The announcement of the promotions of General Petraeus and General Odierno is a double dose of excellent news. The Senate should move swiftly to confirm these two extraordinary leaders.
Today I am airing an interview with former Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith on his memoir of the first four years of the war as seen from the office of the third highest civilian in the Pentagon, War and Decision: Inside the Pentagon at the Dawn of the War on Terrorism. I taped the interview on Monday for use today while the studio is being upgraded, so while we do discuss General Petraeus, we won’t be discussing the news of his and General Odierno’s promotions. But the conversation could not be more timely. In this detailed, compelling and persuasive memoir, Feith makes clear again and again that the senior leadership of the American military is every bit as extraordinary as the young men and women at the tip of the spear. From this already incredibly gifted set of professionals have emerged two men who are exactly the right men for the right jobs at the right moment.
The professional military is not political, and the debate over the war should not carry over into partisan obstruction of the promotions of these men. Senators Clinton and Obama could lead the way by calling for quick hearings. Any delay in confirming them would be a great shame on the Senate.