Instead, I’m told that the administration has informed the Senate Armed Services Committee not expect Petreaus’ nominating papers for 2 to 3 weeks. That means his hearing could be up to a month or so away. In the meantime, the Senate could very well pass a resolution opposing the surge with some Republican support. And the fact that it would be a non-binding resolution wouldn’t limit the political damage to the president’s new Iraq policy.
The White House should consider speeding up the process and have Lt. Gen. Petraeus testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee before any “surge” votes, if possible. Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu and other Democrats and Republicans may be less inclined to support Sen. Reid’s “no surge” resolution after the new ground commander says he needs a surge to do his job.