This morning bright and early I was on the phone with my fav DOD peep - Lt Jennifer Cragg for a Bloggers Roundtable.
The speaker - ADM James Stavridis, USN, Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR).
ADM Stavridis gave a brief statement and then it was on to questions.
Here's my exchange -
ME: Good morning, sir. This is Maggie of bostonmaggie.blogspot, and my question goes to the attitude of the troops, troop morale. When you're out there doing your all-hands, what do you see different than you saw before the surge -- the Afghan surge was announced?
ADM. STAVRIDIS: Maggie, great question. I must say I have a special place in my heart for Boston. I went to graduate school up there at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. And I'm going to now speak in dialect. It's in Medford, "MED-FID", Massachusetts.
ME: Yes, it is. (Laughing)
ADM. STAVRIDIS: All right. There you go. And I -- and my wife, Laura, and I spent two great years there and enjoyed it. And I see you've got some Navy in your background and have actually been on the Constitution. So thanks for your time in and around the service. It's a terrific question, and I have seen a marked upbeat feeling from the folks, our folks, our NATO folks, and I'm talking not just U.S. but the French, the Italians, the Spaniards, the Dutch, the Germans, all of them, since the troop uplift of the additional 37,000 NATO troops was announced, because they feel that support from the international community. I'll tell you the other big bounce that's happening right now is the bounce of this poll that I talked about. And I'm getting that from all of my sources, both online, social network, conversational and the regular chain of command. So I feel -- if you'll permit me a nautical metaphor, I feel we're starting to get some weigh on the ship in Afghanistan. And so I think our troops sense that, Maggie, before any of us do. And so I think the bounce is pretty good in Afghanistan these days.
That's an answer I was glad to hear. It's important that the troops fighting on our behalf feel our support. It's a bonus if the NATO troops feel it too.
Plus, how funny was the "MED-FID" thing? He had it exactly correct.
So there was more to the call but I will have to get that up later.