Transcript: Feinstein, Chambliss, McGovern, Keane

FEINSTEIN: Well, what he revealed was his thinking up to this point, and that the fact that he wanted to hear from various members, and some of us spoke up. And I'll tell you what I said. I reviewed all of the intelligence and looked at the situation, and it was pretty clear to me that violence was up 100 percent, 950 attacks in August. The Taliban now controls 37 percent of the people in the areas where these people are. Attrition in police is running 67 percent, either killed or leaving the service.

And the mission is in serious jeopardy. I think General McChrystal, who is one of our very best, if not the best at this, has said a counterterrorism strategy will not work. The president said to us very clearly, just as you said, George, we will not pull out.

Now, if you're going to stay, you have to have a way of winning. The question is, what is that way? And I think the counterinsurgency strategy, which means protecting the people, not shooting from afar, but securing, taking, holding, and providing security for a period of time is really critical.

STEPHANOPOULOS: How many more troops does that take?

FEINSTEIN: Well, I don't know how many he's proposed. I only know what I've read in the newspapers. At the same time, there has to be a process of reconciliation. At the same time, there has to be a process of finding out, which of these people can we work with and which can we not, like the Haqqani network, which really need to be taken out? How do you grow this sort of feudal-type warlord government into stability? How do you strengthen Karzai's spine, if you can?

And I think those are all questions that have to be put together into a strategy.

STEPHANOPOULOS: A lot of questions there, Senator Chambliss. Does that lead you to believe that the president should approve General McChrystal's request now?

CHAMBLISS: I don't think there's any question (inaudible) going to have to, and I think it's the right thing to do. He sent General McChrystal over there in the spring and said, "You go see what it's like on the ground. Give me a report, and let's devise a strategy for going forward." He's done that, and Dianne's exactly right. It's a very fractious government over there. It's a lot of corruption within the Karzai government and not much stability.

CHAMBLISS: But if we're going to move forward, we've got to do two things. First of all, we've got to think about the civilian side and what we're going to do with that government. From the standpoint of trying to help the Afghan people clean it up, in order to be successful at doing that, then we've got to quell the violence.

We've got to slow down the Taliban. That means prevailing militarily. And, obviously, that's where the additional resources in the form of troops come in. That's where General McChrystal has -- has recommended. And I think the president has got to follow his commanders on the ground...


CHAMBLISS: The situation in Iraq that Jack was very much involved in is -- was not unlike where we are right now. The Iraqi government was very unstable. The violence was up. We stopped the violence for the most part, and then you saw people have confidence in government.

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