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03 August 2009

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Welcome back, Pat... I hope you got the respite that you needed...

... and your last two posts seem to indicate a return en pleine forme!

I see a potential rough spot, if not a disconnect, between your Af-Pak "ruminations" (though I think you separate "Af" from "Pak") and your limited endorsement of the foreign policy team (though they should still be happy with it). Simply put, if you are concerned that McChrystal and Rodriguez are setting the COIN bar higher than it need be so that the decision to fish or cut bait will be a foregone conclusion on the side of the undoable, who within the defense triumvirate (as I see it) - Gates, Jones, and Petraeus - is ultimately going to be the deciding "vote" when Obama calls the roll the next time?

For what it's worth, I think the political leadership (i.e., Biden, Clinton, Kerry, Lugar, McCain, etc.) may cancel each other out, especially if Kerry comes back from Afghanistan and Pakistan with (re)new(ed) doubts (I believe he is headed there with McCain in mid-August)... and in any case, I think the Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees are going to have some really important hearings in the autumn...

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