to this under Obama. Disgraceful)
“We see this preoccupation with prisoners’ rights, both on the foreign battlefield and here at home — it seems to be consuming the administration in the war on terror,” Mr. McConnell said.
But the lawmakers also said that, when asked, military leaders said President Obama’s specified troop withdrawal timetable poses aproblem. Sen. Roger Wicker, Mississippi Republican, said the Taliban is using next year’s announced beginning of a withdrawal as “a propaganda tool” to pressure wavering Afghans to rally against U.S. efforts. Mr. Obama late last year announced an escalation of U.S. troops to Afghanistan, but said by July 2011 the first American troops would begin to come home.
Last year, the Obama administration confirmed reports that FBI agents conducting interrogations were reading legal “Miranda rights” to some fighters captured on the battlefield in Afghanistan.
Mr. McConnell said the approach is part of the same mentality that led the administration to put the suspect in the attempted Christmas Day airplane bombing into criminal court proceedings, instead of treating him as a captured enemy combatant. WASHINGTON TIMES