The first meeting of President Obama’s national security council is scheduled this afternoon, on the topics of Iraq and Afghanistan and the dicey situation in
The first meeting of President Obama’s national security council is scheduled this afternoon, on the topics of Iraq and Afghanistan and the dicey situation in Israel/Palestine. According to The Associated Press and The Washington Post, Obama will receive military advice on his planned troop withdrawals in Iraq and troop increases in Afghanistan from U.S. Central Command chief Gen. David Petraeus; the commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan, Gens. Ray Odierno and David McKiernan, respectively; the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen; and Defense Secretary Bob Gates, who’ll be joined for strategic advice by Secretary of State-in-waiting Hillary Rodham Clinton.
It’ll be interesting to see what tone is struck at the meeting — who hits it off with Obama, who makes compelling arguments to Obama, and who doesn’t. Will the subject of faster-paced withdrawals from Iraq and into Afghanistan come up? If so, who will advocate them, and who will push back? Will the Petraeus-Odierno alliance on cautious withdrawals from Iraq remain in place, or will there be some divergence of views now that Petraeus is responsible for more than just Iraq?
Karen DeYoung of The Post adds a good point about Israel/Palestine, which is that Obama “is expected to name” former Sen. George Mitchell as his envoy to the Middle East. That looks something like a return to form, as Mitchell was a Mideast troubleshooter during the early days of the Bush administration. In early 2001, he put together a report assessing how the second Palestinian intifada of 2000 came to be, and issued rather even-handed recommendations for resuming the peace process that were subsequently ignored by all parties. His appointment — sorry, Dan Kurtzer — would, at the least, indicate a renewed commitment to the widely-agreed-upon-but-difficult-to-implement principles of Palestinian security reform, counterterrorism enforcement and Israeli settlement freezes.
MA-Sen: A Text Message From Scott Brown
BOSTON -- Having signed up for Scott Brown’s text message service for election day, I just got this text: Are you about to have lunch? It’s a great time to
MA-Sen: 150 Conservative Bloggers Fan Out, Looking for Scandals
BOSTON -- The mysterious Election Journal blog, which first released the infamous 2008 video of two bumbling New Black Panther Party members waving nightsticks
MA-Sen: Brown Wins
BOSTON -- At 9:20, the first rumors of Scott Brown’s victory in the Massachusetts Senate race started to work around the room. A moment later, Doug Flutie
MA-Sen: 66 to 19
BOSTON -- That, via Alex Isenstadt and Josh Kraushaar, is the number that defined the Massachusetts Senate race more than anything else. From the primary
MA-Sen: Out-of-Staters for Brown
BOSTON -- A surprising discovery at yesterday’s People’s Rally in Worcester was just how many people had traveled into the state to assist, in whatever way,
MA-Sen: Loyal Democrats Grouse About Coakley
BOSTON -- A little while after noon, a steady crowd of Democratic voters streamed into the Cathedral High School Gymnasium to cast votes for their party’s
MA-Sen: Republicans Celebrate Coakley’s Gaffes in Worcester
WORCESTER, Mass. - By the way, said Curt Schilling. One more thing. I am not a Yankees fan. The overflowing crowd at Worcester’s Mechanics Hall on
Menendez, Lautenberg to Continue BP-Lockerbie Investigation
Sens. Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg, both New Jersey Democrats, will continue to seek details about BP’s alleged involvement in the release last year of
Net Investors Bullish on Palin’s Prospects for Staying on Ticket
Just for fun, the Internet prediction Website Intrade has opened a contract on whether Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will be withdrawn as McCain’s running mate.
No Experience Necessary
Gov. Sarah Palin’s a middle-class hockey mom, but does that really qualify her to be vice president?