June 15, 2010
By Karen DeYoung and Greg Jaffe
A series of political and military setbacks in Afghanistan has fed anxiety over the war effort in the past few weeks, shaking supporters of President Obama’s counterinsurgency strategy and confirming the pessimism of those who had doubts about it from the start. The concerns, fed largely by unease over military operations in southern Afghanistan that are progressing slower than anticipated, spurred lawmakers to schedule last-minute hearings this week to assess progress on the battlefield and within the Afghan government.
Gen. David H. Petraeus, head of the Central Command, and Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Mich?le A. Flournoy are to appear Tuesday in the Senate and Wednesday in the House to answer questions about the offensives in Helmand and Kandahar provinces, and about what many see as the continuing erratic behavior of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
“I think we are all concerned,” said Rep. Susan Davis (D-Calif.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee who visited Afghanistan last month.