During his confirmation hearing yesterday, President Obama’s Defense Secretary nominee Leon Panetta gave up few details on his take on the troop drawdown in Afghanistan. He said, “If I’m confirmed, I’ll have to obviously arrive at a decision myself that I’ll ultimately have to report to the President, but I’m not in that position now. That decision really does rest with General Petraeus, and Secretary Gates, and the President. Obviously, I have tremendous admiration for Secretary Gates. He and I pretty much walk hand in hand on these issues.”
The outgoing CIA Director also talked about the growing threat of Al Qaeda in Yemen and Iraq. He suggested that with a spike in Iraqi violence, American military forces may have to stay, despite plans for a total withdrawal from Iraq by the end of the year.