Transcript: Alan Greenspan

I respect President Obama for what he is doing with this review process. I think it shows good judgment. He knows it's the defining decision of his administration. I think what General McChrystal has done forces us to think very tough -- in a hard way in this country about civilian control of the military. And he might go back and read the Constitution, Article II, the president is the commander in chief. I think we're at a dangerous moment in the civilian-military relationship. And finally, I would urge anybody watching the show to get Representative McGovern's resolution which simply demands the Pentagon craft an exit strategy and call your representatives, because there are smart, effective alternatives to what may be a military escalation... (CROSSTALK)

VANDEN HEUVEL: ... disastrous to this country and the world.

DOWD: I think one of the things that I think we have a problem with is that this is like the sunk costs fallacy, that we have all of this investment that we've made in Afghanistan, and because now we have all of this investment made in Afghanistan, with the loss of precious life, with the loss of resources, therefore we can't back away from it even though nobody has really an understanding about what the exit strategy is and what we want to accomplish. In the end, they put this broad aura over it, is that we're in Afghanistan to solve the terrorism problem. That we don't want another attack on the United States. In my view, what I think we ought to be doing is we're spending billions of dollars, at some point, we need to prioritize our spending on money related to terrorism. If Afghanistan is truly and centrally a point in that, then we should deal with it. If it is not a point in that on the priority list of homeland security problems, then we should move the resources and spend them on something else. WILL: It is not, Katrina, a constitutional crisis, for a theater commander, when asked in public a question about a policy the president himself is questioning, to give his opinion. VANDEN HEUVEL: I think it does demand of General McChrystal to go back and read the Constitution. I think -- I didn't say a crisis. ROBERTS: But I think McChrystal understands that the president is in charge, and he is -- he will accept the president's decision. He's trying to influence the president's decision, just like everybody else is. VANDEN HEUVEL: Well, I think he could have simply said, refer this question to the Defense Department or the White House. But I do think we have a broader problem, and you, as someone who studies the Constitution, the erosion of civilian control over the military did not begin yesterday. I think President Bush's ongoing deferral to the generals on the ground erodes presidential prerogatives. And the whole issue of...


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