Senators Willing to Sack Eikenberry and Holbrooke

Richard Holbrooke salutes while next to US Ambassador Karl Eikenberry on their way to greet General Stanley McChrystal, 11/18/09

From Fox News:  Two influential senators suggested Sunday that President Obama clean house on the civilian side of his Afghanistan war team if Gen. David Petraeus cannot get along with the same diplomats who may have sparred with outgoing Gen. Stanley McChrystal.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., also said the withdrawal timetable needs to be flexible, though the president has set July 2011 as the deadline to get out. …

"(Petraeus) should make the calls. If he can’t work with the ambassador [Amb. Karl Eikenberry], the ambassador should change. If he can’t work with [Special Representative Richard] Holbrooke, that should change," Feinstein said. "I think we put all of our eggs in the Petraeus basket. …" 

"This is a chance to start over completely, and the military-civilian relationship is very important," Graham said. "But I’m very concerned if nothing changes on the civilian side. …"

Meanwhile, with Petraeus’ confirmation hearing set to be held this week, Graham said he wants the administration to clarify how hard-and-fast the withdrawal deadline is. 

Feinstein said that if Petraeus asks for more time, "I would say give it to him."  (photo: Getty)

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