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From the Jaws of Victory ( Petraeus )
wsj ^ | February 7, 2008 | NADIA SCHADLOW

Posted on 02/07/2008 9:54:59 PM PST by george76

The U.S. just dodged a bullet in Iraq.

Recently it was reported that Pentagon leaders were considering Gen. David Petraeus, commander of the Multi-National Force Iraq since February 2007, for a prestigious redeployment to Europe. It is good news for Americans and Iraqis alike that Gen. Petraeus decided to stay in Baghdad through the fall.

What's depressing is that top political and military leaders in Washington asked him to consider the move in the first place. The proposal to shift Gen. Petraeus out of Iraq reflects the unwillingness of the military as a whole to make the larger cultural changes required to succeed in tough counterinsurgency missions.

Gen. Petraeus has repeatedly pointed out that a key reason behind the improvements in Iraq revolved around the fact that Americans were walking the streets, living alongside Iraqis, forging close relationships with Iraqi soldiers and police, and demonstrating to the population a commitment to achieving enduring security.

Indeed, a key requirement for success in war is consistency of effort over time. Only experience on the ground permits the acquisition of enough knowledge of the political landscape and personalities necessary to shape events and achieve political stability.

In short, removing such a successful leader from a mission in progress is senseless. It is also inconsistent with much of the America's wartime history.

George Washington served as commander of the American revolutionary forces for eight years, from 1775-1783. Without his resolute leadership and political instincts, it is likely that the Continental Army would have disintegrated.

In the Mexican War, Gen. Winfield Scott ...

During World War II, Gens. Dwight D. Eisenhower and George C. Marshall ...

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Editorial; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: davidpetraeus; iraq; petraeus

1 posted on 02/07/2008 9:55:00 PM PST by george76
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To: george76
the unwillingness of the military as a whole to make the larger cultural changes required to succeed in tough counterinsurgency missions.

A champion of the old Big Army culture is none other than "boots on the ground" John McCain.

2 posted on 02/07/2008 9:56:32 PM PST by Jeff Chandler (It takes a father to raise a child.)
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To: Jeff Chandler
Ever feel like you were living in a nightmare?

McCain. Of all candidate to run this year we get McCain.

Boy that is going to work. A 25 year member of the Old Boy’s club is really going to be able to sell himself as “an agent of change”.

3 posted on 02/07/2008 10:02:24 PM PST by MNJohnnie (Reagan's 11th Commandment is now in effect)
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To: george76
Gen. Petraeus is a military genius. And I am particularly glad he will still be winning the war for us in Iraq this fall so we can run those clips of Hillary putting down the good general during his Congressional testimony.

I listened to Leon Panetta today on Fox. He said that Hillary will ultimately win the nomination because of her image as a strong CIC.

ROTFLMAO.

4 posted on 02/07/2008 10:04:09 PM PST by DJtex
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To: BIGLOOK

the military’s own counterinsurgency (COIN) manual emphasizes the need to cultivate effective leaders in the host country. Younger officers deploying to and from Iraq have reinforced these themes, writing consistently about the importance of maintaining a stable presence and getting to know the political, social and cultural terrain.

Yet the turnover of top commanders in Iraq directly contradicts much of the COIN manual’s observation that crafting a political solution over time is the only proven means by which insurgencies are defeated.


5 posted on 02/07/2008 10:06:48 PM PST by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: george76

My son is serving and has been twice to Afghanistan and once to Iraq..now elsewhere in front lines. My best friends son is also special forces and is in an out on regular rotation.
Every day I pray for them and our other service people.
In the end we can’t have Hillary or Obama running them.
I don’t know what us conservatives can do..but we can’t have them in the end.


6 posted on 02/07/2008 10:11:43 PM PST by Oldexpat
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To: Oldexpat

Thanks to you and your son.

We must keep Hillary or Obama out.


7 posted on 02/07/2008 10:17:19 PM PST by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: george76

Why the hell would anyone recommend he take another position? He’s doing very well.


8 posted on 02/07/2008 10:22:11 PM PST by Secret Agent Man
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To: george76

Yet the turnover of top commanders in Iraq directly contradicts much of the COIN manual’s observation that crafting a political solution over time is the only proven means by which insurgencies are defeated.


This cuts both ways. Yes, stability so long as there is a consistent policy enforced consistently by a string of leaders.

Swapping out leaders also builds a strong cadre of upper management with shared experience. You can’t buy that. Plus some can see things the others miss which can contribute to a process of continual improvement.

Plus, if this is to be a long term solution, we need to develop a “community” of Old Iraq-Hands, rather than just relying on a couple leaders.


9 posted on 02/07/2008 10:23:53 PM PST by bioqubit
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To: Oldexpat

“....In the end we can’t have Hillary or Obama running them.
I don’t know what us conservatives can do..but we can’t have them in the end.”

Agreed.

This is so critical I cannot stress it enough.

I will never forget, or forgive what the democrats have done to our troops while in battle.

There is no victory in losing.

We MUST keep them out of the white house.

The war on terror and the supreme court are reason enough.

Thank God for people like your son.
You raised a hero.

And I hope more Freepers will listen to you.


10 posted on 02/07/2008 10:32:35 PM PST by Names Ash Housewares
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To: Oldexpat

“....In the end we can’t have Hillary or Obama running them.
I don’t know what us conservatives can do..but we can’t have them in the end.”

Agreed.

This is so critical I cannot stress it enough.

I will never forget, or forgive what the democrats have done to our troops while in battle.

There is no victory in losing.

We MUST keep them out of the white house.

The war on terror and the supreme court are reason enough.

Thank God for people like your son.
You raised a hero.

And I hope more Freepers will listen to you.


11 posted on 02/07/2008 10:32:43 PM PST by Names Ash Housewares
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To: Secret Agent Man

For the DUmmies , that is the problem...He’s doing very well.


12 posted on 02/07/2008 10:34:23 PM PST by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: bioqubit

Thanks :

we need to develop a “community” of Old Iraq-Hands, rather than just relying on a couple leaders.


13 posted on 02/07/2008 10:35:54 PM PST by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: Oldexpat

And my tank mechanic daughter will probably be joining her Guard unit in Iraq again this fall, Oldex. It might just be tough talk, but she says she’s looking forward to the break from college (again). She signed up because several of her friends had already joined, and for the free schooling, and it turns out that she likes the Guard. I did two hitches in Reagan’s Army, the one the Commies feared, and have few qualms about her serving. Truthfully, I worry just as much about the potential negative consequences of her wild college life as I do about any possible combat over there.


14 posted on 02/07/2008 10:43:30 PM PST by flowerplough ( Allah, through his prophet and his followers, demands my submission and my obedience, or my death.)
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To: Secret Agent Man
Why the hell would anyone recommend he take another position? He’s doing very well.

Something stinks. Like Thompson getting out before Super Tuesday, and Romney getting out before all the states had a chance to vote in the primaries. Something stinks.

15 posted on 02/07/2008 10:48:03 PM PST by Just Lori (There is nothing democrat-"ic" about democrats.)
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To: Jeff Chandler
A champion of the old Big Army culture is none other than "boots on the ground" John McCain.

Wael, do you really think that's entirely a bad thing?

From a January 2007 NPR story, hopefully to point to what I'm getting at:

So as the soon-to-be top ground commander in Iraq, Lt. Gen. David Petraeus, met Senators Tuesday, he told them the situation in Iraq is "dire."

. . .

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), used his time to make some of his points in a round-about fashion.

"Suppose we send you over to your new job, general, only we tell you you can't have additional troops," said McCain. "Can you get your job done?"

"No sir," Petraeus said.

"Suppose that we send you additional troops and we tell those troops that we support you, but we are convinced you cannot accomplish your mission. What effect would that have on your troops?" asked McCain.

"Well, it would not be a beneficial one, sir," Petraeus said.

Are you thinking that as Commander-in-Chief, McCain would pressure Petraeus to do something different?

16 posted on 02/07/2008 10:52:10 PM PST by Racehorse (Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.)
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To: Oldexpat
we can’t have Hillary or Obama running them

Amen to that. All it will take is a high-profile car-bomb or a negative New York Times poll and Hillary or Obama will pull our troops out. The Democratic party is deeply committed to defeat in Iraq.

17 posted on 02/07/2008 11:06:14 PM PST by T. Buzzard Trueblood (Crawling over ground glass, holding my nose.)
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To: Oldexpat

I pray for them (and thank God for them!!!) every day, too. And for our President.


18 posted on 02/07/2008 11:21:51 PM PST by MonicaG (Help Wanted: Conservative leadership '08)
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To: Secret Agent Man
They were trying to reward him professionally in a peace time, ticket-punch culture, in which a senior Europe-NATO post is considered the highest plum. It is silly, it reflects a careerist and not a warrior ethos. But it was not hostile in intent.
19 posted on 02/07/2008 11:24:25 PM PST by JasonC
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To: Secret Agent Man

That’s the way the military operates, that’s why.


20 posted on 02/08/2008 3:49:17 AM PST by Past Your Eyes (Bill Clinton: Life Member of the Liars' Club.)
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To: george76
With Iraq improving the schwerpunkt is becoming Afghanistan, which is a NATO mission. Gen. Patreus' expertise would be employed there. The editorial equates the NATO command with Europe.
21 posted on 02/08/2008 6:35:25 AM PST by Dilbert56 (Harry Reid, D-Nev.: "We're going to pick up Senate seats as a result of this war.")
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To: DJtex
I listened to Leon Panetta today on Fox. He said that Hillary will ultimately win the nomination because of her image as a strong CIC.

Trluly laughable - she practically called General Petraeus a liar when he came to the Hill to testify. Yes, she has a great relationship with the military.

22 posted on 02/08/2008 7:09:27 AM PST by Rummyfan (Iraq: it's not about Iraq anymore, it's about the USA!)
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To: Names Ash Housewares

And yet, some FReepers jump up and down and insist they will sit the election out rather than hold their nose and vote for McCain.

I don’t like the guy, but I can’t conceive of The Beast of Barry Hussein as the CIC.


23 posted on 02/08/2008 7:14:23 AM PST by toddlintown (Building More Highways For Children---Huckleberry Talking Point)
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To: bioqubit

Agreed. Also, Patraeus is a genius because he is smart enough to do deep research into former counter-insurgancies in Algeria and other places. This knowledge can easily be passed on to another like-minded General.


24 posted on 02/08/2008 8:23:52 AM PST by quant5
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To: Jeff Chandler
A champion of the old Big Army culture is none other than "boots on the ground" John McCain.

Right. And just what does a navy pilot know about the successfull conduct of ground operations? Not a damn thing. Hell, the guy earned the nickname "ACE" McCain for destroying (or losing) five of his own aircraft.

Now were supposed to believe he's Reagans long lost, conservative brother. With his temper he'll go through Generals on a weekly basis. And none who disagree wiht hiim will last long in any event.

25 posted on 02/08/2008 8:39:34 AM PST by PsyOp (Truth in itself is rarely sufficient to make men act. - Clauswitz, On War, 1832.)
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To: Secret Agent Man
Why the hell would anyone recommend he take another position? He’s doing very well.

That's because of the Army's philosphy of "everybody gets a turn". Our military does not like to leave commanders in one place for too long.

26 posted on 02/08/2008 8:43:35 AM PST by PsyOp (Truth in itself is rarely sufficient to make men act. - Clauswitz, On War, 1832.)
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To: PsyOp

He hasn’t been there that long. Has it been even a full year?


27 posted on 02/08/2008 9:33:04 AM PST by Secret Agent Man
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To: PsyOp
With his temper he'll go through Generals on a weekly basis. And none who disagree wiht hiim will last long in any event.

I agree! While many fault Rumsfield, I respected the heck out of the guy as well as Bush for his undying loyalty towards him. Rumsfield was not a yes man which I am sure Bush appreciated also.

I am afraid that McLame will demand loyalty from his appointees and as you point out, if they don't follow in lockstep with whatever he says then they will be gone.

28 posted on 02/08/2008 10:53:58 AM PST by Hot Tabasco ( Donít go messing with Smokey Taylor. He just bought a whole bunch of fresh ammo.)
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To: Secret Agent Man
He hasn’t been there that long. Has it been even a full year?

Almost. Remember, there is a lag on change of commands between announcement and actuality. At this level they tend to move around a lot more often than, say, a division commander (2 star).

There may also be other reasons behind the scenes. He may have stepped on some senior toes. Who knows? We never will unless someone retires and writes a book.

29 posted on 02/08/2008 11:33:28 AM PST by PsyOp (Truth in itself is rarely sufficient to make men act. - Clauswitz, On War, 1832.)
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To: george76
Yet the turnover of top commanders in Iraq directly contradicts much of the COIN manual’s observation that crafting a political solution over time is the only proven means by which insurgencies are defeated.

The problem is that the US military comes under civilian control and the problem is exaggerated when civilians in this country have no realistic concept of war and what it takes to prosecute one, to win one.

Remember the congress declared Petraeus' counterinsurgency plan ineffective shortly after agreeing to it. The surge was effective while its critics slung invective.
30 posted on 02/08/2008 6:52:49 PM PST by BIGLOOK (Keelhaul politicians. The Ship of State needs a good scrubbing!)
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To: george76

ping


31 posted on 02/08/2008 6:54:05 PM PST by AKSurprise ("All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." - Edmund Burke)
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To: DJtex

We owe Sen Bill Frist big time for Gen Petraeus.


32 posted on 02/09/2008 2:18:53 PM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain -- Those denying the War was Necessary Do NOT Support the Troops!)
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To: Rummyfan
Trluly laughable - she practically called General Petraeus a liar when he came to the Hill to testify. Yes, she has a great relationship with the military.

I agree -- an Alinsky-worshipping left-wing flower-strumpet in college, she has whored out for power for 30 years.

Yeah, she'll give the men something to rally around. Not.

33 posted on 02/10/2008 2:58:41 PM PST by lentulusgracchus ("Whatever." -- sinkspur)
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To: Hot Tabasco
I am afraid that McLame will demand loyalty from his appointees and as you point out, if they don't follow in lockstep with whatever he says then they will be gone.

LBJ's greatest fault.....that is, after being wowed by the academic credentials of the Kennedy holdovers and taking the "wise men's" advice.....then they rolled over on him.

Halberstam was right to pin the blame for the war and its loss on LBJ and the "wise men" who were supposed to be so all-seeing, all-knowing. Their Brahmanitude was counterfeit in the crunches, and a peacetime vote-buying sh*t-shoveller like LBJ didn't know how to fight a war.

34 posted on 02/10/2008 3:02:20 PM PST by lentulusgracchus ("Whatever." -- sinkspur)
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To: PsyOp
There may also be other reasons behind the scenes.

Someone may have dropped a key hint back up the thread. Europe, NATO => Afghanistan. He may be wanted by the White House and/or Gates to go shore up the NATO membership, who are starting to make wobbly noises about their commitment to Afghanistan (they smell Hillary coming).

If I were the Russians and Chinese, I'd be trying behind the scenes to engineer a NATO disaster in Afghanistan -- cutting off withdrawal routes, isolating the forces there and putting them out of supply so they'd have eventually to surrender in the field to the Taliban.

Think about it. The Russians and Chinese have been moving against us in Central Asia, and we need to get on our toes about it right now. Almost time to play the Hindu Card, IMHO, with the Pakis getting ready to roll over on us.

35 posted on 02/10/2008 3:09:11 PM PST by lentulusgracchus ("Whatever." -- sinkspur)
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To: lentulusgracchus
If I were the Russians and Chinese, I'd be trying behind the scenes to engineer a NATO disaster in Afghanistan -- cutting off withdrawal routes, isolating the forces there and putting them out of supply so they'd have eventually to surrender in the field to the Taliban.

Great recipe for starting WWIII.

US forces would never surrender to the Taliban. Even if a Dem administration does not understand what it would mean, those guys do. If they had to, they'd all ruck up and bust their way out of the country. Even if Clinton ordered them to surrender, I doubt the ground commanders there would follow that order.

36 posted on 02/11/2008 8:24:26 AM PST by PsyOp (Truth in itself is rarely sufficient to make men act. - Clauswitz, On War, 1832.)
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