In the Arena

Why People Love Petraeus

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I just heard that General Petraeus has asked the very well respected Colonel H.R. McMaster to be part of his Iraq team. McMaster wrote a terrific book about Vietnam and successfully attempted to use counterinsurgency tactics in Tal Afar last year (although as with Petraeus in Mosul, the success diminished after McMaster’s team left). With McMaster and Colonel Pete Mansoor, who was the General’s lead counterinsurgency tactician at Fort Leavenworth, Petraeus has demonstrated that he is bringing the very best minds to the mission in Baghdad. “He’s not afraid of being surrounded by smart people,” an active-duty friend of mine said. “You’d be surprised how many generals are.”