Transcript: Feinstein, Chambliss, McGovern, Keane

But, first, Senator Feinstein raises a question that -- that I do want to ask you about. How does President Obama put General McChrystal in, say that, "I want you to implement this counterterrorism strategy with a counterinsurgency element, as well," and then not take his recommendations? You served in the military. What are the pressures like right now? And what does General McChrystal do if the president rejects his recommendation?

KEANE: Well, I can't speak for what General McChrystal's, you know, reaction would be to a presidential decision that opposed him. I can say this. I mean, if you're a general on the ground, then you believe that a recommendation you made is the -- is the winning recommendation in terms of strategy that'll accomplish the goals that you've been assigned.

And then you're told that you cannot execute that and ask the troops to go out and do something else that you don't believe will accomplish those goals, that gets very difficult, in terms of a moral dilemma, asking your troops to do something you believe is going to fail.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you resign?

KEANE: That would be up to face that. I mean, that's something personal for every general...

(CROSSTALK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Is that what you would do in that situation?

KEANE: Probably, yes, under those circumstances, yes. But the fact of the matter is, you know, the -- presidents have a right to make decisions, George. And one of the recommendations they get all (ph) from generals. That's -- that's the reality. And the president also has a right to take information from -- from other sources to inform those decisions.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And it -- and it's my understanding that that's actually what's happening inside the White House review right now and that several other options, in addition to what General McChrystal has already put forward, are likely to be generated.

So I want to bring that question back to you, Congressman McGovern. If the president lays out a clear mission, a focused mission on Al Qaida, if he determines the -- and if puts a time limit on that mission, says that we're not going to be there forever, and then -- but also says that we do need some -- 10,000, 12,000, maybe even 20,000 troops to implement that strategy -- what would be wrong with that? And could you go along with it?

MCGOVERN: Well, I'd have to wait and see the details of whatever he comes up with. But, look, nobody's talking about cutting and running in Afghanistan and -- and this notion that if we lessen our military footprint, that somehow the Taliban is going to come back in control, I think, is wrong.

We have been in this war for 8 years. We have spent hundreds of billions of dollars. We have lost a great deal in terms of U.S. blood and treasure already. We have trained their military; we have trained their police.

One of the central problems in Afghanistan right now is you have a government that is corrupt and incompetent. And according to Peter Galbraith, who just got fired by the United Nations for being outspoken, 30 percent of Karzai's vote -- votes are fraudulent. You know, if you don't have good governance at the center of all of this, you can put all the troops you want in there, you can invest all the money you want in there, and it won't make any difference.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Isn't that right, Senator Chambliss?

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