Friday, January 05, 2007

Lt. General David H. Petraeus to assume command in Iraq 

This news is evidence that the Bush administration is going to get imaginative in Iraq:

President Bush has decided to name Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus as the top American military commander in Iraq, part of a broad revamping of the military team that will carry out the administration’s new Iraq strategy, administration officials said Thursday.

Among his many qualifications, Lt. General Petraeus has a Ph.D. from Princeton. More importantly, he is widely regarded as one of the most capable commanders in the United States Army. Thomas Ricks, the Washington Post's military affairs correspondent, argued in his book Fiasco that Petraeus was one of the first, if not the first, divisional commander in Iraq to recognize that the United States ought to be waging a traditional "small war" counterinsurgency. The 101st Airborne under his command distinguished itself as perhaps the most effective large unit operating in Iraq at the time.

In the fall of 2005, Lt. Gen. Petraeus spoke before an academic audience at Princeton. There was no mainstream media present, so this blog's post was the only coverage of that speech other than, I guess, The Daily Princetonian.


By Blogger skipsailing, at Fri Jan 05, 10:37:00 AM:

Just a few thoughts:

(1) Petraeus' name was the first that came to my mind. He turned around a failed training process and restored its credibility.

(2) Glad to see a swabbie get the top spot at centcom but I don't think we should read a lot into this in terms of Iran. It's just speculation at this point.

(3) I like the idea of Kahlizad at the UN. this nomination will make for interesting confirmation hearings. I'm sure the Democrat operatives are in full muck raking mode already.  

By Blogger MR, at Fri Jan 05, 10:40:00 AM:

This is the equivalent of changing around the deck chairs on a sinking ship. What we need is a new president, not new commanders: Want to be disgusted? Check out the military in Iraq in these 3 videos:

By Blogger Gordon Smith, at Fri Jan 05, 12:09:00 PM:

General Casey no likee the surge, so General Casey gets the bootski.

Bush: "General Casey will make the decisions as to how many troops we have there. And that's important for the families to know. It's really important. General Casey is a wise and smart man who has spent a lot of time in Baghdad recently, obviously. And it's his judgment that I rely upon. He'll decide how best to achieve victory and the troop levels necessary to do so.

I spent a lot of time talking to him about troop levels, and I told him this,; I said, you decide, General. I want your judgment, your advice. I don't want these decisions being made by the political noise, by the political moment. It's just unfair to our troops and it's unfair to their families."  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Fri Jan 05, 12:51:00 PM:

RP: Because it isn't the military officers and NCOs who are in charge of the day to day affairs of the military, it's the President! He personally directed the Abu Ghraib incident and he micromanages which platoons go where and who will lead them and makes sure that the toughest, meanest assholes are in charge to let the Iraqis know just whose running the show. Because this is not a functional democracy with an organic bureacracy and delegation of powers, it's a dictatorship in diguise and every commander in Iraq gets his personal instructions on how to best fuck with the Iraqis from the White House.  

By Blogger SR, at Fri Jan 05, 02:08:00 PM:

About the most disgusting things around here are headshaking posts like yours. It is supposed to work like this: The CIC says victory should look like this, and then orders the military to get it done. If theatre commanders need to be changed to get th job done, then that's where he gets involved (see Lincoln, McClellan, and Grant).

Screwy: Gen'l Casey no getta the job done. He's gooing to be posted to the Ethiopian Military Academy to learn how to do it.  

By Blogger skipsailing, at Fri Jan 05, 03:07:00 PM:

Screwy's post was diagnostic of intractable BDS.

At this point people like that will complain no matter what gets done.

Screwy, can you say "irrelevant"?

I didn't think so.  

By Blogger Lanky_Bastard, at Fri Jan 05, 04:49:00 PM:

It does have the appearance of firing dissenters and promoting yes-men.

But hey, we're going to attempt whatever the pres dreams up anyway. If these guys are our best and brightest, it's still a good trade.  

By Blogger K. Pablo, at Fri Jan 05, 05:34:00 PM:

I think the minimum for defeatist posts like the ones above should be a perfunctory mention of the facts supporting the point. For example, if Hoolie, Ripper, or Bastard (hmmm... sounds like a great name for a law firm) gave us any indication that they knew anything about who General Petraeus or Thomas Ricks are, then perhaps they could build a case regarding why they thought these appointments were poor choices.

As even Thomas L. Friedman conceded on MTP, "some things are true even though George W. Bush believes them." A blanket dismissal of any decision he makes is pretty damn simple-minded.  

By Blogger Purple Avenger, at Fri Jan 05, 07:26:00 PM:

It does have the appearance of firing dissenters and promoting yes-men.

Or just giving someone enough time to prove they're incompetent and replacing them for a good reason.

Peter Principle?  

By Blogger skipsailing, at Fri Jan 05, 10:51:00 PM:

gotta love it K. Hoolie, ripper and bastard. Sounds like the firm that represented my sainted ex wife.  

By Blogger Gordon Smith, at Sat Jan 06, 12:31:00 AM:


I hope you're right, and I'm wrong. I hope that the whole Iraq debacle happened just because we hadn't thought to surge another 20,000 troops in for two years. I hope that the administration that's brought us bad call after bad call has suddenly suffered a bout of wisdom.

There's no evidence to suggest they're prepared to make better choices though.

But I sure hope it's you guys who are right because then these men won't have been sent in simply to satisfy an egomaniacal fantasy.  

By Blogger Purple Avenger, at Sat Jan 06, 02:53:00 AM:

to make better choices though.

That "better choice" would be defeat and the slaughter of millions right?  

By Blogger skipsailing, at Sat Jan 06, 09:51:00 AM:

the point that was missed by the founders of screwie, ripper and bastard was that while there is no evidence that these men will be better than the prior bunch there is also absolutely no evidence that srewie, ripper and bastard have any true basis on which to judge them.

My point is that you guys have just become, to put it bluntly, bitches. You just bitch. You couldn't lift my sons' rucksack or match Petraeus's experience yet you deign to sit in judgement.

It is arrogance and its insufferable. had you bothered to read TH's post you'd have a better sense of who this man is. had you read anything other than the leftist drivel you so arrogantly repeat (like a fricking mantra) perhaps you could provide some insight.

Instead, you just bitch. You pretend you know better and the fact is you know nothing beyond what air america tells you.

Here's the letterhead for your firm boys:

Screwie, ripper and bastard: insufferable arrogant boors.  

By Blogger D.E. Cloutier, at Sat Jan 06, 10:50:00 AM:

Screwy: "I hope that the administration that's brought us bad call after bad call has suddenly suffered a bout of wisdom."

I see evidence of that.

The recent developments in Somalia stand as one example.

And Bush's buddies in Saudi Arabia are starting to put Iran's belligerent leaders on the defensive. Saudi money is stirring up trouble in Iran's Arab-minority province of Khuzestan by encouraging locals to convert from Shiism to Sunnism. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his cabinet spent the last four days in the province, meeting with city residents and tribal leaders in an attempt to win back support.  

By Blogger Lanky_Bastard, at Sun Jan 07, 10:55:00 PM:

K. Pablo.

I don't think Petraeus is a poor choice. I said if he's the best and the brightest (because honestly I don't know) then it's a good trade. That means exactly what it says. We need our best and brightest in charge over there.

Not to detract from Hoolie, Ripper, and Bastard - which is pretty funny. :)  

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