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McChrystal Resource Request Gets Sent to the Pentagon

Today is the day. Now we wait for what Gen. David Petraeus described on Wednesday as two weeks of high-level internal strategy and resource debates to find out what additional resources, if any, the Obama administration will send to Afghanistan, and, more importantly, the strategy they’ll support.

But this morning I heard Barbara Starr on CNN saying that Gen. McChrystal’s resource request was a “single option document” giving the president “no wiggle room.” Is that right?

Air Force Lt. Col. Tadd Sholtis, McChrystal’s spokesman in Kabul, wouldn’t get into the substance of the request itself. But he did say that Starr’s report was wide of the mark. Sholtis:

As [Pentagon spokesman] Geoff Morrell indicated this week, it is an analytic document that lays out levels of risk associated with force structure and makes recommendations. Since it is based on an assessment that is still being reviewed by the administration, to suggest that it provides “no wiggle room” is both to misunderstand where we’re at in the process and to mischaracterize what General McChrystal feels is his proper relationship to national decision-making. As he told the New York Times, he welcomes alternative proposals for how to stabilize Afghanistan. ”This is the right kind of process, and the way I see duty. I have been given the opportunity to provide my inputs to the decision. Then it is my duty to execute that decision.”

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