Besides the fact that this is the first actually Congressional bipartisan statement I’ve seen for awhile it’s curious for a couple reasons.
FOX: Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.
While lawmakers were nearly unanimous in saying Obama had to change generals after the article, Feinstein said those diplomats should not get a free pass with Petraeus. Speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” the senator said Petraeus must be a “command presence” on the team.
“(Petraeus) should make the calls. If he can’t work with the ambassador, the ambassador should change. If he can’t work with Holbrooke, that should change,” Feinstein said. “I think we put all of our eggs in the Petraeus basket.”
“This is a chance to start over completely, and the military-civilian relationship is very important,” Graham said. “But I’m very concerned if nothing changes on the civilian side.”
It’s curious because Sen. Dianne Feinstein actually said something “not malicious or dripping with venom” about the military. I’m not sure how that happened without her head exploding. Oh well, there is a first for everything I suppose. Secondly it’s how the Congress picked up on exactly the points GEN Stanley McChrystal was trying to express when he crossed the line and resigned. Two points he was trying to make were: the political arm of the operation is failing miserably and hampering all points of the holistic operation as well has creating an environment where the rules of engagement (ROE) are costing NATO forces lives. So what’s happend sense? GEN Petraeus is changing the ROE and Congress wants the State Department (DOS) to get their act together and start acting as part of the Afgan mission team vs. their current status of armchair quarterbacking the military. At least GEN McChrystal can go out knowing his statements are validated by even his critics, although still not allowable under the Uniformed Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). The President had to act, and GEN McChrystal manned up and did the honorable thing by resigning.
The DOS has a separate, and distinct, mission in regards to Afghanistan. Of which they are failing. Instead of fixing their own house they blame the military who in NOT in charge of the DOS for their inaction and ineffectiveness. When Congressmen make statements like “I think we put all of our eggs in the Petraeus basket.” DOS is put on notice that they need to stop mucking about or get the hell out of the way. The President, and Congress, have picked their horse and it’s not Amb. Karl Eikenberry or Special Representative Richard Holbrooke. At least President Obama now knows GEN Petraeus won’t run against him in 2012. He’ll be too busy fighting a war for him and well on his way to becoming one of the most popular American figures in recent memory. If Biden had any plans to run in 2016 he’s now, well…. he’s probably screwed.