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Old 01-13-2011   #161
SteveMetz
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Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
To elevate him to the same rank and status as William T. Sherman, and MacArthur, would be a travesty.
Sherman was not a five star.

I also think the notion is not a good one. I can't see the purpose. Perhaps if there actually is a decisive victory at some point rather than stabilize-and-disengage.
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Old 01-13-2011   #162
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Default Zenpundit raises compelling arguments

against awarding GEN Petraeus 5 stars - practical ones. In WW II American 4 stars were clearly outranked by British Field Marshals. Imagine how Montgomery would have dealt with Ike as a 4 star after he (M) had been promoted to FM. Today, that issue does not exist. But who is the senior American officer, a 5 star field commander or the 4 star CJCS (senior officer by law)? Nice sentiment, not practical or necessary.

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Old 01-13-2011   #163
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Ranks should not be rewards.

Give him a Schwartzkopf-like victory parade in NYC IF he wins a war.

Respice te, hominem te memento.
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Old 01-13-2011   #164
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We should be discussing how to reduce several hundred collective 'stars' from our current inventory, not how to add one.
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Old 01-13-2011   #165
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Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
I can fault it. It's nonsense. Patraeus is in no measure even close to military achievements of men who like Abrams, or even the highly dubious George Patton who never got five-stars. To elevate him to the same rank and status as William T. Sherman, and MacArthur, would be a travesty.

If nothing else, Iraq and Afghanistan are minute conflicts compared to the Civil and Second World Wars, so what has he done to deserve even being discussed?
Oh, I don't disagree with you - Iraq and Afghanistan are minute when compared to other things and they aren't and never were wars of survival. Historically, I'd put him on the level of a Westmoreland or an Abrams - commanded large numbers of U.S. forces in dirty side wars. He just has a better press agent then the others (especially Westmoreland, who gets more bad press then he deserves).

However, he was the central figure of American conflicts in the 2000s. What I'm saying is I can't fault the perception that he was the military figure of the first, conflict-ridden decade of the 21st century. I don't really agree with the common perception that everything he touched turned to gold (it's Lawrence of Arabia-esque) and, like others have said, "stars aren't rewards".

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We should be discussing how to reduce several hundred collective 'stars' from our current inventory, not how to add one.
Start with LCol/Col to get rid of inflationary pressure from the bottom. For some reason, Americans more then others have loved to over-promote. When we send guys internationally, we generally have to promote them 1 rank higher to do the same job in a NATO (American) setting.
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Old 01-13-2011   #166
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Dumb idea. GEN Petraeus is serving the country superbly but the scale of forces involved does not compare to those under the command of Ike, Brad, and Mac. We don't make good company commanders colonels just because they are doing a good job commanding a company.

Or a compromise, if dumb idea gives a hint of being too judgemental and not inclusive of other points of view . If Afghanistan turns out well, make GEN Petraeus a 5 star after a 193 year interval like we did with G. Washington.
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Old 01-15-2011   #167
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The fifth star hasn't always had a stellar pedigree. William Manchester's American Caesar doesn't exactly paint a flowery portrait of MacArthur. Fleet Admiral's Leahy and King were political creatures whose fifth star was largely a reward for proximity to power. Halsey made some fairly large mistakes, the largest of which was sailing his fleet into a typhoon and killing a lot of his men. I'm hard pressed to find an exemplary reason for Hap Arnold's fifth star.

A decent argument could be made that a fifth star is more political reward than merit based. As Zen points out, the only functional way Petraeus could wear a fifth star would be as CJCS, the most political position in the military. While I can respect the purist's views that these wars have not been wars of national survival, they've been wars nonetheless.
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Old 01-19-2011   #168
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If the criteria is a 'win' in Iraq, Afghanistan or Pakistan, then Petraeus should be giving back some tarnished metal.

On the other hand, if you like sycophantic knob polishing, he's your guy:

http://www.pierretristam.com/Bobst/07/wf100507.htm
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Old 01-19-2011   #169
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamG View Post
Op-Eds are proto-blogs, right?
So what's the Peanut Gallery think about this?


A Fifth Star for David Petraeus
By Pete Hegseth & Wade Zirkle
The Wall Street Journal
Thursday, January 13, 2011



Article link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...514563178.html
Just to note, it is incorrect to refer to any person holding the grade of ''General of the Armies of the United States'' as a ''five star general''. No official insignia for the grade was ever established. The only persons who can be reasonably referred to as ''five star generals'' are the five officers who actually held the grade of ''general of the army''.

Also, to note, it is incorrect to refer to Pershing and Washington as the only persons to ever hold the grade of ''General of the Armies of the United States''. Ulysses S. Grant. William Sherman and Philip Sheridan also held the grade. The legislative act of 1866 which established the grade of ''General of the Army of the United States'' referred to it as a revival of the office previously established for Washington. The grade held by Grant, Sherman and Sheridan is entirely distinct from, and senior to, the ''four star'' rank of modern full generals, and being equivalent to the grade held by Washington and Pershing, is senior to the ''five star'' grade of ''general of the army''.

As for the merits of the proposed promotion, I see no grounds for that. Petraeus has performed well in two relatively small-scale COIN-centric wars but no decisive victory yet has been obtained in either conflict. Promotion to a rank held by senior leaders in a global-scale war hardly seems merited. And frankly, the implied comparison between Washington, a man leading a newly forming nation in a desperate struggle for independence, and Petraeus, a theater commander fighting terrorists and insurgents in far-off lands is entirely absurd.
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Old 02-08-2011   #170
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Default FT Interview Transcript: General David Petraeus

FT Interview Transcript: General David Petraeus

Entry Excerpt:

FT Interview Transcript: General David Petraeus: General David Petraeus, the commander of NATO and U.S. forces in Afghanistan, spoke to Matthew Green, the Financial Times Afghanistan and Pakistan correspondent, at his headquarters in Kabul on February 6.



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Old 02-10-2011   #171
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Default Talking to General Petraeus

Talking to General Petraeus

Entry Excerpt:



In an exclusive interview with NATO TV, ISAF Commander General David Petraeus says he expects violence to increase again this year as he continues his counter-insurgency campaign across Afghanistan but he is seeing signs of discord appear within the Taliban.



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Old 02-15-2011   #172
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Default General Petraeus 'to quit as Afghanistan commander'

General David Petraeus is expected to leave his role as commander of US and Nato forces in Afghanistan as part of changes to be introduced by the Pentagon.

Quote:
. . . speculation on his next role has also included becoming Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the post from which Mike Mullen is expected to retire in October. There have also been suggestions that he could become Defence Secretary.

Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary said: "I can assure you General Petraeus is not quitting as ISAF commander, but nor does he plan to stay in Afghanistan forever. Obviously he will rotate out at some point, but that point has not yet been determined and it will not occur anytime soon. Until then, he will continue to ably lead our coalition forces in Afghanistan."
"Quit" is not the best word to describe this.
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Old 02-16-2011   #173
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Apparently his deputy Rodriguez may also step down. If so what would that do for unity of command (and the stragey laid out for the theatre)? And, perhaps more pertinently, who would replace Petreaus if/when he does go and what efefct would that have on the war effort?
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Old 02-16-2011   #174
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Originally Posted by Tukhachevskii View Post
Apparently his deputy Rodriguez may also step down. If so what would that do for unity of command (and the stragey laid out for the theatre)? And, perhaps more pertinently, who would replace Petreaus if/when he does go and what efefct would that have on the war effort?
"Quit" and "step down" are totally inaccurate characterizations, and LTG Rodriguez is not GEN Petraeus' deputy, he is a subordinate commander.

I think that, after 16 months in theater (on this tour), GEN Petraeus will become the CJCS when ADM Mullen retires in Oct.

I think that, after 24 months in theater (again, on this tour), LTG Rodriguez will get promoted, but I don't know where he will go.

There are a number of options to replace both officers. For GEN Petraeus, top choices include GEN Odierno (currently CG, JFCOM, which is going away) and GEN Austin (currently CG, USF-I, which is also going away, although the timing for GEN Austin doesn't work.

As far as LTG Rodriguez is concerned, they have already announced that LTG Scaparotti (currently CG, I Corps) will take over
http://www.nwguardian.com/2011/01/06...tions-for.html
Since LTG Scaparotti followed LTG Rodriguez as CG, 82nd ABN (and CG, RC-East), including serving as RC-East under LTG Rodriguez, I don't see that there will be too many issues.
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Old 02-16-2011   #175
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"Quit" and "step down" are totally inaccurate characterizations, and LTG Rodriguez is not GEN Petraeus' deputy, he is a subordinate commander.

I think that, after 16 months in theater (on this tour), GEN Petraeus will become the CJCS when ADM Mullen retires in Oct.

I think that, after 24 months in theater (again, on this tour), LTG Rodriguez will get promoted, but I don't know where he will go.

There are a number of options to replace both officers. For GEN Petraeus, top choices include GEN Odierno (currently CG, JFCOM, which is going away) and GEN Austin (currently CG, USF-I, which is also going away, although the timing for GEN Austin doesn't work.

As far as LTG Rodriguez is concerned, they have already announced that LTG Scaparotti (currently CG, I Corps) will take over
http://www.nwguardian.com/2011/01/06...tions-for.html
Since LTG Scaparotti followed LTG Rodriguez as CG, 82nd ABN (and CG, RC-East), including serving as RC-East under LTG Rodriguez, I don't see that there will be too many issues.
Thanks for the clarification redleg.
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Old 02-16-2011   #176
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These guys have both served long and well. It is time for a more civilian-led strategy that is more able to take down the sanctuary that we have built around the Karzai government (per the COlonial INtervention Mannual, FM 3-24) and put the hard pressure where it really needs to be. Not drone strikes into the FATA, but rather 'striking" at the drones in Kabul who designed and run this government behind the protection of the Coalition.

More likely a Marine will be named, and he will continue the same focus, but with more emphasis in killing that element of the populace that feels greater afinity with the Taliban than with their own government; and press for a "decent interval" of suppression that allows us to declare "victory" and slip away...
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"The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)
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Old 02-16-2011   #177
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More likely a Marine will be named, and he will continue the same focus, but with more emphasis in killing that element of the populace that feels greater afinity with the Taliban than with their own government;
Don't they try to limit the killing of elements of the population with great affinity for Taliban & company to those who shoot at us, plant bombs and send night letters-or have they loosened the rules of engagement lately?
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Last edited by carl; 02-16-2011 at 01:51 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 02-16-2011   #178
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Don't they try to limit the killing of elements of the population with great affinity for Taliban & company to those who shoot at us, plant bombs and send night letters-or have they loosened the rules of engagement lately?
They do try, but they are all afghan civilians. How much of one's populace must one kill, or have some foreign military kill on one's behalf in order to gain their support?

No nuance of ROE changes the nature of the combatants. All are civilians, and only a portion take up arms. Those with arms are the surface of the iceberg of those who share the same perspective but that take less agressive roles, or choose to wait and see. The problem with an ROE that focuses on blowing the top off of the iceberg is that it merely enables more of the iceberg to emerge, while adding ice to the water, making the base larger.
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"The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)
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Old 02-16-2011   #179
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How much of one's populace must one kill, or have some foreign military kill on one's behalf in order to gain their support?
Couldn't this question be turned around to apply to Taliban & company in that they often resort to savage terror to gain and maintain control of areas, there are a number of Pakistanis in their ranks and they are supported heavily by a foreign military (the Pak Army/ISI)?
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Old 02-16-2011   #180
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Couldn't this question be turned around to apply to Taliban & company in that they often resort to savage terror to gain and maintain control of areas, there are a number of Pakistanis in their ranks and they are supported heavily by a foreign military (the Pak Army/ISI)?
Sounds like we are in the middle of a big messy family squabble, aren't we?

The Taliban do not have "clean hands" and no one here argues that they do. Nor does anyone argue that a border was drawn by white men that breaks the Pashtun populace into those who are "Afghan" and those who are "Pakistani" (much as if someone came and painted a line through the middle of your home and divided your family.) Neither of those lines mean much to the divided party.

Does Pakistan support the Taliban cause? Of course they do, it is in their interest to do so. Does the U.S. support the (formerly pro-Russian) Northern Alliance cause? Of course we do, it is in our interest to do so; or at least was in those heady days post 9/11.

But if this is about the interests of the people of Afghanistan perhaps we should take a more neutral role and promote solutions that serve the entire populace, not just the half we jumped in bed with (against the half we were in bed with when the Soviets were the occupiers).

US interests are best served by stability; and stability is best served by finding common ground and shared governance that represents the entire populace equitably. Sure in the past we have jumped on various sides of the problem to swing results to favor specific results we desired. Once to oust the Soviets, and against to oust AQ. Time to shift our efforts to become more centrist and equitable if it is truly stability that we seek.

Reasonable minds can differ of course, but this is how I see it.
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"The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)
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