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Obama agenda: Staying the course

“President Obama said Thursday that there will be no additional changes for now in his leadership team on Afghanistan, but that he will be ‘insisting on unity of purpose’ and ‘paying very close attention’ to its performance,” the Washington Post writes. “His comments came as senior Republicans called on Obama to replace the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan and the State Department diplomat working most closely on the issue. Both were disparaged by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal and his aides in published remarks that led Obama to relieve McChrystal of the Afghanistan war command this week.”

The AP adds, “With Gen. David Petraeus in charge, the president said Thursday he's assembled the team that will take the U.S. through the months ahead -- by all expectations the make-or-break stage of the conflict.”

"Obama said July 2011 should be seen more as a date for a transfer of responsibility to Afghan forces. He also said he will be relying heavily on Petraeus' advice when the pullout date and war strategy come up for another major administration review in December," the New York Daily News adds.


"The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said he was 'nearly sick' when he read the magazine article that led to the resignation of Gen. Stanley McChrystal," The Hill writes. "'I couldn't believe it,' Adm. Mike Mullen said at a Pentagon press briefing Thursday afternoon. 'I was stunned.'"

The New York Post's headline on President Obama and Russian President Medvedev going for a burger yesterday: "A peace of meat: Bam & Medvedev's burger-joint summit." Obama got a cheddar cheeseburger; Medvedev went with jalapenos on his. And check this: "In a sign of a diplomatic thaw, they shared a single order of fries."

The New York Daily News: "War is hell. But diplomacy is a Hell burger, at least in the Obama White House on Thursday. The chowhound in chief treated Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to a fat, juicy sampling of an all-American meal at Ray's Hell Burger, just across the Potomac in Virginia."

Do the Taliban have C-SPAN? "(Petraeus) is not smarter than McChrystal," Taliban spokesman Qari Muhammad Ahmed Yusuf said in a statement. "Also, his losing consciousness last week in an investigative hearing before the members of the U.S. Congress brought his physical competence and his courage into question."