Reid Skeptical Towards Petraeus Nomination

ImageSenate Majority Leader Harry Reid released a statement today that could best be described as skeptical about President Bush’s nomination of Gen. David Petraeus to be the new CENTCOM commander.

“The next CENTCOM commander and field commander in Iraq will have to help the next President with a number of critically important challenges: making America more secure, restoring America’s power and influence in the world, fixing our costly strategy in Iraq, and articulating a more effective strategy for winning in Afghanistan and defeating Al Qaeda in Pakistan,” Reid said.

He also mentioned the need for fresh, creative thinking that will be able to work with the next president, “Our ground forces’ readiness and the battles in Afghanistan and against al Qaeda in Pakistan have suffered as a result of the current costly Iraq strategy. These challenges will require fresh, independent and creative thinking and, if directed to by a new President, a commitment to implementing major changes in strategy. The Senate will carefully examine these nominations and I will be looking for credible assurances of a strong commitment to implementing a more effective national security strategy.”

I think that it is tough to grade Petraeus on Iraq. In his defense, he inherited a terrible situation there. One that I personally think is unwinnable. He never has had enough troops to fully carry out his strategy. It was probably too late by the time he changed the tactics being used in Iraq.

However, I think having a fresh start goes beyond the White House. New faces and fresh voices are what’s needed at all levels of the government, and I don’t see how promoting the commander of Bush’s war meets this need.

Reid’s statement:

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