Anyone who follows national security transition gossip will swiftly realize that Susan Rice has made a lot of enemies over the years. Maybe she deserves some of it. But to me, Michael O’Hanlon seems to be making a compelling case for Rice:
It is important that Senator Obama hear from centrists on Iraq, and Susan [Rice] may not be such a person on that subject. As such, given Iraq’s relative importance, it is crucial that in addition to military officers with responsibility for the operation there, at least one key member of the cabinet not be firmly wed to Senator Obama’s ill-advised proposal for a firm and rapid withdrawal schedule from Iraq over the coming 16 to 18 months.
Joking aside, at this point we’re way beyond the point of who’s wed to what or 16 months versus 18 months or whatever. What’s needed is an agreement with the Iraqi government with negotiations conducted by a US government that’s not irrationally committed to staying in Iraq as long as possible. The broad debate about timeline or no timeline has been closed by the Iraqis themselves.