"The Petraeus Generation"

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by Just_A_Mom, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom 10-Year Member

    Jul 9, 2006
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    Cover of the March 24th issue of Newsweek:


    The link to the Newsweek article:
  2. bruno

    bruno 10-Year Member Retired Staff Member

    Feb 2, 2008
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    This is a pretty interesting article. I'm not sure why counterinsurgency fell out of favor as a serious subject for thought in the 80s and 90s (although they obviously did- I can't recall giving more than a passing nod to the subject in CGSC or in the Navy War College) but clearly Petraeous tactics are classic counterinsurgency ops and they seem to be working.Gen Petraeous correctly recognized that stability is the key to success in this insurgency and tailored his efforts to getting boots on the ground in the right place. Tough challenge for a young Infantry captain to suddenly become a combination of relatively impartial arbiter of justice, civil works coordinator, intelligence analyst as well as Infantry commander. While it's understandable that coopting the enemy may have a sour taste, it's also undeniable that the level of violence is way down in Baghdad. So- if the Iraqi Government can use this respite in the cycle of violence to start gaining some traction they can gain legitimacy- which is what we need to have in place in order to come home. It's too bad that it took multiple years for the leadership to recognize that we were not in a conventional war where the biggest gun barrels carry the day- but it is fortunate that Gen Petraeous came along before things became completely irretrievable. Should be a lesson here for all of those in love with thoughts about the "Revolution" in military affairs that technology promised- but I doubt it. Too many cool gizmos out there that "great military thinkers embrace- remember "netcentric" warfare of a few years ago? Again and again we overvalue gadgets and capabilities and undervalue the soldier on the ground like this young Company Commander.