Tuesday, September 9, 2008

One man makes a difference

Here's an amazing view into how some significant events come about......and how one man can make a difference.......

'You're Not Accountable, Jack'
How a Retired Officer Gained Influence at the White House and in Baghdad
By Bob Woodward Washington Post Staff Writer Tuesday, September 9, 2008; A01

Retired Army Gen. Jack Keane came to the White House on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2007, to deliver a strong and sober message. The military chain of command, he told Vice President Cheney, wasn't on the same page as the current U.S. commander in IraqGen. David H. Petraeus. The tension threatened to undermine Petraeus's chances of continued success, Keane said.
Keane, a former vice chief of the Army, was 63, 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds, with a boxer's face framed by tightly cropped hair. As far as Cheney was concerned, Keane was outstanding -- an experienced soldier who had maintained great Pentagon contacts, had no ax to grind and had been a mentor to Petraeus. Keane was all meat and potatoes; he didn't inflate expectations or waste Cheney's time.
By the late summer of 2007, Keane had established an unusual back-channel relationship with the president and vice president, a kind of shadow general advising them on the Iraq war. This September visit was the fifth back-channel briefing that Keane had given the vice president that year.
As Keane was laying out his view, President Bush walked in.....  MORE....

Russia plans 7,600 force in Georgia rebel regions

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's military announced plans on Tuesday to station about 7,600 troops in Georgia's separatist regions, a sharp increase on the numbers deployed before Moscow sent in troops last month.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov troops would stay in South Ossetia and Abkhazia for a long time to prevent any "repeat of Georgian aggression."
Moscow's intervention in Georgia last month, in which its forces crushed an attempt by Tbilisi to retake South Ossetia, drew widespread international condemnation and prompted concern over the security of energy supplies.
Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov announced the planned force levels one day after French President Nicolas Sarkozy left Moscow with a commitment from the Kremlin to withdraw from undisputed Georgian territory within a month.
But there was no explicit mention in the French-brokered deal of the Russian forces inside breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia, despite previous Western demands that all troops return to their pre-conflict positions.  MORE....


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