⭐🔥 Click here to check Latest Celeb News & Celebrity Gossip in 2022! 🔥⭐
The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Get Ready for that Af-Pak Strategy Review

Alas, I wasn’t on Air Force One this morning or I could have reported this at 11 a.m., but the transcript of the press gaggle has just come to me. And in it,

Tyrese Griffin
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Feb 10, 2009

Alas, I wasn’t on Air Force One this morning or I could have reported this at 11 a.m., but the transcript of the press gaggle has just come to me. And in it, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs announced something interesting: President Obama has tapped Bruce Riedel, a retired CIA official now at the Brookings Institution, to chair his Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy review. Co-chairing it will be Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, the special envoy to the region, and Michele Flournoy, the new undersecretary of defense for policy.

The strategy review, which has 60 days to do its work before Riedel returns to Brookings, is meant to go beyond military questions. Here’s how Gibbs put it:

MR. GIBBS: Well, obviously, there’s a review that overlaps also with what General Petraeus is doing. I think everyone has mentioned that in order for us to change the direction that we see in Afghanistan, we can’t simply focus on just the military aspects, that we have to focus on the diplomatic, the civil society, the reconstruction.

So I think with what Bruce is doing, and what other military planners are doing, is looking at the Afghanistan and Pakistan policies in a — not just in how many troops, but in a broad sense of what is possible and what needs to happen in order to change the direction.

So there it is: the question of what’s achievable; what the right goal is for U.S. policy; what’s in the U.S. interest; and how to achieve it at acceptable cost.

Along those lines, Christian Brose has a smart post at Foreign Policy’s Shadow Government blog arguing against a restriction of the goals in Afghanistan along the lines of President Obama’s articulation last night of the conditions for success. It’s causing me to kind of revise and extend some earlier comments: if the idea is indeed that the Afghan people are the center of gravity, they won’t bandwagon away from the Taliban-led insurgency without having their material and aspirational needs met, so some degree of — for lack of a better term — Central-Asian-Valhalla-ness is probably appropriate, even if you take the position that the core interest of the United States in Afghanistan-Pakistan is to eliminate Al Qaeda’s safe havens. The question is how much Valhalla-ness? Christian, I think, doesn’t offer a compelling argument for the necessity of democratization, providing instead a contention that such a thing is desirable. It certainly is, but the question is what’s achievable and what’s related to the national interest.

But in any event, Riedel is as level-headed a figure as could lead this review. If you read this recent interview with him on Af-Pak, you’ll see a pretty middle-of-the-road presentation. He favors more troops; he’s not hot on Afghan President Hamid Karzai, but frets over the lack of a clear alternative; he’s skeptical that anything could come of outreach to the Taliban; he wants to expand and deepen the U.S.-Pakistani relationship in order to build trust for the long haul; missile strikes in Afghanistan are dangerous and possibly counterproductive, so you need to primarily take on the safe havens using Pakistani troops. Whether these predilections presuppose the outcome of the review remains to be seen.

Tyrese Griffin | Tyrese started her education in the performing arts at the prestigious Alexander Hamilton Academy in Los Angeles. She returned to civilian life after serving in the United States Army as a tracked vehicle operator, and started writing short stories and screenplays, as well as directing short films and music videos. She has published six novels, which have sold over 200,000 copies, as well as audiobooks and short stories for anthologies, and has earned several awards.


EPA Administrator Addresses Concerns About Oil Spill Waste Management

At a hearing of the national oil spill commission today, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson addressed concerns about waste disposal from

EPA administrator defends allowing Florida to write its own water pollution rules

The EPA seal (Pic via sentryjournal.com) The Environmental Protection Agency has come under fire for its decision to allow the state of Florida to write its own water pollution rules (known as “numeric nutrient criteria”). EPA Regional Administrator Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming is now firing back, writing that the Agency commends the state Department of Environmental Protection for its draft of a proposed standard. A host of environmental groups filed suit in 2008, seeking to compel the EPA to implement a strict set of water pollution standards in Florida, arguing that the state was in violation of the Clean Water Act.

EPA administrator says federal nutrient criteria is a ‘myth’

In testimony given late last week, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said that false accusations about her agency’s numeric nutrient criteria to govern Florida waterways are proving to be a detriment to their implementation. # Testifying before the House Agriculture Committee, Jackson said her agency’s work was often “mischaracterized” and addressed several myths surrounding its work

E-Verify Mandate Begins Today

The Obama administration today begins implementation of a new mandate to require all federal contractors to check the legal status of their employees to confirm

EPA administrator fires back at critics in op-ed

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson (Pic by USACEpublicaffairs, via Flickr) EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson penned a new op-ed for the Los Angeles Times , criticizing House Republicans desperately seeking to undermine the authority of the agency they have dubbed a “job killer.” Arguing that the environment affects red states and blue states alike, Jackson writes that “it is time for House Republicans to stop politicizing our air and water.” As head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Jackson has faced harsh criticism from House Republicans and GOP presidential candidates who say the agency’s regulations are an undue burden on businesses that have to cut jobs simply to comply with clean water and air rules. Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann  has pledged to end the EPA if she takes office. “Since the beginning of this year, Republicans in the House have averaged roughly a vote every day the chamber has been in session to undermine the Environmental Protection Agency and our nation’s environmental laws,” writes Jackson.

EPA and California Near Deal on Fuel Efficiency Standards

Two weeks ago, the Obama administration raised fuel efficiency standards by an average of two miles per gallon -- a modest change that disappointed some

EPA announces hold on nutrient standards if Florida can come up with own criteria

The EPA announced today that it is now prepared to withdraw a portion of its proposed numeric nutrient criteria (a set of standards governing water pollution in inland waters) and delay the portion related to estuarine waters, to allow the state Department of Environmental Protection to develop its own criteria. # From a statement released by the EPA earlier today: # EPA recognizes that states have the primary role in establishing and implementing water quality standards for their waters. Therefore, EPA is prepared to withdraw the federal inland standards and delay the estuarine standards if FDEP adopts, and EPA approves, their own protective and scientifically sound numeric standards

EPA biologist says fracking may be partly to blame for West Virginia fish kill

New documents obtained by an environmental news service show that an EPA analyst believes that wastewater from fracking may be partly responsible for a fish kill in a West Virginia river. Scientific American reports : U.S

EPA Chief Overruled Calif. Waiver, Too

The Washington Post reported in March that EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson was overruled by the White House in setting an ozone standard. Now, documents

© Copyright 2022 The Washington Independent All Rights Reserved

Terms & Privacy | twi.news@washingtonindependent.com

⭐🔥 Click here to check Latest Celeb News & Celebrity Gossip in 2022! 🔥⭐