McCain, Graham, Lieberman call for changes to civilian Afghanistan team

The resignation of Gen. Stanley McChrystal should lead the Obama administration to re-evaluate their civilian Afghanistan team as well, three members of the Armed Services Committee said Wednesday.

Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said the controversy surrounding the Rolling Stone profile of McChrystal revealed problems beyond the comments of McChrystal and his team.

"The civilian side, in my view, is completely dysfunctional," said Graham.

Lieberman said the magazine article "revealed what we have known, that there is not the kind of unity in Afghanistan between our civilian and military leadership" that is necessary.

Though none of the senators would name specific civilian leaders who should be replaced, McCain suggested "re-uniting the Crocker-Petraeus team," a reference to former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker, who served in Baghdad while Petraeus headed up military operations in the country.

The current ambassador to Afghanistan, retired Gen. Karl Eikenberry, had a notoriously rocky relationship with McChrystal.

Nevertheless, all three senators praised Obama's decision to accept McChrystal's resignation. Graham had particularly harsh words for the other military officers quoted in the piece.

"You let yourself and your Army down," he said. "The language you used, the cavalier attitude, the disrespect ... was unacceptable. This was a low point, in my view, for the armed forces in a very long time."

McCain predicted a smooth confirmation hearing for Petraeus, "probably the fastest in the history of the Armed Services Committee."