Sunday, July 22, 2007

Hillary-Pentagon tiff

It's fascinating just how tone-deaf Undersecretary of Defense Eric Edelman must be, responding to a request from Sen. Hillary Clinton as to what kind of redeployment and/or troop drawdown contingency plans the Pentagon might have with a condescending letter (two months later) suggesting that such talk encourages "enemy propaganda." and all but saying that you should stay out of this, little lady, war is for menfolk. Hillary of course capitalized on it immediately, going into high dudgeon. Now Defense Secretary Robert Gates has had to step in to try to defuse the situation.

I don't know if this is a window into how high Pentago officials really think, or a tactic by the administration -- conceding that they've lost the majority of Americans over Iraq but continue to talk tough to keep the base on board. The simple fact is that if the Pentagon doesn't have contingency plans for withdrawal, it's not doing its job. The Pentagon is constantly making and revising contingency plans for all sorts of possibilities, likely and unlikely.

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