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Panel to Press Petraeus On Afghan Strategy

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Panel to Press Petraeus On Afghan Strategy

Afghanistan

Panel to Press Petraeus On Afghan Strategy

Panel to Press Petraeus On Afghan Strategy

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/128181517/128182625" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Gen. David Petraeus, nominated to serve as the top commander in Afghanistan, appears before the Senate Armed Services committee Tuesday. While Petraeus is expected to be confirmed easily, Senators are predicted to press him on whether President Obama's strategy for the war in Afghanistan is working.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, Host:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Mary Louise Kelly, in for Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

First, NPR's Rachel Martin tells us about today's hearing.

RACHEL MARTIN: General David Petraeus has been to this rodeo before. Just two weeks ago, before the Armed Services Committee, he was asked this by Senator Carl Levin.

CARL LEVIN: Do you continue to support that July 2011 date for the start of reduction in U.S. forces from Afghanistan?

DAVID PETRAEUS: I support the policy of the president, Mr. Chairman.

MARTIN: The timeline the president has set to begin drawing down U.S. forces is going to be one issue for the general to grapple with today, because the senators are likely to use the hearing, not to measure General Petraeus, so much as the strategy he'll be sent to implement.

SUSAN COLLINS: There's a fundamental question about whether the strategy that we've undertaken in Afghanistan is working.

MARTIN: Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine says she doesn't see progress in the war.

COLLINS: I see casualties higher than they've ever been. I see a central government that is still weak and plagued with corruption. So it's difficult for me to perceive progress.

MARTIN: Democrat Dianne Feinstein says Petraeus should be free to build his own team. Here she is on "Fox News Sunday."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "FOX NEWS SUNDAY")

DIANNE FEINSTEIN: He should make the call. If he can't work with the ambassador, the ambassador should be changed. If he can't work with Holbrooke, that should change. I mean, I think we put all of our eggs in the Petraeus basket at this stage.

MARTIN: Rachel Martin, NPR News, Washington.

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