Something we don't see every day. Senator McCain of the Senate Armed Services Committee went over to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to introduce Ambassador Ryan Crocker during his nomination hearing at the SFRC. One of our blog pals who was at the hearing told us something that is hardly a secret -- the "Senate loves Ryan Crocker," and added that it was a good hearing, the questions were well informed, and the nominee "did not give BS answers."
Also pointed out that Senator Christopher Coons (D-Delaware) had a killer quiz: "What is our Americas compelling strategic need in Afghanistan?" Ambassador Crocker's answer? To disrupt AQ and the Taliban. Our pal complained, "But that doesn't answer the question!"
Video below from state.gov:
Unembeddable video here from c-span with the introductions.
Excerpts from his prepared testimony:
"Our core goal in Afghanistan, and Pakistan, is to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al-Qa’ida, and to deny it safe haven in those countries. Our efforts to pursue this goal are focused on three mutually reinforcing surges – military, civilian, and diplomatic. Osama bin Laden’s death is an important step towards achieving this objective, but much work remains to be done to ensure that al-Qa’ida can never again threaten us from Afghanistan with the Taliban providing safe haven.
In no way should our enduring commitment be misunderstood as a desire by America or our allies to occupy Afghanistan against the will of its people. We respect Afghans’ proud history of independence, and we do not seek any permanent American military bases in their country – or a presence that would be a threat to any of Afghanistan’s neighbors.
You have held a series of useful hearings over the past month to examine our policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan and, if confirmed, I will listen to your guidance and continue a discussion with Congress on our progress on the ground. I will also ensure that the precious U.S. taxpayer resources being used in Afghanistan are applied effectively, transparently, and with an eye toward the long-term sustainability of these efforts by the Afghans themselves.
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