Archive for Thursday, December 21, 2006

Fort Leavenworth commander candidate to lead U.S. forces

December 21, 2006


Lt. Gen. David Petraeus, commander of the Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, could be in line to be the next commander of U.S. forces in Iraq.

The New York Times last week reported Petraeus is a candidate to replace Gen. George W. Casey Jr. as the top U.S. commander in Iraq. The Los Angeles Times on Wednesday reported Petraeus is being considered to lead Centcom - overseeing all U.S. forces in the Middle East.

During a weekend event in Leavenworth, Petraeus said he was unaware of promotion possibilities.

"I don't know anything about any plans like that at all," Petraeus said. "I read the same rumors you do, but I'm not aware of anything."

Petraeus led the 101st Airborne Division during the invasion of Iraq in 2003; he gained a reputation for using "soft power" - aiding in the rebuilding of the region's economy and infrastructure - during the early days of the insurgency there.

He took command at Fort Leavenworth in October 2005 and has overseen production of a new field manual on counterinsurgency to be used by the Army and Marines. It was the first update to the Army counterinsurgency doctrine in 20 years and focuses not only on battlefield maneuvers but also on winning the support of native populations.

"What we say now is that there's a tremendous mix - you have to find the right balance of 'kinetic' and 'non-kinetic' operations," Petraeus told the Journal-World during an interview in February. "Kinetic being the lethal use of military force, and non-kinetic being, if you will, the 'softer' side of it."

The L.A. Times reported that the new approach makes Petraeus an attractive candidate for promotion to the four-star positions - but also could work against him.

"A guy like Petraeus is so ferociously creative and brilliant, sometimes that makes the buttoned-down senior military leadership nervous," Ret. Gen. Barry McCaffrey told that paper.

The new commander could be named in early 2007.

Sam Knowlton of the Lansing Current contributed to this article.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 11 months ago

"During a weekend event in Leavenworth, Petraeus said he was unaware of promotion possibilities."

I'd hardly call being sent to the quagmire in Iraq a promotion.

rhd99 8 years, 11 months ago

Bozo, being sent to Iraq as a promotion does not mean that the quagmire in Iraq will be any worse. The general just recently released the first revision in 20 years a counterinsurgency manual that basically states to win, you have to win the hearts of the people, especially in Iraq, which I admit we have not done. But Petraeus has significant experience in his career that shows he is ready for the challenges. Now, who's at fault for the quagmire? BUSH. Another thing, yesterday, some low life political armchair quarterbacks on NPR stated that Abizaid & Casey represented the same characteristics that produced the failures in Vietnam under the command of now deceased General William Westmoreland. Wow, I am impressed, especially when you have two guys who NEVER served or planned a war strategy cursing a dead soldier, that is a new low. If you read on, Barry McCaffrey says that basically the ingenuity of Petraeus scares the "button down" leadership of our military. Well, top brass of the military, WAKE UP! Your days of the status quo are over. Petraeus is creative & full of energy. Keep him OUT of the political circus ring, & do your jobs.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 11 months ago

Petraeus sounds like a much more rational thinker than the neocons, but the way you win their hearts and minds would first begin with recognizing that invading and occupying a country that doesn't want you there will accomplish the exact opposite.

Which country do you want to win our hears and minds by invading us to save us from Bush, who most of the world considers the most dangerous person in the world, and whose actions have killed many times more people than those of Saddam and bin Laden combined?

rhd99 8 years, 11 months ago

Bozo, I agree, but you have to think about this: When General Petraeus & others raised their right hands & took that oath when they either got commissioned as officers or took the oath as they moved on to higher positions of authority, they swore in that oath to obey the orders of their superiors. Now, is Bush dangerous especially now? You bet he is. Look at what happened.

Let me give you some amunition (so to speak) as to why Bush is dangerous. Back in 2003, retired Army Chief General Eric Shinseki made a prediction that General Abizaid acknowledged outright as being right on. General Shinseki was asked by the Congress how many soldiers it would take for this commitment in Iraq, & General Shinseki said several hundred thousand. Bush hired the most arrogant, pompous, egotistical, & most hated secretary of defense in history Rumsfeld, who along with weak-minded empty headed Wolfowitz both shot down General Shinseki with one swift stroke. I think if you look at it, Iraq would have been successful if Rumsfeld had swallowed his pride & LISTENED more than talking (which he did the opposite). Rest assured, Bush's legacy whether he likes it or not will be the downright failures in Iraq, regardless of whether or not General Petraeus' brilliant record of achievement moves him up the chain either to Iraq or to Washington to bash some heads & wake people up.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 11 months ago

As I noted in another thread, the more effective, and cheaper, way to deal with Iraq would have been sending a few thousand dollars to every citizen there, and encourage them to take control of their own country, and offering a comfy house arrest somewhere for Saddam and his family and close allies.

oldgoof 8 years, 11 months ago

Bozo: Good point. Non-military support through direct aid, public infrastructure aid, health support, etc (using someone other than Bechtel and Halliburton) could have been cost-effective. . As we consider ramping up our military forces as an outcome of Iraq, I heard a pentagon commentator report that a good planning plug number is $120,000 per year for total cost of each new member of military. It adds up pretty damn quickly.

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