Best Defense
Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Petraeus: no coup coming in Pakistan

I can remember when Gen. David Petraeus testifying on Capitol Hill was big news. It shows how much times have changed that I didn’t even realize that Petraeus, a senior Army officer who was prominent in 2007-2008, was appearing until I noticed a small story deep inside this morning’s New York Times. So as remedial ...

575675_091210_RicksPetraeus2.jpg
575675_091210_RicksPetraeus2.jpg

I can remember when Gen. David Petraeus testifying on Capitol Hill was big news. It shows how much times have changed that I didn’t even realize that Petraeus, a senior Army officer who was prominent in 2007-2008, was appearing until I noticed a small story deep inside this morning’s New York Times.

So as remedial work I sat down and read the hearing transcript this morning. I thought Petraeus was surprisingly confident in knocking down talk of a military coup d’etat in Pakistan:

Senator, as one who’s been in Pakistan, in fact, about four or five times in the last six months and had a lot of conversations with military leaders as well as the civilian leadership, I actually don’t think that the current challenges imperil civilian rule. There clearly are challenges to — potential challenges to President Zardari, but again, I don’t see the prospect or the desire for anyone to change civilian rule.

FAROOQ NAEEM/AFP/Getty Images

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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