From NBC's Luke Russert
After the White House acknowledged the re-election of Afghan President Hamid Karzai today, both Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Ike Skelton (D-MO) released statements supporting Gen. Stanley McChrystal's plan for a counter insurgency strategy within Afghanistan.
Boehner said, "In March, the President outlined a counter-insurgency strategy, and I support that strategy. It's time to do what is necessary to make that strategy work. There are no more excuses. It's time for the Obama Administration to give our commander on the ground the resources he needs to protect our troops and achieve the goals the President has said he supports."
Skelton, one of the most powerful and important Democrats on the Hill when it comes to war policy echoed Boehner's words, "I continue to believe that General McChrystal's counter insurgency plan is the right approach, including his call to build capability at the local level."
Skelton continued, "The recent flawed election process has reinforced the need to also push for the reform of the national Afghan government, to increase legitimacy and help build a capable partner for our efforts in Afghanistan. Pursuing al Qaeda and ensuring that its members can't use Afghanistan as a safe haven is a vital national security interest for the U.S., and a minimally functioning and legitimate Afghan government is an important part of that effort."
Republicans continue to see the war in Afghanistan as an issue they can use to their advantage politically. Many Republicans believe that each day that Obama does not announce a clear, comprehensive war strategy is a day in which they have won the spin war on the issue.
Skelton's urging of the president to adopt McChrystal's policy shows a continuing rift within the Democratic Party between hawkish Democrats who support McChrystal and a troop increase, and the more dovish progressives who are reluctant to support a war that they see as one with no end in sight. Privately, many Democrats say the divide is of great concern because of its ability to split the party into two emotionally driven, ideologically different camps.
All eyes will be on the White House in the coming weeks, as officials continue to decide what the best course of action is for the country and soldiers overseas.