In the Arena

Shaking up the Army

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Fred Kaplan of Slate is excellent, as always, in his analysis of the importance of David Petraeus coming home, briefly, to chair the Army promotions board.

I agree with Matt Yglesias’s concerns, especially this one:

The trouble here is that though the counterinsurgency people are, I think, generally correct about the sort of scenarios we should be preparing our military for, Iraq is, at this point, completely lacking in strategic rationale. But the two ideas — should we be fighting in Iraq, versus should we be preparing more for stability operations rather than big state-to-state warfare — really ought to be considered separately.

But Petraeus can hardly be blamed for the fact that Bush has abdicated his strategic responsibility. And, if the General succeeded in getting stars for some of the counterinsurgency specialists–like H.R. McMaster and Pete Mansoor–we can look forward to an Army leadership that is smarter, more independent and far more judicious that the current bunch.