Let McChrystal Make His Case to Congress

National debate is needed to build consensus
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 9, 2009 1:39 AM CDT
Gen. Stanley McChrystal salutes ISAF soldiers during a changing of command ceremony in Kabul, Afghanistan.   (AP Photo/Ahmad Massoud)
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(Newser) – President Obama may not want to hear from Gen. Stanley McChrystal, but Congress certainly does, writes Peggy Noonan, and he should let them. Staying on in Afghanistan and withdrawing are both unappealing options that could have dire consequences, and even though the Pentagon doesn't want to do it, the country deserves to have congressional hearings on considered strategies, Noonan argues in the Wall Street Journal.

It's good that Obama has apparently turned his full attention to Afghanistan, but the debate shouldn't be limited to the White House, the Pentagon, and the op-ed pages. The commander, along with experts and other members of the military, should be called to testify and explain the facts to the nation. "Hearings would illuminate issues, air differences, broaden the picture, and make clear the stakes," Noonan writes. "All of those things would help spur decisions that spring from a thing badly needed: consensus."