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Jun 30, 2010 3:50 PM by Melissa Canone

Senate Voted Unanimously To Confirm New Commander Of Afghanistan

The Senate today voted 99-0 to confirm Gen. David Petraeus as the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

The vote was called at 12:28p. Sen. Roland Burris of Illinois was in the chair.

It was always a foregone conclusion that Petraeus would be confirmed, but that did not stop senators from using their floor speeches before the vote to revisit the debate on Afghanistan.

"This is not the time for a debate over strategy," admitted Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., even as he went back and forth in a debate over strategy with Senate Armed Services chairman Carl Levin.

"To announce a date for withdrawal is to announce a date for defeat," McCain said, arguing against the July 2011 date for the planned reduction of US forces.

"He agrees with that decision, that we need to begin reductions in July 2011," Levin said of Petraeus.

Stated Levin, "We are fortunate that once again he has answered his nation's call."

Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas noted that she supported Petraeus, but not his mission.

"I do have confidence in this man. What I don't have confidence in is the mission he's being given," she said.

-Matthew Jaffe

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