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Since July, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) has been trying to get Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to answer his queries about the creation of an Afghanistan/Pakistan Study Group.Wolf added a provision in the House version of next year’s defense spending bill that would pay for the report, one that would mirror the work of the Iraq Study Group on which Panetta and his predecessor, Robert Gates, both served on. And with increased calls in Congress for getting out of the war, Wolf is asking for the secretary to use his own authority to get such a study started.Wolf’s been laying the groundwork. He lined up the cooperation of John Hamre at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and has lots of suggestions for others who could serve on the panel. Yet he just can’t get Panetta to respond. Since July 19 – when Panetta was less than three weeks on the job – Wolf has sent five letters to the secretary regarding the study specifically or the war more broadly. The last one, sent Oct. 3 contains a hand-written entreaty: “It is very difficult to get a response from your office.”
ar99, Afghanistan, Pakistan
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