To the editor:
Will history repeat itself? In 2004, Gen. David Petraeus, commander in Mosul, Iraq, appointed a former Baathist general as police chief and accepted other Baathists in security forces. When insurgents attacked in November, the police (some of whom had joined insurgent police cells organized by the chief) either disappeared or defected to them. Not only was much of Mosul temporarily lost, but Petraeus cost us the money and arms provided to the police.
Now Petraeus is in charge of everything, and much is at stake as he relies (having no choice) on still more ex-insurgents. The whole future of the "surge" and probably continued U.S. presence in Iraq depends on a desperate gamble that history won't repeat. This is what the Bush policy is founded on.
William O. Scott,