Friday, July 02, 2010

General David Petraeus, Foodie

Vice President Joe Biden joined General David Petraeus at his home on MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, for a special dinner on Tuesday evening. And it turns out the new Afghanistan war chief is a fellow who appreciates fine cuisine.

The home-cooked, high-modern meal came at the end of Biden's tour of the Gulf region. On the menu: Chilled cucumber soup, sea bass, Florida salad, and banana flambé.

A fiery dessert makes metaphorical sense for the General, who has indicated that he will loosen the restrictions on artillery use for the troops in the Afghanistan theater. The men were joined for dinner by Mrs. Holly Petraeus, the General's wife, according to the White House. A tour of the General's library followed dinner, according to Politico, which is where the photo, above, was shot, by White House photographer David Lienemann. Politico also reports that Biden's aide, Tony Blinken, was at dinner, too. The meal was intended as something of a fence mender, because Biden has expressed a difference in opinion on the prosecution of the war.

General Petraeus was stationed at MacDill as head of US Central Command, before being confirmed by the Senate in a 90-0 vote as the new commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. The dinner photo was released right before President Obama issued a statement on June 30, lauding the Senate for taking rapid action to replace General Stanley McChrystal:

"I am extremely grateful to the Senate for acting so quickly to confirm General Petraeus to lead our military effort in Afghanistan," President Obama said. "General Petraeus is a pivotal part of our effort to succeed in Afghanistan - and in our broader effort to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda – and he has my full confidence. The Senate’s quick action and General Petraeus’s unrivaled experience will ensure we do not miss a beat in our strategy to break the Taliban’s momentum and build Afghan capacity."

Above: Petraeus testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee, earlier in the day on Tuesday. Getty photo.