The Senate today confirmed Gen. David Petraeus as the top commander in the Middle East and Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno to replace Petraeus as the chief military officer in Iraq. Last year, Petraeus helped to tame growing opposition to the Iraq war in Congress by providing measured assessments of progress and warning that an exodus of US troops would result in chaos.
Odierno, who implemented much of the strategy as Petraeus' deputy in Iraq, is slated to receive a fourth star and will report to Petraeus in his new job. The Senate voted 95-2 in favor of Petraeus and 96-1 for Odierno. The duo's efforts resulted in the buildup of some 30,000 troops in Baghdad and other hot spots, which eventually proved vital in tamping down violence.