Petraeus nomination moves forward– The Senate Armed Services Committee has voted to favorably report the nomination of Gen. David Petraeus to the full Senate as they decide whether to endorse him as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. Tuesday's hearings raised a number of issues with the U.S.-led action in Afghanistan, including differing opinions about a plan to withdraw troops as early as July 2011.
Four-star retirement- As the process moves forward for putting Petraeus at the head of the Afghanistan mission, the White House is considering how it will say goodbye to the former occupant of that position. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday that the administration will do what it can to make sure Gen. Stanley McChrystal receives a four-star retirement after explosive comments in a Rolling Stone magazine by him and his staff about the mission in Afghanistan.
Spies among us– A former Soviet spy who headed KGB operations in the U.S. in the 1970s, Oleg Kalugin, tells CNN he is "amazed" that Moscow is engaging so heavily in espionage against Washington. This, as Russian officials admits 11 suspected spies are in fact Russian nationals, but denies they were acting against the United States. Kalugin told CNN he was "amused" by reports of the arrests. "It is a sign of the decadence of the Russian intelligence services," he said.
The contractors' role– An interesting tidbit from Walter Pincus at the Washington Post focuses on the roles that contractors are playing in Psychological Operations. According to Pincus, the Department of Defense plans to spend some $1 billion on psychological operations in 2011, with nearly 40 percent of that money going toward contracted work. The congressionally-appointed Wartime Contracting Commission has been tackling the question of what is "inherently governmental" when it comes to government work that should not be hired out.