Because Jon Stewart is at least mildly devilish, every single time I read or hear “General Petraeus” my mind is immediately flooded with the Daily Show’s rendition of Iraq Me Dave Petraeus.
It’s very vexing.
Anyway, some commentary:
- Danger Room thinks on a return to air war.
- Ackerman (who will soon also be Danger Room) pokes at Petraeus and Pakistan.
- David Wood, remaining one of my favorite war journalists, has a short but sweet dispatch on Petraeus in Afghanistan: Lost in the furor over the disgraced Gen. Stanley McChrystal is this simple truth: The counterinsurgency strategy championed by his successor, Gen. David Petraeus, works.
- Gulliver at Ink Spots evaluates the savviness of the Petraeus pick.
- Dennis Murphy at the Army’s DIME blog weighs in with a strategic critique of RollingStan.
- In this morning’s At War, Dexter Filkins and John Burns answer commenter queries about McC and Petraeus. While it has not yet gone batshit, I await that inevitability.
- Tom Ricks’ Washington Post op-ed should be read with the context of Ricks’ close understanding of Petraeus, and also in his reiteration of two key points: first, that Petraeus is very skilled at fostering cohesion within his command, and second, that such cohesion relies to a great degree on effective civilian counterparts (which are in short supply in the region). Several people have chimed in to suggest that ousting McChrystal gives Obama sufficient cause to re-evaluate his civilian personnel as well, which I think it true, but I suspect unlikely. Obama has already assumed the risk of replacing his military command. It would appear to be fickle to replace Eikenberry and Holbrooke in the same house-cleaning, only a year after his strategy is put into place. Now, Eik and Holbrooke weren’t present at the Rose Garden statement yesterday, so it may very well be that their shuffling is on the horizon. Certainly it would be best for Petraeus to go in with people he can count on. But replacing your top three guys in a short period of time will feed a perception of ineffectiveness that may be more harmful than Eik or Holbrooke’s actually ineffectiveness.
- And Jason Sigger points us all to the prize-winning political cartoon of the week: