Republican White House hopefuls criticized President Obama's handling of Iran, Afghanistan and the Arab Spring during a debate Saturday night in South Carolina. It was the first of this year's debates in which foreign policy was the dominant topic.
Although the candidates aimed most of their firepower at the sitting president, the forum did expose some fault lines within the Republican ranks.
Democratic Senator Mark Udall says he’s seeing a “sense of urgency” in the U.S. mission in Afghanistan. Senator Udall traveled to Afghanistan as part of a U.S. Congressional Delegation this week to talk with military leaders, the intelligence community and senior Department of State Officials.
Gen. David Petraeus stepped down as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan on Monday and handed control of the war over to Marine Corps Gen. John Allen. Petraeus is leaving to become head of the CIA at the end of the summer.
A year ago, President Obama asked Petraeus to take charge in Afghanistan and jump start the counterinsurgency operation there. Now, there's a question of whether Monday's change in command also signals a change in strategy.
Not so long ago, when the question was war, the response on Capitol Hill was an automatic blank check.
A largely compliant Congress, and presidents and politicians who were fearful of looking "weak on defense" or "unpatriotic," rubber-stamped massive military spending.
Funny how 10 years, two $1 trillion-and-counting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a budding military engagement in Libya, and a nation mired in unsustainable spending and debt can change what was once a military imperative.