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Mon Nov 12, 2012, 08:23 PM

"David Petraeus was a decorated leader and strategic thinker. Why risk everything on an affair?"

David Petraeus was a decorated leader and strategic thinker. Why did he risk everything on an affair?

By Fred Kaplan|Posted Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012, at 3:52 PM ET

Among those who have long known Gen. David Petraeus, those who served under his command in wartime, sat with him in the White House Situation Room, or helped him rewrite Army doctrine at Fort Leavenworth, the most gnawing question about the scandalous affair that led to his resignation and doomed his career on Friday is this: How could he—this acclaimed leader and figure of rectitude—allow such a thing to happen?

Seen in context, the mystery, while shocking, is not so unfathomable.

Paula Broadwell, the woman with whom he had this affair, writes in her fawning biography of Petraeus that they first met when she was in graduate school at Harvard and he came to give a talk about counterinsurgency strategy. She approached him afterward and expressed interest in the subject; they exchanged cards. Soon, she decided to write a Ph.D. dissertation on his leadership style and, when he took command in Afghanistan, asked if she could come observe him in action. He agreed.

The key to this initial attraction was probably not sexual but rather biographical. Broadwell had once been a West Point cadet, like Petraeus. She'd had training as a parachutist, as Petraeus had in his youth.* She was obsessed with physical fitness, especially running, as was Petraeus. In short, regardless of gender, Broadwell was exactly the sort of aspiring officer-intellectual that Petraeus was keen to mentor.

The impulse was not unique to Petraeus. It grew out of the ethos of West Point’s social science department, where Petraeus had taught in the mid-1980s. The department, known as “Sosh,” was founded just after World War II by a visionary ex-cadet and Rhodes Scholar named George A. “Abe” Lincoln. Toward the end of the war, as the senior planning aide to Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Marshall, Lincoln realized that the Army needed to breed a new type of officer to help the nation meet its new global responsibilities in the postwar era. This new officer, he wrote to a colleague, should have “at least three heads—one political, one economic, and one military.” He took a demotion, from brigadier general to colonel, so he could return to West Point and create a curriculum “to improve the so-called Army mind” in just this way: a social science department, encouraging critical thinking, even occasionally dissent.

Lincoln also set up a program allowing cadets with high scores in Sosh classes to go study at a civilian graduate school, with West Point paying the tuition. In exchange, the cadets, after earning their doctorates, would come back and teach for at least three years. Once they fulfilled that obligation, Lincoln would use his still-considerable connections in Washington to get them choice assignments in the Pentagon, the State Department, the White House, a foreign embassy, or a prestigious command post.

Much More...interesting read at:

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2012/11/david_petraeus_s_affair_with_paula_broadwell_why_did_an_accomplished_and.html

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Reply "David Petraeus was a decorated leader and strategic thinker. Why risk everything on an affair?" (Original post)
KoKo Nov 2012 OP
aletier_v Nov 2012 #1
blue neen Nov 2012 #9
aletier_v Nov 2012 #18
blue neen Nov 2012 #19
HooptieWagon Nov 2012 #2
Tigress DEM Nov 2012 #3
yurbud Nov 2012 #14
liberal N proud Nov 2012 #4
Iggy Nov 2012 #5
dimbear Nov 2012 #6
Tutonic Nov 2012 #7
tibbiit Nov 2012 #8
kenny blankenship Nov 2012 #10
blue neen Nov 2012 #11
Ash_F Nov 2012 #17
blue neen Nov 2012 #20
Ash_F Nov 2012 #21
blue neen Nov 2012 #22
Ash_F Nov 2012 #23
Ash_F Nov 2012 #16
malexand Nov 2012 #12
Fumesucker Nov 2012 #13
daybranch Nov 2012 #15

Response to KoKo (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 08:25 PM

1. for awesome kinky sex. he's sixty, perhaps holly was a missionary-only type.

thsts a looooong time to bottle up predelictions.

i only lasted to 41.

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Response to aletier_v (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 10:57 PM

9. What a strange comment.

How does this get turned around to be the fault of the General's wife? It seems that she may be the victim in all of this...oh yeah, let's blame her. Ludicrous.

Who cares about his predilections, or anyone's, for that matter?

This denigrating women thing...it's sooooo yesterday. Just ask the Republicans.

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Response to blue neen (Reply #9)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 05:23 PM

18. the whole defensive kneejerk womans lib thing gets old too

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Response to aletier_v (Reply #18)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 06:03 PM

19. Spare me.

It's not defensive. What you said is OFFENSIVE, unnecessary, and completely uncalled for.

"Womans lib thing"? What exactly does that mean, anyhow? You're not going to start calling women "femi-nazis", are you?

Kneejerk? That's actually funny.

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 08:28 PM

2. Simple...because he could.

Same thing that happened to Edwards, Spitzer, Clinton.

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 08:34 PM

3. Petraeus was actually helpful to ending the quagmire we were in, maybe he was set up?

Just thinking of how Lewinski was Clinton's type and saved THAT particular dress and talked to someone who happened to record the conversation..... Now did our guy do wrong? Yes. Did he have a lot of persuasion? Yes.

So maybe this Broadwell was as much of a plant as Lewinski was. BUT he had the weakness to begin with and made the wrong choice.

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Response to Tigress DEM (Reply #3)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 11:06 AM

14. Petraeus was helpful in kicking the can down the road so the Iraq War would end on Obama's watch

nothing more.

He is praised in DC because he goes alone with their bullshit narratives.

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 08:38 PM

4. Sometimes the little had overrides the big head

Risk? ah who cares, this will be fun, what are the chances?

Where the little head and the big head meet, things just don't always come out for the best.

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 08:43 PM

5. "Strategic Thinker"... Says Who?

 

Figuring out that the best way to handle the "extremists" in Iraq was to PAY them not to shoot at our guys/put IED's in the roads is not exactly genius-level thinking... it's simply how business is done there.

The Iraq fiasco is not over.. far from it.



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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 09:04 PM

6. man n/t

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 09:05 PM

7. English press is suggesting that there was another woman that he had affair with that was also

his biographer. His wife needs to ditch him now.

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 09:40 PM

8. I had to check to see where this was published.


~Paula Broadwell, the woman with whom he had THIS affair~

and

~The key to this initial attraction was probably not sexual but rather biographical.~

this sentence made me spit my diet dr pepper and look to see who wrote this (not the onion) because I call bullshit. (On Petraus) First of all its not his first affair I would wager, and what a pant load that this probably wasn't sexual... she is a groupie of powerful repug men.

lol
tib

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 11:08 PM

10. Why would the head of CIA commit the most common and stupid security mistake?

Oh maybe it's just that he's not as smart as he's cracked up to be, and he rapidly went all soft and sloppy as the system elevated him to ever higher positions, worshiping before his celebrity, and making him drunk on power?

What the fuck is a CIA director doing with a goddamn Gmail account anyway? And what stupid jackass appointed this stupid jackass in the first place? Oh yeah, well that explains a lot, actually. He's not suited for his job, either.

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Response to kenny blankenship (Reply #10)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 11:19 PM

11. President Obama appointed General Petraeus.

You already knew that, of course.

I'm extremely happy that the President got re-elected last week. What about you? Who did you think was suited for the job?

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Response to blue neen (Reply #11)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 05:22 PM

17. I am happy Obama won too.

But I wish he would stop trying to out-Republican the Republicans by empowering people like this in the executive.

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Response to Ash_F (Reply #17)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 06:05 PM

20. Still waiting for post #10 to answer.

<crickets>

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Response to blue neen (Reply #20)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 06:19 PM

21. All I am saying is that we shouldn't witch hunt our own members over Petraeus .

He was deeply entrenched in the elite Republican establishment. His policies as a general were as right wing, militant and short sighted as you can get. He brought a great deal of harm on Iraqis, Afghans and US soldiers and surely would have done a lot of damage in the CIA should he have served for 4 more years. He is simply not one of the good guys.


I think it is ok to be pissed over him being afforded the command positions he received in the military and CIA. We should put pressure on Obama to appoint more competent and less morally bankrupt people. We have plenty of good people in this country. We don't need to kowtow to right wing Republicans.

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Response to Ash_F (Reply #21)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 06:43 PM

22. Poster #10 made some extremely disparaging remarks about the President.

Poster #10 knows that and needs to explain why he/she would make such remarks about President Obama. I asked a question and did not get an answer. We also should not use the term "witch hunt" to describe the process of asking simple questions to someone who posted terms that are really not allowed on this forum...they also aren't helpful. A poster can express their opinions without resorting to that type of name-calling.

The anger at General Petraeus is understandable and deserved. If you will check my posts, you will see that I do not defend him. I hope that President Obama finds a very qualified and competent individual to run the CIA. It's vital.



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Response to blue neen (Reply #22)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 06:46 PM

23. I won't defend that part of the comment and understand your ire. /nt

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Response to kenny blankenship (Reply #10)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 05:20 PM

16. The CIA fantasized about in action movies is not the real CIA

If anything, this fiasco shows that it is quite a broken an inept organization. All it is today is the violent arm of the State Department. Enforcing political will on third world countries through the threat of violence without process or legitimacy.

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 02:11 AM

12. Testosterone...

Testosterone... men have 15 times more than women

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 03:35 AM

13. "This new officer, he wrote to a colleague, should have “at least three heads—"

Well, we know Petraeus has two so that's a start.

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 02:15 PM

15. Dewcorated means what?

This term is thrown around as if these guys won medals for bravery or fought in combat. I would lie for you to find me one officer today you would not label as decorated by your definition or one sergeant or even any enlisted man or women with a year or more service. Petraeus took a lot of college classes did well oin them, did well at setting up college curriculum and spent a lot of time in the military. He is no more decorated than any federal employee who receives an award from his boss except he has something more to pin on his uniform. He ain't Audie Murphy. He was and is primarily a behind the desk soldier.So lets quit worrying about his good conduct ribbons, his meritorious achievement etc. as if that makes him some hero. Men have fought and died bravely for this country and he got caught with a girlfriend breaking his oath and destroying his career. He can be replaced.

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