Less understandable is how President Obama can demand a respect he has been inconsistent in offering to others. In 2007, he was unwilling to stand up to the liberal elements of his party in defense of Gen. Petraeus. As he now calls on that same general to rescue him from the political firestorm flowing today and continue the surge in Afghanistan, I express only the greatest admiration for the honor and integrity of David Petraeus.
The war in Afghanistan stands at a crucial point as more American forces pour into the region. While I have nothing but confidence in Gen. Petraeus, the resignation of Gen. McChrystal is an unfortunate loss, and one symptomatic of the tension between the civilian and military dimensions of this effort. As President Obama and Gen. Petraeus move foward in this conflict, I hope the president will begin to take proactive steps to reconcile this divide, listen to the counsel of generals in the field, and increase coordination between all aspects of the fight in Afghanistan. That country, and ours, can afford no less.