The Senate Foreign Relations Committee announced this afternoon that it will hold the confirmation hearing Thursday for President Obama's pick to be ambassador to Afghanistan.
If confirmed, Lieutenant General Karl Eikenberry would play a key role in carrying through on the new path forward that Obama is expected to outline this week, which includes 17,000 more US troops but also more regional diplomacy.
“At this crucial moment, after too many years of policy drift, we simply must get our Afghanistan strategy right. With the Taliban resurgent and U.S. troops increasingly at risk, we cannot afford a continuation of the status quo,” the panel's chairman, Senator John F. Kerry, said in a statement. “At such a time, Karl Eikenberry brings exceptionally valuable skills to the table. After two much-lauded tours of duty there, he knows the military side of the equation as well as anyone can. In his new civilian capacity, he is uniquely placed to get the civil-military balance right. I’m looking forward to hearing his testimony.”
The committee also announced that new Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire will preside Thursday for the confirmation hearings for Rose Gottemoeller as Assistant Secretary of State for Verification and Compliance and Philip Gordon as Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.
Shaheen is chairwoman of the subcommittee on European Affairs, which has jurisdiction over NATO, the European Union, Russia, Turkey, Kosovo, NATO efforts in Afghanistan, and energy security issues.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.