Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Saveus Petraeus Again?
You start to become suspicious that our country, the USA, is blundering its way into a third-world status when its military heroes act like professors-- And that is what we have developed in General David Petraeus. This slouching toward mediocrity was apparent when the general was recently interviewed by NBC MEET THE PRESS, David Gregory.

Gregory like most US main stream media tends to grovel in interviews before military flag ranks. That is perhaps the reason most seem to be unable to ask follow-up question or press the flag officer for a reply when he avoids an answer. Pundits extoll Petraues because he exudes academic ooze that makes the press comfortable by identifying with its intellectual pomposity, Birds of a feather flock together."

My beef with professors who are put in high power positions outside academia is that they tend to try rabidly to prove pet theories they have developed; they also have the authority to implement them whether foolish or not. Sure there are exceptions, like Dr Harold Brown from CalTech that became a decent SEC DEF, but most prattle on as General Petraeus; the general desperately tries to promote his pet counter insurgency doctrine as a silver bullet to win colonial wars. In the Patreus case this not just an academic excursion--men die trying to implement his strategy and tactics.

Petraeus was assigned to command the the ARMY COMMAND AND GENRAL STAFF SCHOOL where he was put out to pasture, reassigned from a training command in Iraq over some difficulties over an accurate number of trained Iraqi security forces. He with the help of some USMC officers cooked up a field manual on counter insurgency--the tenets of doctrine were a rehash of everything the US tried and failed in Vietnam.. His policy, however, with massive bribes and 30,000 more troops-bought GWBush time in Iraq so he could pass the problem to the new administration to solve. It has not been solved until now by a long shot.

President Obama is learning slowly that his generals' advice is sometimes flawed--for certain they always need more money, more troops and more time. This is also a Petraeus refrain. Afghan leader Karzai is looking for separate peace with Taliban over the heads of the US NATO command.

Core to the US counterinsurgency doctrine is protection of the population, but the US/NATO command has a reputation of shooting first and asking questions later--that is according to Afghans all the way up to Karzai. So Petraeus 'snake oil may sell but not work. And the US will sink deeper into a costly Asian land war

DID you hear that recently relieved General Mc Chrystal will start to teach leadership at Yale University? Name of the course is HOW NOT TO FOLLOW THE LEADER. Perhaps there is a message there for the followers of General Saveus Petraeus--Colonel Robert E Bartos USA Ret


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