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Obama would face tough decision on whether to retain Gen. Petraeus

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 07:44 PM
Original message
Obama would face tough decision on whether to retain Gen. Petraeus
Obama would face tough decision on whether to retain Gen. Petraeus
By Roxana Tiron
Posted: 07/14/08 07:39 PM


When Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) travels to Iraq later this year, he will probably meet with one of Americas most popular and most politicized generals: David Petraeus.

Beyond presidential campaign tactics, that meeting could also provide early hints of whether Obama, if elected president, would keep Petraeus as the U.S. general in charge of both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Obama already finds himself in a delicate position: risking to go against the general whose plan to temporarily increase the number of U.S. troops in Iraq quelled insurgent violence, but also risking to alienate the liberal base, which vehemently opposed the so-called surge, and has been pushing for troop withdrawal.

The Illinois senator has vowed to change the war policies of the Bush administration, but replacing the officers whom the president has selected to carry out his orders is more politically challenging.

New presidents usually pick people in their own party for Cabinet and other high-profile government positions. Yet Democrats have not always followed that example at the Pentagon. For example, President Clinton in 1997 tapped then-Sen. William Cohen (R-Maine) to head the Defense Department.

more...

http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/obama-would-face-to...
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MadMaddie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 07:47 PM
Response to Original message
1. Get Rid of Petraeus and replace him with one of the Fired or
forceably retired Generals. Not a difficult decision at all.
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gateley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 07:49 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Good solution.
I'm ashamed that I don't recall the name of the last honcho who "retired" -- but he seemed to be a man of integrity.


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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 07:56 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. Put the band back together! Starting with Colin Powell. n/t
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rpannier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 07:57 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. Eric Shinseki
He called this debacle from the beginning
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tabasco Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 08:13 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. It would be a demotion for Shinseki to take over CENTCOM.
Since he was Chairman of the JCS. IIRC.

But he would be a good man for the job.

He might even be willing to come out of retirement to help us get out of this clusterfuck.
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wmbrew0206 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 07:41 AM
Response to Reply #11
15. Shinseki was not Chairman of the JCS.
Shinseki was Cheif of Staff for the Army.
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tabasco Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #1
10. Great idea.
It would be nice to reward the generals who showed the moral courage to oppose this criminal regime.
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wmbrew0206 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-16-08 06:33 AM
Response to Reply #1
26. Yeah, that ought to inspire a lot of our two and three star generals.
If you bring back a retired gneral, you are telling all the generals at the two and three star level who are eligible to take over that they are incomptent and can't handle the duties of the next level.

That is not the message a new Presidnet with no military experience wants to send to the military.
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gateley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 07:47 PM
Response to Original message
2. Boy, that's interesting. Never even thought of that.
Although I think he's highly regarded on one hand, I think it's believed he's pretty much a political animal, too.

Thanks babylonsister!

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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 07:48 PM
Response to Original message
3. This is simple
If Petraeus will snap a salute and follow his commander-in-chief's orders without bitching and complaining, then go ahead and keep him. But if not, then he should be fired.

It will be important to show the military who is boss. Bill Clinton never did that.
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MannyGoldstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 07:48 PM
Response to Original message
4. Why Would He Want To Boot Petraeus?
By almost all accounts, Petraeus has made the best of a horrible situation. He works for the President, so he can either do the President's bidding or quit. Given the catastrophic incompetence of his predecessors, I'm glad that Petreaus did not quit.
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 07:53 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. He also has lied for this admin., lipstick on a pig. I remember
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cherokeeprogressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 08:07 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. Replacing military commanders for political expediency = Bad Idea.
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tabasco Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 08:01 PM
Response to Reply #9
19. Replacing military commanders for lack of values = good idea.
Military leaders who lack moral courage are a disgrace to the uniform.

Petraeus is a gutless lackey of the republican party. His loyalty lies with neocons, not with the military or the Nation.
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Hugabear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 09:30 PM
Response to Reply #4
12. He lied before Congress. Last I checked, that was considered perjury
He sat there with a poker face, and told lie after lie about Iraq, painting a rosy picture in order to continue buying more time for the "surge". That alone should be reason enough to can his sorry ass.
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Hoof Hearted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 10:39 PM
Response to Reply #4
14. Maybe because he's a SHILL, appointed by Bush to make Bush look better?
It's a good guess.
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tishaLA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 10:32 PM
Response to Original message
13. what's tough? he's a political hack
Obama will take a blow from the RWers because he got rid of their beloved general, but he will say he needs someone committed to his mission, not the mission of this failed administration.
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wmbrew0206 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 07:54 AM
Response to Original message
16. Absolutely Not.
Edited on Tue Jul-15-08 07:56 AM by wmbrew0206
This is ridiculous.

First, Combatant Commanders are not political appointees that are changed when a new President is elected. Once appointed they serve a three to four year term. No President has ever relieved a Combatant Commander just because he was appointed by the previous administration. If you don't believe me name one Combatant Commander that was relieved because a new administration wanted someone else in that job. Doing so, would create a very bad precedent. If you relieve Petraeus, will you also relieve Ordierno? He is the general now in charge of Iraq and backed up everything Petreaus said to Congress. If you relieve Ordierno, who else will you relieve?

Second, Petraeus probably knows more about what is going on in Iraq than anyone, except Ordierno. If Obama wants the troops out in 16 months, Petraeus and Ordierno are probably the only generals who can do it. You will need the head of CentCom and the general in charge of Iraq working hand in hand to execute the redeployment.

Third, as others have pointed out, Petraeus is probably one of the brightest and most capable generals we have right now. He was given an order to win the war in Iraq. He developed and executed a strategy that took Iraq from the brink of a civil war to the point that it looks like we can begin to withdraw our troops and do a peaceful turn over their responsibilities to the Iraqi in 16 months. If Obama tells him to develop a strategy to figure out how to get all of our BCTs and RCTs out of Iraq in 16 months, he take the order and do everything he can to execute that order.

The question you need to be asking is whether or not Obama will retain Gates as SecDef.
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tabasco Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 08:15 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. Wtf are you talking about?
Why do you capitalize "Combatant Commander?" Wtf is that? Petraeus is Centcom commander. Centcom is a major command. There is no such military title as "Combatant Commander."

Generals have been relieved throughout history for incompetence, disloyalty, and insubordination.

The criminal, profiteering Bush administration has promoted generals who will lie for them, i.e., generals who lack moral courgae and loyalty to the troops. Petraeus is one of those officers. The one-star general who briefed the press on the "fierce firefight" during the Jessica Lynch recovery is another. There is ample reason to relieve the gutless Petraeus and others like him. The reason would not be simply a change in administation. The reason would be replacing incompetent leaders with competent leaders.

Your opinions on Petraeus are just your opinions. Others have different opinions. McClellan was one of the most well-liked commanders the Army ever had. Thank God Lincoln had the good sense to replace his dumb ass.
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wmbrew0206 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 09:59 PM
Response to Reply #20
24. Dude, get a clue
The title Combatant Commander refers to anyone of the the commanders of the five major unified commands: CentCom, EUCOM, PACCOM, SOUTHCOM and NORTHOM. These commands used to be referred to a Commander in Chief Central Command, but it was decided that there is only one Commander in Chief, so Rumsfield changed the name.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combatant_commander

Second, these appointments are not political appointments. You don't change out Combatant Commanders just because a new administration takes over. Since the Unified Commands were established, there is not one case of a President relieving a Unified Command Commander just because he didn't appoint him.

I am sorry but I don't consider Petraeus incompetent. Obama acknowledged the progress Petraeus' strategy had in his Op-Ed yesterday and in his speech today. I'd also take except to calling Petraeus "gutless." Look at Petraeus' Wiki page about what happened to him on a live fire range when he was a battalion commander. While the wiki page doesn't mention it, Petraeus later recommended the soldier who shot him for Ranger School (an honor). That doesn't sound like a gutless man to me.

If you relieve Petraeus, will you relieve Ordierno? I assume you think Ordierno is just as guilty as you believe Petraeus to be since he was Petraeus' deputy in Iraq. If you relieve both of them, who will you replace them with? Remember that you also have to execute a 16 month, heavy withdraw (that means taking your equipment with you) while finding two new generals to run Iraq and CentCom. Also, how will you expect these generals to be able to execute their mission when they are trying to take over the two most challenging billets in the Army and will not have time to get their own sense of what is needed?
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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 08:43 AM
Response to Original message
17. The question is what are Roxana Tiron's qualifications on the issue?
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wmbrew0206 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 08:56 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. Clearly she doesn't understand the issue that well since she can't even get her facts stragiht
Combatant Commanders normally serve three years, not two. They are also normally asked to serve a fourth year.
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kenny blankenship Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 08:22 PM
Response to Original message
21. Give him (Petraeus) a week to file his withdrawal plan
Edited on Tue Jul-15-08 08:22 PM by kenny blankenship
When he busts a gut crying about it instead of carrying out policy, cashier his ass for your choice of either insubordination or incompetence.
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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 09:20 PM
Response to Original message
22.  reading that article was a complete waste of time
just think of this---roxana was paid for writing this article.

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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 09:21 PM
Response to Original message
23. "quelled insurgent violence" - yet another lie from the media.
NT!

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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-16-08 05:00 AM
Response to Original message
25. There are a whole bunch of honest generals who got retired early for not going along with Rummy....
Edited on Wed Jul-16-08 05:01 AM by Hekate
Generals Taguba and Shinseki are only two. Then there's General Wes Clark, who was brilliant in the Kosovo War as Supreme Allied Commander.

President Obama should consider bringing some of the fired generals back, if they can be persuaded to return to uniform, rather than sticking with Petraeus.

Hekate

edited --typo -- should go to bed
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Thothmes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-16-08 08:01 AM
Response to Reply #25
27. In Clark's case
It was the action of Clinton administration that forced him into retirement. They appointed General Joseph Ralston to replace Clark as SacEur to take effect in April 2000. Clark was informed of this decision by Army Chief of Staff Shelton in July of 1999. Once he was replaced, without a follow on 4 star level assignment, he was required by law to retire.
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wmbrew0206 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-16-08 09:23 AM
Response to Reply #25
28. Thothmes is right, Clark was relieved by Cohen and Shelton, not Rumsfeld
The only point I'd disagree with him is that Shelton was Chairman of the JCS, not Chief of Staff of the Army.

Also, as I posted earlier, bringing back reitred generals is not a good idea. It sends a message to your two and three star generals that you think they are incompatent and cannot handle the duties of the billet of their next promotion.
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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-16-08 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. Sorry I mis-spoke. I knew Clark left before that. You're right about not bringing people back...
...but what a waste of some of them.

Hekate

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wmbrew0206 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-16-08 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. I agree it is a waste. I'd like to see a lot of them run for Congress
and get put on the Armed Services Committees so they can call BS on any general that tries to pull a fast one on Congress.
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-16-08 12:24 PM
Response to Original message
30. This is a no brainer! Can that ass kissing Petraeus!
Put someone like Admiral Fallon in charge!
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AtomicKitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-16-08 12:40 PM
Response to Original message
32. BushCo has politicized the military and Obama won't tolerate that.
* uses the cover of allegedly deferring to the commanders on the ground. Obama said as president he will set the mission for the military leaders to carry out.
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Baclava Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-16-08 01:21 PM
Response to Original message
33. There's more to the article.....Obama seems to support Petraeus
"When the surge was announced last year, liberal grassroots group MoveOn ran the notorious ads calling Petraeus General Betray-Us. Obama defended Petraeus at the time and since then, MoveOn has been more muted in its tactics against the war."

Obama has recently put even more distance between himself and MoveOn. Last week, he voted for, and congratulated Petraeus on, his confirmation as the head of Central Command with responsibility over Iraq, Afghanistan, the Middle East, East Africa and Central Asia.

Sen. Obama congratulates Gen. Petraeus on this important confirmation, and wishes him well in carrying out a broad range of responsibilities in a vital region to the United States, Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for the Obama campaign, told the New York Sun.

"kind words for Petraeus have fueled grumbling that the Illinois senator is moving toward the political center. Obama also angered his anti-war political base earlier this month by saying that he would refine his Iraq policy after he talks to the generals in that country."

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