Hillary Clinton Takes On The Pentagon

In May Hillary Clinton wrote a letter to the Pentagon and urged them to draw up plans for withdrawal from Iraq. She did this as a Senator, and a member of Senate Armed Services Committee. Last week Undersecretary of Defense Eric Edelman responded to Clinton’s questions. In a letter to Clinton, Edelman delivered a terse partisan message, accusing Clinton of aiding the enemy. But as Clinton said in her letter, “If we’re not planning for it, it will be difficult to execute it in a safe and efficacious way.” Edelman wrote, “Premature and public discussion of the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq reinforces enemy propaganda that the United States will abandon its allies in Iraq, much as we are perceived to have done in Vietnam, Lebanon, and Somalia. Such talk understandably unnerves the very same Iraqi allies we are asking to assume enormous personal risks.” He added, “Fear of precipitate U.S. withdrawal also exasperates sectarian trends in Iraq politics.” The Clinton camp was not happy with this letter. She responded with a letter to Secretary of Defense, Robert M. Gates. In her letter Clinton said, “Under Secretary Edelman’s response did not address the issues raised in my letter and instead made spurious arguments to avoid addressing contingency planning for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq.” She also wrote that Edelman, “claims that congressional oversight emboldens our enemies. Under Secretary Edelman has his priorities backward. Open and honest debate and congressional oversight strengthens our nation and supports our military. His suggestion to the contrary is outrageous and dangerous.” The question here is why is a member of the Pentagon responding is such a partisan way to a Senator? She was doing her job, as a U.S. Senator and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. It is all about checks and balances. Edelman sounded more like Rush Limbaough or Sean Hannity. Edelman also accused most Americans of aiding the enemy, because most Americans would like it if the Pentagon would draw up plans to get out of Iraq as soon as possible.
Alan Cosgrove

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3 Responses to Hillary Clinton Takes On The Pentagon

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  3. df says:

    I don’t think Mrs Clinton’s motives were pure in this action, and that she was acting as a candidate for President rather than as a Senator (where was the push for this from her NY State constituency, and why wasn’t the Senior Senator from NY involved?) or member of the Armed Services Committee (surely her first approach should have been to/through the Committee Chairman, not the Pentagon?).


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