Wonderful Day

I spent yesterday at the Washington Willard Hotel at a seminar by the Center for a New American Security. It was really outstanding, and the highlight was a briefing by General David Petraeus on the current situation in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. I could only get a couple of poor pictures with my iPhone Camera.

The need to smartly contrast the fight in Iraq with the upcoming effort in Afghanistan was a primary topic of his speech and it is clear why he may be our best battlefield and strategic commander since World War II. The questions were also most excellent. A guy from Fox News asked about Mirandizing terrorists and I have to say his answer seemed a little strained to me, like he was echoing the Administration's talking points. But, hey he's only a soldier, I'm sure the political hacks in the Justice Department are MUCH smarter about terrorists than a man who has been killing them for the last 6 years. I certainly feel safer knowing Sheriff Obama and Deputy Sheriff Holder are on the job, don't you?

The panel discussions presented some new studies done by CNAS, and Blackfive actually has a pretty decent critique of their paper on the next 12 months in Afghanistan.

Overall, it was a very well done conference, except for the incredibly uncomfortable chairs. I don't quite think the CNAS is in the tank for Obama like Blackfive seems to, I consider them pretty fair and balanced. However, it was very apparent from the questions and comments from members or former members of the State Department that apparently there were two periods in American Foreign Policy (BO and AO). Before Obambi was clearly the Dark Ages of that cowboy Bush running around being rude to everyone and {gasp} making the French, UN, and North Koreans mad at us. Now in the new enlightened era After Obambi, the Cairo speech has clearly made everyone in the Middle East LUV us again and all will be well after those pesky Israelis just fall off into the Med so the poor oppressed (corrupt, thug, brutal dictatorship, can't keep the lights and water on} Palestinians can have their homeland. Oy

However, I think their North Korea analysis was pretty good, even if somewhat pessimistic. It was interesting to hear, and I have read this from a number of sources, that in fact all of the sturm and drang likely has more to do with North Korean internal politics and Kim Jong0-il's son taking the dynastic throne than trying to get negotiations started again. Look for his chosen son to negotiate the release of the two hostages, oops, I mean journalists in the coming weeks.

All in all, a very educational day, with lots more to think about as I read their reports and analysis.