We were lurking at periscope depth for part of the week at the Sub League conference, so there was a lot of stuff in the wider AOR we didn't get a chance to write about. Here were some of those stories:
• In what could be a historical first, two wars "ended" on the same day Friday: President Obama announced that all American troops would be coming home from Iraq by the end of the year, and European Command boss Adm. James Stavridis announced on Facebook that he would recommend that NATO discontinue its air war in Libya. But just because American military involvement will wind down does not mean that either story is actually over.
• And just because American involvement in the Libyan intervention eventually led to the downfall and death of Moammar Qaddafi, that doesn't mean congressional critics are cutting the president any slack, as The Hill's John Bennett reports.
• Another Hill denizen, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, is not cutting Pakistan any slack, either. He said this week that if Pakistani authorities don't crack down on the Haqqani Network fighters that attack American troops, the U.S. has a right to do what it needs to in response.
• Y'know who's not a fan of many of these Congress-types? Private citizen Robert M. Gates, who this week echoed Secretary Panetta's warnings that our dysfunctional legislature poses a danger to America's future. It can't even handle normal business, let alone tackle big problems, Gates said, and that's not what you need from Washington these days: "If America slides from pre-eminence it will be because we failed, not because others succeeded," he said.
• Panetta himself is on a trip to Asia, and on each of his stops, North Korea will be a central agenda item.
• The fighter wars are finally settled! After Boeing allies got upset because the F/A-18 Hornet's home-state Missouri House endorsed the F-35, lawmakers wanted to make amends. So this week in Jefferson City, the state House passed another resolution endorsing the Super Hornet, and peace has finally settled over the land.