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Mon Jan 23, 2012, 11:31 AM

One of the reasons Republicans hate Pres Obama - unlike Bush, he doesn't do what the Pentagon says

Gen. David Petraeus: ‘The troops can’t quit’

“It’s ‘open the envelope time,’ ” Gen. David Petraeus told his security team as his SUV approached the White House on June 21, 2011, for his final meeting with President Obama on the drawdown of forces from Afghanistan. Petraeus had returned to Washington from his command in Kabul for consultations with Obama on the drawdown, and for a Senate committee hearing on his nomination to become the next director of the CIA. On the way from the Pentagon, retired Army general Jack Keane, a mentor and former vice chief of staff of the Army, e-mailed Petraeus with rumors of what he was hearing: The White House was going to recommend 10,000 troops depart by the end of 2011, with the remaining 23,000 surge forces out by the summer of 2012, a far more drastic timetable for withdrawal than Petraeus had recommended.

“Biden wins, Petraeus loses” was the headline the following morning as news of the president’s decision began to leak. “That’s not the issue,” Petraeus told one of his confidants. “This is not about one person’s rep; it’s about achieving our national objectives.”
Keane, the retired general, denounced the decision and told Petraeus in another e-mail that it appeared to undermine his counterinsurgency campaign just as it was finally gaining momentum. “My god, Dave, they just pushed your recommendations aside and changed the war fundamentally. What a mess,” Keane wrote. Petraeus did not respond.

Conservative writer Max Boot, whom Petraeus respected, was outraged by the speech. He told Petraeus that if he wanted to quit and run for president, he would work on his campaign. Petraeus told him quitting was not the answer. He certainly didn’t intend to run for president, either. As a student and practitioner of civil-military relations, Petraeus had thought at length about the subject of resignation in protest, turning it over in his mind many times. He was well steeped in the theory and practice and pitfalls of civil-military relations. Military decision making and the use of force as they related to civil-military relations had been foundations of his doctoral research.

Petraeus fully subscribed to the oath of office, including obeying “the orders of the President of the United States and the officers appointed over me.” Obama’s decision to draw down forces faster than he had recommended did not, in his mind, begin to approach the threshold for such an extraordinary action as resignation. He thought it would have been a selfish, grandstanding move with huge political ramifications. He had had ample opportunity to provide input and give his best advice, and now it was time to salute and carry on.


Excerpted from “All In: The Education of General David Petraeus” by Paula Broadwell with Washington Post staff writer Vernon Loeb, to be published by Penguin Press on Monday.

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Reply One of the reasons Republicans hate Pres Obama - unlike Bush, he doesn't do what the Pentagon says (Original post)
Pirate Smile Jan 2012 OP
zbdent Jan 2012 #1

Response to Pirate Smile (Original post)

Mon Jan 23, 2012, 12:04 PM

1. funny ... wasn't there admiration of Bush43 because he didn't do (with Iraq) what

his advisers told him?

I even remember a local (Akron Beacon Journal) turd making an editorial cartoon, with a man and his son looking at the Lincoln Memorial, and saying "Didn't listen to his generals, either ..."

I guess IOKIYAR ... as usual ...

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