Gen. David H. Petraeus, the new U.S. commander in Iraq, is assembling a small band of warrior-intellectuals -- including a quirky Australian anthropologist, a Princeton economist who is the son of a former U.S. attorney general and a military expert on the Vietnam War sharply critical of its top commanders -- in an eleventh-hour effort to reverse the downward trend in the Iraq war.
Army officers tend to refer to the group as "Petraeus guys." They are smart colonels who have been noticed by Petraeus, and who make up one of the most selective clubs in the world: military officers with doctorates from top-flight universities and combat experience in Iraq.
Essentially, the Army is turning the war over to its dissidents, who have criticized the way the service has operated there the past three years, and is letting them try to wage the war their way.
"Their role is crucial if we are to reverse the effects of four years of conventional mind-set fighting an unconventional war," said a Special Forces colonel who knows some of the officers.
This is something that I’ve been saying for quite some time now. If we’re going to be fighting an unconventional war, then who better to run the operations than those trained in unconventional warfare? But to call this an “eleventh hour effort? I wasn’t aware that WAPO was world renowned for making policy or for their skills in military strategy.
But there is widespread skepticism that even this unusual group, with its specialized knowledge of counterinsurgency methods, will be able to win the battle of Baghdad.
"Petraeus's 'brain trust' is an impressive bunch, but I think it's too late to salvage success in Iraq," said a professor at a military war college, who said he thinks that the general will still not have sufficient troops to implement a genuine counterinsurgency strategy and that the United States really has no solution for the sectarian violence tearing apart Iraq.
"It's too late to make a difference in Iraq," agreed Bruce Hoffman, a Georgetown University expert on terrorism who has advised the U.S. government on the war effort.
Mind you, Hoffman has impressive credentials. By the same token, so does Hillary Clinton. Just a thought. I’m not saying anything about Hoffman’s politics; don’t read that into what I’m saying. What I AM saying is that credentials don’t always make someone right.
That being said…
Haven’t we done enough criticizing of our troops and their leadership, especially in light of the President stating that there have been mistakes made in Iraq and that there will be a redirection of how things will be run? Shouldn’t we be offering General Petraeus and his staff our support and giving them the go-ahead to resolve the situation so that things can begin, maybe, hopefully, to settle down?
I’m so tired of hearing how the American people are “worn out by the war.” Worn out my ass. We’ve not experienced rationing, blackout periods, or curfews, like our grandparents did during the Second World War. We haven’t HAD the hardships of the Great Depression. Our troops haven’t been sent overseas to spend years in combat until the war is finished. They’re rotated in and out of the region. I know some have spent two or three tours of duty in the Middle East, but that’s NOTHING compared to the way we sent troops over to Europe and into the Pacific during WWII. They went with no IDEA when they were coming home.
And since when do our troops need US to protect THEM? As a veteran, I find that insulting. The job of the military IS the defense of our nation, from all threats, foreign and domestic. That’s what they train for. It’s what they sign up for. It’s what they are READY for. The military is in place to defend the civilian populace; the civilian populace DOES NOT NEED TO DEFEND the military from our enemies. What kind of BACKWARD thinking is THIS?
If you people think that radical extremist fascist Islam isn’t a threat, let me refer you back to 11SEP2001.
If that isn’t a full indication of a clear and present danger, what the FUCK is it going to take to wake people up?
General Petraeus, you have my full support, Sir, good luck as you attempt to fight off the political quagmire so that you can do your job.
For the rest of you, I leave this posting with the words of General George Patton: "Lead me, FOLLOW me, or get the HELL out of my way."
Once and Always, an American Fighting Man
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