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June 29, 2010

Confirmation Hearings

Two big hearings, Elana Kagan for the Supreme Court and General David Petraeus to command the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

Amazingly, neither are very exciting given that the outcomes in both cases the outcomes are more or less foregone conclusions.

At Petraeus' hearing he said that the July, 2011 'deadline' isn't the end-end.

"I believe there was value in sending a message of urgency -- July 2011... But it is important that July 2011 be seen for what it is: the date when a process begins, in which the reduction of US forces must be based on the conditions at the time, and not a date when the U.S. heads for the exits," he wrote to the committee. He stressed that multiple times that the pace of the drawdown would be "conditions based."

This of course is in contrast to Biden and Pelosi who have said that July 2011 is the end-end (as Whoppi might say).

In his questioning McCain got the general to admit that no military leader advocated for the time line announcement.

General Petraeus also addressed the issue of hearts and minds vs. restrictive rules of engagement.

"Focusing on securing the people does not, however, mean that we don't go after the enemy," he said. "In fact, protecting the population inevitably requires killing, capturing, or turning the insurgents. Our forces have been doing that, and we will continue to do that.

"I am keenly aware of concerns by some of our troopers on the ground about the application of our rules of engagement and the tactical directive," he added. "They should know that I will look very hard at this issue."


This is the 'fruit' of the Obama approach, no one knows what the hell he is thinking. Strategic ambiguity can be a good thing but not in a counter insurgency fight. One of the key tenets in fighting an insurgency is a steadfast commitment to fighting the fight. The enemy needs to know they can't wait you out and your in country allies need to know that you won't abandon them.

As always, Obama has found the worst possible option. In this case that means adding troops, scaring allies and emboldening the enemy.

Heck of a job Barack! Heck of a job!

On the Kagan front, she's getting hit on the Harvard ban on military recruiting but so far, nothing unexpected seems to have come out of it.


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posted by DrewM. at 12:07 PM

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