Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, just finished a press conference at the Pentagon. The subject: the strategic assessment of the Afghanistan war submitted this week by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top commander of US and NATO troops there.
Pentagon reporters repeatedly asked the pair if McChrystal would be requesting more troops and pressed the two on how the Pentagon would process such a request were it to come. One journalist asked if it would be possible for the White House and the Pentagon to say no to a request for more soldiers.
Gates and Mullen over and over said that McChrystal had not yet asked for anything, noting that a request for more “resources” would not come until later in the review process.
After Gates and Mullen fielded queries for about half an hour, the press conference ended. As the two got up to leave, a reporter yelled, “What does the McChrystal report say?” The men kept on walking.
That’s right. For the entire press conference, no one had asked the obvious question: what’s in the report?
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