Former Secrtary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld responded to Barack Obama’s claims that US commanders were repeatedly refused support in Afghanistan.
The Weekly Standard Blog reported:
“In his speech to the nation last night, President Obama claimed that ‘Commanders in Afghanistan repeatedly asked for support to deal with the reemergence of the Taliban, but these reinforcements did not arrive.’ Such a bald misstatement, at least as it pertains to the period I served as Secretary of Defense, deserves a response.”
“I am not aware of a single request of that nature between 2001 and 2006. If any such requests occurred, ‘repeated’ or not, the White House should promptly make them public. The President’s assertion does a disservice to the truth and, in particular, to the thousands of men and women in uniform who have fought, served and sacrificed in Afghanistan.”
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“In the interest of better understanding the President’s announcement last night, I suggest that the Congress review the President’s assertion in the forthcoming debate and determine exactly what requests were made, who made them, and where and why in the chain of command they were denied.”
It’s not the first time the Obama White House made this complaint.
And, it’s not the first time they’ve been corrected.
Stephen Hayes wrote this back in early November:
Perhaps more infuriating for Bush veterans was the suggestion by
Gibbs that the Bush administration ignored requests for more troops. It’s nonsense, they say. McKiernan wanted more troops–he asked for three additional brigades in the summer of 2008–but he understood that he could have them only when they became available. “McKiernan was making requests down the line,” says a Pentagon official, “and late in 2008 we did have the ability to commit more forces. So we did.” Indeed, Bush sent nearly 7,000 additional troops to Afghanistan before he left office, including one brigade that had been repurposed from Iraq.