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Thread: General Petraeus: collection

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    Default General Petraeus: collection

    Moderator's Note

    I have merged forty three threads and renamed this thread - it reflects my practice when a practitioner's views and consequent debate merit being in one place. A few threads have been excluded, such as those about his departure from USG service, as they are not 'small wars' and some appear to have a wider remit, comparing him with others. Those threads can be id'd by using Advanced Search with his name and searching thread titles (ends).


    From Council member MountainRunner's blog - General Petraeus on Goldwaters - Nichols & Private Security Contractors.

    ... When asked about the Goldwater-Nichols Act and its implications for improved civilian control and oversight of the military, along with the better coordination within the military establishment, Petraeus answered on the need for the next step of civil-military jointness in counterinsurgency (a not unfamiliar request, see last paragraph here):
    The integration of joint capabilities under the Goldwater-Nichols Act has been a success. Our military forces are more interoperable today than they ever have been in our nation’s history. This achievement has been remarkable. The next step is to ensure the ability of the military and civilian departments to work closely together. Counterinsurgency warfare requires a total commitment of the government – both military and civilian agencies – and unity of effort is crucial to success.

    One of the most pressing needs is for the creation of interagency doctrine for the prosecution of counterinsurgency and stability operations. The State Department Bureau of Political-Military Affairs has taken initial steps toward this end. During a conference hosted jointly by State and OSD, I proposed several actions that could help foster greater interagency capacity, and I recently seconded two majors from Fort Leavenworth (awaiting the start of the next School of Advanced Military Studies course) to the State Department to work this issue. Beyond development of doctrine in this area, there is discussion on creating an interagency Center for Complex Operations, which would be an intellectual clearinghouse for ideas and best practices in the many facets of irregular warfare. This appears to be a low-cost, but high-payoff, action that the Committee should consider supporting...
    More at the link...
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-02-2015 at 12:57 PM.

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    Council Member sgmgrumpy's Avatar
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    Default S/crs

    And another good read.

    THE STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICE OF RECONSTRUCTION AND
    STABILIZATION AND ITS INTERACTION WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
    By Colonel John C. Buss, United States Army

    In July 2004, President Bush created S/CRS and appointed Ambassador Carlos Pascual as its Coordinator.
    The agency was given a broad mandate to develop policy options to respond to failing and post-conflict states.
    The organization is staffed with representatives from the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International
    Development (USAID), DOD, Central Intelligence Agency, Army Corps of Engineers, Joint Forces Command,
    and Department of Treasury. The S/CRS mission is to “lead, coordinate, and institutionalize U.S. Government
    civilian capacity to prevent or prepare for post-conflict situations, and to help stabilize and reconstruct societies in
    transition from conflict or civil strife so they can reach a sustainable path toward peace, democracy and a market
    economy.”
    http://www.carlisle.army.mil/usacsl/...-S-CRS-DOD.pdf

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    Well, thats the way everyone ina uniform or the Pentagon read NSPDD-44 read that paragraph, S/CRS is tagged to be the interagency focal point. The State Department, including S/CRS, doen't read NSPDD-44 tha way at all. The problem right now is that State knows how to handle what we would call phase I, II, and III operations.

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    Default General Petraeus' Letter to MNF-I

    Received via e-mail:
    Headquarters
    Multi-National Force - Iraq
    Baghdad, Iraq
    APO AE 09342-1400

    February 10, 2007

    Office of the Commanding General

    To the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Civilians of Multi-National Force-Iraq:

    We serve in Iraq at a critical time. The war here will soon enter its fifth year. A decisive moment approaches. Shoulder-to-shoulder with our Iraqi comrades, we will conduct a pivotal campaign to improve security for the Iraqi people. The stakes could not be higher.

    Our task is crucial. Security is essential for Iraq to build its future. Only with security can the Iraqi government come to grips with the tough issues it confronts and develop the capacity to serve its citizens. The hopes of the Iraqi people and the coalition countries are with us.

    The enemies of Iraq will shrink at no act, however barbaric. They will do all that they can to shake the confidence of the people and to convince the world that this effort is doomed. We must not underestimate them.

    Together with our Iraqi partners, we must defeat those who oppose the new Iraq. We cannot allow mass murderers to hold the initiative. We must strike them relentlessly. We and our Iraqi partners must set the terms of the struggle, not our enemies. And together we must prevail.

    The way ahead will not be easy. There will be difficult times in the months to come. But hard is not hopeless, and we must remain steadfast in our effort to help improve security for the Iraqi people. I am confident that each of you will fight with skill and courage, and that you will remain loyal to your comrades-in-arms and to the values our natinos hold so dear.

    In the end, Iraqis will decide the outcome of this struggle. Our task is to help them gain the time they need to save their country. To do that, many of us will live and fight alongside them. Together, we will face down the terrorists, insurgents, and criminals who slaughter the innocent. Success will require discipline, fortitude, and initiative--qualities that you have in abundance.

    I appreciate your sacrifices and those of your families. Now, more than ever, your commitment to service and your skill can make the difference between victory and defeat in a very tough mission.

    It is an honor to soldier again with the members of the Multi-National Force-Iraq. I know that wherever you serve in this undertaking you will give your all. In turn, I pledge my commitment to our mission and every effort to achieve success as we help the Iraqis chart a course to a brighter future.

    Godspeed to each of you and to our Iraqi comrades in this crucial endeavor.


    //Signed//
    DAVID H. PATRAEUS
    General, United States Army
    Commanding

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    Default Thanks Jed!

    That was most certainly worthy of a SWJ blog entry... Also submitted to Real Clear Politics for a vote...

    Dave

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    Default What does it say?

    I have a lot of respect for GEN Petraeus, but this letter really doesn't say much, and perhaps it should not, other than what it does say, we all need to row together in the rough seas ahead, and I'll be here rowing hard with you. Good luck and thank you.

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    Council Member 120mm's Avatar
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    Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!
    You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have
    striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The
    hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.
    In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on
    other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war
    machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of
    Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

    Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well
    equipped and battle hardened. He will fight savagely.

    But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of
    1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats,
    in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their
    strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home
    Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions
    of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men.
    The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to
    Victory!

    I have full confidence in your courage and devotion to duty and skill in
    battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory!

    Good luck! And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great
    and noble undertaking.


    SIGNED: Dwight D. Eisenhower

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    GEN Patraeus' second letter to MNF-I, 15 Mar 07:
    Members of MNF-I:

    I've been on the ground for about a month now and wanted to share some early thoughts with you.

    First, and foremost, I want to note how impressed I have been by your professionalism, skill, and determination. In my vists to units all over Iraq, I have repeatedly seen a true will to win and a sincere desire to help our Iraqi partners achieve success. These observations give me confidence that we and our Iraqi counterparts *will* be able to improve the level of security for the Iraqi people -- though I recognize that it won't be easy or without frustration and setbacks. You know as well as I do how challenging an endeavor this is.

    Improving security for Iraq' population is, of course, the overriding objective of our strategy. Accomplishing this missino requires carrying out complex military operations *and* convincing the Iraqi people that we will not just "clear" their neighborhoods of the enemy, we will also stay and help "hold" the neighborhoods so that the "build" phase that many of their communities need can go forward. Helping ensure enduring security in Iraqi neighborhoods not only helps Iraqi official make the most of the opportunity that we and our Iraqi counterparts will create, it also helps ensure that our Iraqi counterparts are fully ready to accept the eventual hand-off of the responsibilities to them.

    Operation Fardh al Qanoon -- the Iraqi name for the operation to improve security in Baghdad -- is in its early stages. Success will take months, not day or weeks, and there undoubtedly are many tough days ahead. Nonetheless, because of your hard work with our Iraqi partners, some encouraging signs are already emerging: sectarian murders are down and sectarian displacement appears to have slowed or even stopped, with increasing numbers of families returning to their homes. It already appears that the Joint Security Stations and Combat Outposts you are establishing are making their presence felt and helping restore a sense of hope to the Iraqi people, block-by-block.

    Your efforts will provide Iraqi leaders an opportunity to resolve the serious political challenges they confront, reconcile their sectarian issues, and forge the way ahead for the new Iraq--thereby giving all Iraqi citizens a stake in their new country. From my vantage point, I believe the Iraqi political leadership is committed to moving in the right direction, despite being pulled in different directions by various political parties, sectarian influences, and ethnic pressures. They are realistic, however, and they recognize, as we do, that resolving the many challenges facing Iraq will not be easy.

    Beyond that, although most Iraqis want a future of peace, opportunity, and increasing prosperity, there clearly are some individuals and groups with whom the Government of Iraq will not be able to reconcile--soulless thugs who violently reject the goals of the new Iraq. They will not be won over by Iraqi political action; rather, there appears to be no alternative to Iraqi and Coalition Forces bringing them to justice so that they cannot inflict further barbarism on the Iraqi people.

    The environment in Iraq is the most challenging that I have seen in over 32 years of service. Indeed, few soldiers have ever had to contend with the reality of an enemy willing to blow himself up for his twisted cause. In view of that, as you conduct your daily operations, remember that you have every right to protect yourself, even as you attempt to prevent situations from escalating without good reason.

    I also want you to be aware of my recognition that our focus on security the population means that many of you will live in the neighborhoods you're securing. That is, in fact, the right way to secure the population--and it means that you will, in some cases, operate in more austere conditions than you did before we adjusted our mission and focus. Rest assured that we will do everything we can to support you as we implement the new plans. This approach is necessary, because we can't commute to the fight in counterinsurgency operations; rather, we have to live with the population we are securing. As you carry out the new approach, I also count on each of you to embrace the warrior-builder-diplomat spirit as we grapple with the demands that securing the population and helping it rebuild will require.

    Tom Brokaw spent some time with the unit I was privileged to command in Iraq a few years ago and, after seeing all that our troopers were doing, he said to me: "You know, General, the World War II generation may have been 'the Greatest Generation,' but the soldiers I've seen today surely must be 'the new Greatest Generation'." I agreed with him then, and I agree with him even more now. You should, in short, be quietly proud not just of what you're doing and how you're doing it, but also of the individuals on your left and right with whom you're priviliged to serve.

    **Thanks** for the sacrifices that you and your families are making.

    //Original Signed//
    David H. Petraeus
    General, United States Army
    Commanding

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    If I were 30 years younger, I'd be there, no doubt about it.

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    I like Round 2. More tangible than Round 1, speaking a good bit closer to the warriors than the world. Although clearly all are watching. It has to be hard to write something under those circumstances.

    I just wish he had said years instead of "months, not days or weeks." And that the political apparatus would give him that commitment.

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    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default Round 2

    Doesn't the General have somebody checking his letters before they go out ?

    I also want you to be aware of my recognition that our focus on security the population means that many of you will live in the neighborhoods you're securing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Reber View Post
    Doesn't the General have somebody checking his letters before they go out ?
    I understand that several LTs were flogged and a CPT spent the day in stocks with PFCs throwing vegitables at him as a result of that error.

    SFC W

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    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default A good NCO will do just fine Sir !

    You bet, Uboat 509 !
    He should've had just one good NCO

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    Default General Petraeus accused by NBC's Andrea Mitchell

    Think Progress, Atrios and other Liberal and Left-wing blogs are circulating charges by NBC's Andrea Mitchell that General Petraeus met with the Republican Senate Caucus to " plot" political strategy.

    I am somewhat skeptical that this characterization of the particulars of the General's DC visit is accurate. Does anyone have any information on Petraeus' schedule ?

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    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    Not sure if the word "plot" should be quoted, since Mitchell does not use that word. Essentially she is saying that the Republican caucus told Petraeus that he has until August to show real progress or else they were going to go with the Democrats and pull funding for the surge.

    Interesting that Joe Klein, another veteran Washington insider, didn't appear to agree with Mitchell that the message was given.

    I wouldn't be surprised if such a message was communicated, however, given the radical unpopularity of both the President and the war.

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    General David Petraeus’ Letter to the Iraqi People, 7 Apr 07:
    To the Iraqi People:

    Monday, April 9, 2007 will mark the 4th anniversary of the liberation of Iraq from Saddam Hussein's regime. For many in Iraq and around the world, it will be a time for reflection on the early days after liberation in 2003 and on what has transpired since then.

    As one of those who was part of the "fight to Baghdad,” I remember well the hopes and dreams of the Iraqi people when coalition soldiers pulled down Saddam’s statue in Firdos Square in April 2003. Looking back, I recall a sense of enormous promise -- promise that, in many respects and for a variety of reasons, has yet to be fully realized. If we are honest with each other, in fact, we will acknowledge that while there have been substantial accomplishments in Iraq since 2003, the past four years have also been disappointing, frustrating, and increasingly dangerous in many parts of Iraq for those who have been involved in helping to build a new state in this ancient land.

    On this April 9th, some Iraqis reportedly may demonstrate against the coalition force presence in Iraq. That is their right in the new Iraq. It would only be fair, however, to note that they will be able to exercise that right because coalition forces liberated them from a tyrannical, barbaric regime that never would have permitted such freedom of expression.

    Those who take to the streets should recall, moreover, that were it not for the actions of coalition forces in 2003 (and, to be sure, actions by Iraqi, as well as coalition, forces since then), they also would not have been able to celebrate the recent religious holidays as they did in such massive numbers. Nor would they have been able to select their leaders by free and democratic elections, vote on their constitution, or take at least the initial steps toward establishment of a government that is representative of, and responsive to, all Iraqis.

    It is particularly important to me that "Najafis,” the citizens of Najaf, recall these facts, for in 2003 I was privileged to command the 101st Airborne Division, the unit that liberated the holy city of Najaf and its sister city, Kufa. The battle of Najaf was, in fact, our first significant combat action in Iraq. Following its conclusion, we went on to defeat the elements of Saddam's army and the Saddam Fedayeen that fought us in Kifl, Karbala, and Al Hillah, before securing and stabilizing southern Baghdad, Haditha, and, eventually, Mosul and Ninevah Province. Our soldiers sacrificed greatly to give the Najafis and millions of other Iraqis the freedoms, however imperfect they may be, that they enjoy today.

    While the establishment of the new Iraq has included a number of noteworthy achievements, it has also had its share of setbacks. Indeed, the coalition's efforts have not been without mistakes. I acknowledged a number of them during my appearance before the Senate Armed Services Committee in January.

    I would add, however, that the coalition has, at the least, consistently sought to learn from its mistakes. And, when those mistakes have involved unacceptable conduct, coalition authorities have taken administrative and legal action against those responsible. The coalition has, despite its occasional missteps, worked hard to serve all Iraqis and to bolster those who support a new Iraq founded on the principles now enshrined in the Iraqi Constitution.

    Iraq, four years after liberation, faces serious challenges. The sectarian violence that escalated after the Samarra mosque bombing in 2006 was an enormous setback. Indeed, it tore the very fabric of Iraqi society. The damage done is still readily apparent in various neighborhoods of Baghdad and in many areas outside the capital.

    Now Iraqi and coalition security forces are engaged in a renewed effort to improve security for the Iraqi people and to provide Iraq's leaders an opportunity to come to grips with the tough issues that must be dealt with to help foster reconciliation among the people of Iraq and to enable achievement of conditions that permit the withdrawal of coalition forces.

    As the commander of the coalition forces in Iraq, and having given some 2-1/2 years of my life to this endeavor, I would like to take this opportunity to call for support of the new security plan. I ask all Iraqis to reject violence and the foreigners who fuel it with their money, arms, ammunition, training, and misguided young men. Beyond that, I ask, as well, for all Iraqis to notify Iraqi or coalition forces when those who would perpetrate violence on their fellow citizens or security forces enter their neighborhoods.
    Coalition soldiers liberated Iraq from Saddam's "Republic of Fear." Now Iraqis must reject those who seek to drive wedges between people who have, in the past, lived in harmony in the Land of the Two Rivers. This is a time for Iraqis to demonstrate to the world their innate goodness, their desire to respect those of other sects and ethnic groups, and their wish to stitch back together the fabric of Iraqi society. Only in this way can Iraqis make the most of the opportunity that Iraqi and coalition security forces are striving to give them. And only in this way can the dreams of those who live in a country so rich in blessings and promise be fully realized.
    With respect,

    David H. Petraeus,
    General, United States Army,
    Commander Multi-National Force-Iraq

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    One can only imagine the slaughter and chaos that would ensue if US forces pulled out as fast as they entered Iraq. Poof! Gone in 3 weeks, everything not needed for the pullout and redeployment burned and blown up. With all the security, maintanence and jobs evaported on the spot, I'm sure they would be dancing in the streets for days on end. After a couple of days when the water and electricity quit running for good, they could erect statues of saddam again, make pilgrimages to his grave and long for the good old days. They could have lots of blood, sewage and garbage on their streets but at least the Americans would be gone. Sorry for the bitterness, but on a bad day here on the home front, it's what I would like to see done. On a real bad day, I'd take out all their refineries too.

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    Default Gen. David Petraeus on 'FOX News Sunday'

    Transcript: Gen. David Petraeus on 'FOX News Sunday'


    WALLACE: General, you talked briefly before about the fact that you're trying to split off some of the Sunni insurgents from Al Qaeda, especially out in Anbar province, and in fact, you've even gone to the lengths of arming some of the Sunni insurgents to fight Al Qaeda.

    How do you know — or do you worry that they are going to end up using those weapons to either attack U.S. forces or to fight their civil war against the Shiites?

    And how do you respond — we understand that aides to Prime Minister Maliki objected strongly about arming Sunni insurgents to Defense Secretary Gates yesterday, so how do you respond to that concern?

    PETRAEUS: Well, those are legitimate concerns, and we have the same concerns. We have a good discussion going with the government of Iraq.

    As I mentioned, the process really is to identify these individuals, try to vet them as best we can. By the way, we do biometric data on all of them. We link that to serial numbers of weapons and so forth.

    And then what you want to do is you want to get them linked into legitimate government of Iraq institutions, starting out perhaps as what are called police support units; then, as they prove themselves, getting a ticket to the police academy so they can become full-fledged police, or volunteering for the Iraqi army.

    The fact is that over time in any of these conflicts, individuals at some point have had to end up sitting across the table from those who at best tacitly were aware of what was going on against their adversary, and that we perhaps aided and abetted it.

    Interestingly, we have a British three-star general — my deputy is the head of our particular effort here, the engagement and reconciliation cell that we have established in part because they've had some pretty tough experience in this regard themselves, having sat down at tables in northern Ireland and other places with individuals who, say, 10 years earlier were swinging pipes against their lads.

    That's been instructive for us. We think that it has been carried out with sufficient safeguards in Anbar province. It has certainly completely changed the dynamics of Anbar province.

    And now, by the way, you see a bottom-up political activity that is also ongoing, where city councils, neighborhood councils and so forth are getting elected and are gradually tying into the provincial council which, of course, ties into the government of Iraq.

    We're even seeing that in some of the neighborhoods in Baghdad where neighborhood councils had ceased to exist because of the security threat, and they are now coming back to life as well.

    Again, those are legitimate concerns. They are legitimate discussions with Prime Minister Maliki. He supported strongly what was going on in Anbar province.

    It gets much tougher when you get into the mixed neighborhoods near Baghdad in the Baghdad belts, and we're all working together to try to ensure that there are safeguards so that we're not arming individuals who eventually take up arms against the government....
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,283553,00.html

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    Default Petraeus: Iraq 'Challenges' to Last for Years

    18 June Washington Post - Petraeus: Iraq 'Challenges' to Last for Years by Karen DeYoung.

    Conditions in Iraq will not improve sufficiently by September to justify a drawdown of U.S. military forces, the top commander in Iraq said yesterday.

    Asked whether he thought the job assigned to an additional 30,000 troops deployed as the centerpiece of President Bush's new war strategy would be completed by then, Gen. David H. Petraeus replied: "I do not, no. I think that we have a lot of heavy lifting to do."

    Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker, his diplomatic counterpart in Baghdad, said a key report they will deliver to Washington in September will include what Crocker called "an assessment of what the consequences might be if we pursue other directions." Noting the "unhelpful roles" being played by Iran and Syria in Iraq, Crocker said: "We've got to consider what could happen."...

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    Default Petraeus and Reid

    19 June Washington Times commentary - Petraeus and Reid by Michael O'Hanlon.

    Sen. Harry Reid's recent statements questioning the forthrightness of Gen. David Petraeus in reporting on conditions in Iraq are unseemly and unfair. Gen. Petraeus is a remarkable general, one of our best in modern American history, and his bravery and commitment to the nation in Iraq and elsewhere have been exemplary.

    There is a legitimate question behind Mr. Reid's statements. How much do we really want to trust the diagnosis of how a war is going to a man hired to go out and win that war, and a man in uniform sworn to obey his civilian leadership, no less? But before getting to that, it is important to take on Mr. Reid's critique, because it is wrongheaded and should be retracted.

    First, a word on Gen. Petraeus, whom I have known for 20 years since we were in doctoral studies together at Princeton. Those who also know him will not be surprised to learn that while most of us took the standard five or six years to finish our Ph.D.s at the Woodrow Wilson School, Gen. Petraeus was done in two. He has been a prodigy throughout his career, and admittedly a little lucky too, surviving a bullet to the upper right chest and a failed parachute among smaller mishaps.

    Gen. Petraeus' preparation for this job could not have been much better...

    Rather than pillory Gen. Petraeus, Mr. Reid might better think of how we can get him some help by September when the big showdown is expected over the next Iraq spending bill. The best idea may be an Iraq Study Group II, led by the likes of former Sen. Sam Nunn and Retired Gen. Tony Zinni, that would help assess trends in Iraq and propose alternatives to the surge if needed (as seems likely). That, rather than a debate over whether Gen. Petraeus should in MacArthur-like fashion be expected to make our Iraq policy for us, would be a more productive avenue for the majority leader to pursue.

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