Friday, June 08, 2007

This worries me

Adm. Mullen's nomination as JCS Chairman and more specifically, the reasons for Gen. Pace's "early" retirement. It's not that I don't think Adm. Mullen will do a great job, I'm sure he will. What worries me is the degree to which Iraq and to a lesser extent Afghanistan have come to bear on U.S. military affairs. It's not surprising, but this decision by SecDef Gates is revealing of that.
"I think that the events of the last several months have simply created an environment in which I think there would be a confirmation process that would not be in the best interests of the country," Gates said. "I wish it were not necessary to make a decision like this. But I think it's a realistic appraisal of where we are."


Gates said he had been told by Republican and Democratic senators that a confirmation hearing for Pace would be a "backward-looking and very contentious process."

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., acknowledged such advice, saying he had gathered views from a broad range of senators. "I found that the views of many senators reflected my own," and confirmation would have focused on the past four years of war, he said.

A spokesman for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton D-N.Y., said she, too, believed it would have been a difficult renomination.

A spokesman for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., said she, too, believed it would have been a difficult renomination." "When it comes to Iraq it's not enough for President Bush to change the cast, he must also change their script," said the spokesman, Philippe Reines.

Read that last again. In response to a query having something to do with the renomination of the Chairman of the JCS, the spokesman releases a standard soundbite about Iraq. Meanwhile, the USAF continues to hemorrhage personnel and keeps on with its 50 year old aircraft, China is upgrading its fighter force, tankers, and sub fleet while getting ready to shoot down our satellites, and the Navy...well, the Navy is using its amphibs to chase down pirates because that was the only platform available.

But hey, the only REAL challenge facing the military today is Iraq.

And by "real" I mean "offering prime political opportunity."