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Stanley Allen McChrystal, (born August 14, 1954) is a General in the United States Army. He was the Commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A). He previously served as Director, Joint Staff from August 2008 to June 2009 and as Commander, Joint Special Operations Command from 2003 to 2008, where he was credited with the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, but also criticized for his alleged role in the cover-up of the Pat Tillman friendly fire incident. McChrystal was reportedly known for saying and thinking what other military leaders are afraid to, one of the reasons cited for his appointment to lead all forces in Afghanistan, a post he held from June 15, 2009, to June 23, 2010.
Following unflattering remarks about Vice President Joe Biden and other administration officials attributed to McChrystal's aides in a Rolling Stone article, McChrystal was recalled to Washington, D.C. where President Barack Obama accepted his resignation. After the meeting, he was relieved of his command and British Lieutenant General Sir Nicholas "Nick" Parker assumed temporary command of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. Obama named General David Petraeus as McChrystal's replacement pending Senate confirmation.
McChrystal graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, in 1976 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Army. His initial assignment was to C Company, 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, serving as weapons platoon leader from November 1976 to February 1978, as rifle platoon leader from February 1978 to July 1978, and as executive officer from July 1978 to November 1978.
In November 1978, McChrystal enrolled as a student in the Special Forces Officer Course at the Special Forces School at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Upon completing the course in April 1979, he remained at Fort Bragg as commander of Detachment A, A Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) until June 1980, when he attended the Infantry Officer Advanced Course at the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia, until February 1981.
In February 1981, McChrystal moved to South Korea as intelligence and operations officer (S-2/S-3) for the United Nations Command Support Group—Joint Security Area. He reported to Fort Stewart, Georgia, in March 1982 to serve as training officer in the Directorate of Plans and Training, A Company, Headquarters Command. He moved to 3rd Battalion, 19th Infantry, 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized), in November 1982, where he commanded A Company before becoming battalion operations officer (S-3) in September 1984.
McChrystal moved to 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, as battalion liaison officer in September 1985, became commander of A Company in January 1986, served again as battalion liaison officer in May 1987, and finally became battalion operations officer (S-3) in April 1988, before reporting to the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, as a student in the Command and Staff Course in June 1989. After completing the course in June 1990, he was assigned as Army Special Operations action officer, J-3, Joint Special Operations Command until April 1993, in which capacity he deployed to Saudi Arabia for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
From April 1993 to November 1994, McChrystal commanded the 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division. He then commanded the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, from November 1994 to June 1996. During this time he would spur the beginnings of Modern Army Combatives by prompting a review of the existing hand-to-hand combat curricula. After a year as a senior service college fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, he moved up to command the entire 75th Ranger Regiment from June 1997 to August 1999, then spent another year as a military fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
McChrystal upon promotion to brigadier general
Promoted to brigadier general on January 1, 2001, he served as assistant division commander (operations) of the 82nd Airborne Division from June 2000 to June 2001, including duty as Commander, United States Army Central (dubbed "Coalition/Joint Task Force Kuwait") in Camp Doha, Kuwait. From June 2001 to July 2002 he was chief of staff of XVIII Airborne Corps, including duty as chief of staff of Combined Joint Task Force 180, the headquarters formation contributed by XVIII Airborne Corps to direct all Operation Enduring Freedom operations in Afghanistan. At the beginning of the Iraq War in March 2003, he was serving in the Pentagon as a member of the Joint Staff, where he had been vice director of operations, J-3, since July 2002. McChrystal was selected to deliver nationally televised Pentagon briefings on U.S. military operations in Iraq, including one in April 2003 shortly after the fall of Baghdad in which he announced, "I would anticipate that the major combat engagements are over."
Commander, Joint Special Operations Command
He commanded the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) for five years, serving first as Commanding General, Joint Special Operations Command, from September 2003 to February 2006, and then as Commander, Joint Special Operations Command/Commander, Joint Special Operations Command Forward, from February 2006 to August 2008. Nominally assigned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, he spent most of his time in Afghanistan, at U.S. Central Command's forward headquarters in Qatar, and in Iraq. Early successes included the capture by JSOC forces of Saddam Hussein in December 2003. He was promoted to lieutenant general on February 16, 2006.
Joint Special Operations Command emblem
As head of what Newsweek termed "the most secretive force in the U.S. military", McChrystal maintained a very low profile until June 2006, when his forces were responsible for the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq. After McChrystal's team successfully located Zarqawi and called in the airstrike that killed him, McChrystal accompanied his men to the bombed-out hut to personally identify the body.
McChrystal's Zarqawi unit, Task Force 6-26, became well-known for its interrogation methods, particularly at Camp Nama, where it was accused of abusing detainees. After the Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse scandal became public in April 2004, 34 members of the task force were disciplined.
McChrystal was also criticized for his role in the aftermath of the 2004 death by friendly fire of Ranger and former professional football player Pat Tillman. Within a day of Tillman's death, McChrystal was notified that Tillman was a victim of fratricide. Shortly thereafter, McChrystal was put in charge of paperwork to award Tillman a posthumous Silver Star for valor. On April 28, 2004, six days after Tillman's death, McChrystal approved a final draft of the Silver Star recommendation and submitted it to the acting Secretary of the Army, even though the medal recommendation deliberately omitted any mention of friendly fire, included the phrase "in the line of devastating enemy fire", and was accompanied by fabricated witness statements. On April 29, McChrystal sent an urgent memo warning White House speechwriters not to quote the medal recommendation in any statements they wrote for President Bush because it "might cause public embarrassment if the circumstances of Corporal Tillman's death become public." McChrystal was one of eight officers recommended for discipline by a subsequent Pentagon investigation but the Army declined to take action against him.
According to Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward, beginning in late spring 2007 JSOC and CIA Special Activities Division teams launched a new series of highly effective covert operations that coincided with the Iraq War troop surge of 2007. They did this by killing or capturing many of the key al-Qa'ida leaders in Iraq. In a CBS 60 Minutes interview, Woodward described a new special operations capability that allowed for this success, noting that it was developed by the joint teams of CIA and JSOC.Several senior U.S. officials stated that the "joint efforts of JSOC and CIA paramilitary units were the most significant contributor to the defeat of al-Qa'ida in Iraq."
Director, Joint Staff
McChrystal was considered a candidate to succeed General Bryan D. Brown as commander of U.S. Special Operations Command in 2007, and to succeed General David H. Petraeus as commanding general of Multi-National Force – Iraq or Admiral William J. Fallon as commander of U.S. Central Command in 2008, all four-star positions. Instead, McChrystal was nominated by President George W. Bush to succeed Lieutenant General Walter L. Sharp as director of the Joint Staff in February 2008, another three-star position.
Normally a routine process, McChrystal's Senate confirmation was stalled by members of the Senate Armed Services Committee who sought more information about the alleged mistreatment of detainees by Special Operations troops under McChrystal's command in Iraq and Afghanistan. After meeting with McChrystal in private, the Senate Armed Services Committee confirmed his reappointment as lieutenant general in May 2008 and he became Director of the Joint Staff in August 2008.
Commander of Afghanistan forces
This section is about a person involved in a current event. Information may change rapidly as the event progresses. (June 2010)
President Obama and McChrystal in the Oval Office in May 2009.
With his June 10, 2009, Senate approval to take command in Afghanistan, McChrystal was promoted to general. Shortly after McChrystal assumed command of NATO operations, Operation Khanjar commenced, marking the largest offensive operation and the beginning of the deadliest combat month for NATO forces since 2001.
Afghanistan assessment made public
McChrystal submitted a 66 page report to Defense Secretary Robert Gates calling for more troops in Afghanistan, saying "We are going to win.", which became public on September 20, 2009. McChrystal warned that the war in Afghanistan may be lost if more troops are not sent, but the report ends on a note of cautious optimism: "While the situation is serious, success is still achievable." McChrystal's release to the public of his recommendation to the Secretary of Defense was described by critics as an "unprecedented" move by a general to force the hand of the president, and some in Congress have called on the president to fire McChrystal for making the report public. Congressman Dennis Kucinich stated the view that generals are "subordinate to the president who is the commander-in-chief. He's the boss. And when generals start trying to suggest publicly what the president should do, they shouldn't be generals anymore." McChrystal's "strategic assessment team" included: Fred Kagan, Kim Kagan of Institute for the Study of War (ISW)s, Stephen Biddle of the Council on Foreign Relations, Anthony Cordesman of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Andrew Exum of the Centre for a New American Security (CNAS), and Jeremy Shapiro of the Brookings Institution. The campaigns and coordinated efforts by generals and policy institutions seek to articulate to the public and policy-makers why they should support military policies, as well as current and proposed wars. Such joint civilian-military public relations, say critics[who?], raises important questions about the appropriate role of the military in promoting particular policies and whether there is enough transparency and accountability in the work of policy groups.
McChrystal meeting with Obama and Ambassador Eikenberry in December of 2009
Recommended troop increases
In 2009, McChrystal publicly suggested between 30,000 and 40,000 more troops were needed in Afghanistan, as the lowest risk option out of a number of possible troop level changes. Scott Ritter, former Chief U.N. Weapons Inspector in Iraq, has stated that McChrystal should be fired for insubordination for disclosing information that he should have said only in private to the President of the United States.
Rolling Stone article and resignation
In an article written by freelance journalist Michael Hastings, "The Runaway General", appearing in the July 8-22, 2010, issue of Rolling Stone (on newsstands Friday, June 25), McChrystal and his staff mocked civilian government officials, including Vice President Joe Biden, National Security Advisor James L. Jones, US Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl W. Eikenberry, and Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke. McChrystal was not quoted as being directly critical of the president or the president's policies, but several comments from his aides in the article reflected their perception of McChrystal's disappointment with Obama on the first two occasions of their meeting. McChrystal's staff was contacted prior to release of the article and did not deny the validity of the article.
The statements appearing in the Rolling Stone profile attributed to McChrystal and members of his staff drew the attention of the White House when General McChrystal called Vice President Joe Biden to apologize. McChrystal also issued a written statement, saying:
I extend my sincerest apology for this profile. It was a mistake reflecting poor judgment and should never have happened. Throughout my career, I have lived by the principles of personal honor and professional integrity. What is reflected in this article falls far short of that standard. I have enormous respect and admiration for President Obama and his national security team, and for the civilian leaders and troops fighting this war and I remain committed to ensuring its successful outcome.
Biden's call to tell him of the apology prompted Obama to request a copy of the profile and then to summon McChrystal to attend in person the president's monthly security team meeting at the White House in lieu of attending via secure video teleconference as usual. During a brief meeting with Barack Obama on June 23, 2010, two days before the article was released to newsstands, McChrystal tendered his resignation, which the president accepted. Shortly thereafter, Obama nominated General David Petraeus to replace him in his role as top commander in Afghanistan. Later that day McChrystal released the following statement:
This morning the president accepted my resignation as Commander of U.S. and NATO Coalition Forces in Afghanistan. I strongly support the president's strategy in Afghanistan and am deeply committed to our coalition forces, our partner nations, and the Afghan people. It was out of respect for this commitment—and a desire to see the mission succeed—that I tendered my resignation. It has been my privilege and honor to lead our nation's finest.
McChrystal is the son of Mary Gardner Bright and Major General Herbert J. McChrystal, Jr., and was the fourth child in a family of five boys and a girl, all of whom would serve in or marry into the military. His older brother, retired Colonel Scott McChrystal, was an Army Chaplain, and is the endorsing agent for the Assemblies of God. McChrystal married in April 1977 and has an adult son with his wife Annie.McChrystal runs seven to eight miles a day, eats one meal per day, and sleeps for four hours a night.
Dates of rank
- 2LT – June 2, 1976
- 1LT – June 2, 1978
- CPT – August 1, 1980
- MAJ – July 1, 1987
- LTC – September 1, 1992
- COL – September 1, 1996
- BG – January 1, 2001
- MG – May 1, 2004
- LTG – February 16, 2006
- GEN – June 15, 2009
David D. McKiernan
|Commander, International Security Assistance Force(ISAF)|
David D. McKiernan
|Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan|
David Howell Petraeus
David Howell Petraeus (pronounced /pɨˈtreɪ.əs/; born November 7, 1952) is a United States Army general and the 10th and current Commander of the United States Central Command. Petraeus previously served as Commanding General of Multi-National Force - Iraq (MNF-I) from January 26, 2007 to September 16, 2008. As Commander of MNF-I, Petraeus oversaw all coalition forces in Iraq.Petraeus has a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy from which he graduated in 1974 as a distinguished cadet (top 5% of his class). He was the General George C. Marshall Award winner as the top graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College class of 1983. He subsequently earned a M.P.A. in 1985 and a Ph.D. in International Relations in 1987 from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He later served as Assistant Professor of International Relations at the United States Military Academy and also completed a fellowship at Georgetown University.
Some news reports have speculated that Petraeus may have interest in running for the presidency, especially after he visited a school known for hosting the presidential debates, Saint Anselm College. Despite these accounts, Petraeus has categorically asserted that he has no political ambitions. On June 23, 2010, the Obama administration announced that Petraeus will succeed General Stanley McChrystal as commanding general in Afghanistan, technically a demotion from his current position as Commander of United States Central Command, which oversees the military efforts in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Central Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, and parts of Africa.
Education and academia
Petraeus graduated from West Point in 1974. He earned the General George C. Marshall Award as the top graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College Class of 1983 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He subsequently earned an M.P.A. in 1985 and a Ph.D. in international relations in 1987 from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, then served as an Assistant Professor of International Relations at the U.S. Military Academy from 1985 to 1987. His doctoral dissertation, "The American Military and the Lessons of Vietnam: A Study of Military Influence and the Use of Force in the Post-Vietnam Era," dealt with the influence of the Vietnam War on military thinking regarding the use of force. He also completed a military fellowship at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service in 1994–1995, although he was called away early to serve in Haiti as the Chief of Operations for the UN force there in early 1995.
From late 2005 through February 2007, Petraeus served as Commanding General of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center (CAC) located there. As commander of CAC, Petraeus was responsible for oversight of the Command and General Staff College and seventeen other schools, centers, and training programs as well as for developing the Army’s doctrinal manuals, training the Army’s officers, and supervising the Army’s center for the collection and dissemination of lessons learned. During his time at CAC, Petraeus and Marine Lt. Gen. James N. Mattis jointly oversaw the publication of Field Manual 3-24, Counterinsurgency, the body of which was written by an extraordinarily diverse group of military officers, academics, human rights advocates, and journalists who had been assembled by Petraeus and Mattis. Additionally, at both Fort Leavenworth and throughout the military's schools and training programs, Petraeus integrated the study of counterinsurgency into lesson plans and training exercises. In recognition of the fact that soldiers in Iraq often performed duties far different than those they trained for, Petraeus also stressed the importance of teaching soldiers how to think as well as how to fight and the need to foster flexibility and adaptability in leaders, he has been called "the world's leading expert in counter-insurgency warfare". Later, having refined his ideas on counterinsurgency based on the implementation of the new COIN doctrine in Iraq, he published both in Iraq as well as in the Sep/Oct 2008 edition of Military Review his "Commander's Counterinsurgency Guidance" to help guide leaders and units in the Multi-National Force-Iraq.
Upon his graduation from West Point in 1974, Petraeus was commissioned an infantry officer. After completing Ranger School (Distinguished Honor Graduate and other honors), Petraeus was assigned to the 509th Airborne Battalion Combat Team, a light infantry unit in Vicenza, Italy. Ever since, light infantry has been at the core of his career, punctuated by assignments to mechanized units, unit commands, staff assignments, and educational institutions. After leaving the 509th as a first lieutenant, Petraeus began a brief association with mechanized units when he became assistant operations officer on the staff of the 2nd Brigade, 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized) at Fort Stewart, Georgia. In 1979, he assumed command of a company in the same division: ALPHA Company, 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment (Mechanized), and then served as that battalion's operations officer, a major's position that he held as a junior captain. In 1988–1989, he also served as operations officer to the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized)'s 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment (Mechanized) and its 1st Brigade.
In 1981, Petraeus became aide-de-camp to the Commanding General of the 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized). He spent the next few years furthering his military and civilian education, including spending 1982-83 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas attending the Command and General Staff College. At graduation in 1983, he was the General George C. Marshall Award winner as the top graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. From 1983-85 he was at Princeton; and 1985-87 at West Point. After earning his Ph.D. and teaching at West Point, Petraeus continued up the rungs of the command ladder, serving as military assistant to Gen. John Galvin, the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe. From there, he moved to the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) and then to a post as aide and assistant executive officer to the U.S. Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Carl Vuono, in Washington, D.C.
Upon promotion to lieutenant colonel, Petraeus moved from the office of the Chief of Staff to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where he commanded the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)'s 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment from 1991–1993. As battalion commander of the Iron Rakkasans, he suffered one of the more dramatic incidents in his career when, in 1991, he was accidentally shot in the chest during a live-fire exercise when a soldier tripped and his rifle discharged.He was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, where he was operated on by future U.S. Senator Bill Frist. The hospital released him early after he did fifty push ups without resting, just a few days after the accident.
During 1993–94, Petraeus continued his long association with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) as the division's Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3 (plans, operations and training) and installation Director of Plans, Training, and Mobilization (DPTM). In 1995, he was assigned to the United Nations Mission in Haiti Military Staff as its Chief Operations Officer during Operation Uphold Democracy. His next command, from 1995–97, was the 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, centered on the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment. At that post, his brigade's training cycle at Fort Polk's Joint Readiness Training Center for low-intensity warfare was chronicled by novelist and military enthusiast Tom Clancy in his book Airborne. From 1997-99 Petraeus served in the Pentagon as Executive Assistant to the Director of the Joint Staff and then to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Henry Shelton, who described Petraeus as "a high-energy individual who likes to lead from the front, in any field he is going into."In 1999, as a brigadier general, Petraeus returned to the 82nd, serving as the assistant division commander for operations and then, briefly, as acting commanding general. During his time with the 82nd, he deployed to Kuwait as part of Operation Desert Spring, the continuous rotation of combat forces through Kuwait during the decade after the Gulf War.
From the 82nd, he moved on to serve as Chief of Staff of XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg during 2000–2001. In 2000, Petraeus suffered his second major injury, when, during a civilian skydiving jump, his parachute collapsed at low altitude due to a hook turn, resulting in a hard landing that broke his pelvis. He was selected for promotion to Major General in 2001. During 2001–2002, as a brigadier general, Petraeus served a ten-month tour in Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of Operation Joint Forge. In Bosnia, he was the NATO Stabilization Force Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations as well as the Deputy Commander of the U.S. Joint Interagency Counter-Terrorism Task Force, a command created after the September 11 attacks to add counterterrorism capability to the U.S. forces attached to the NATO command in Bosnia. In 2004, he was promoted to Lieutenant General. In 2007, he was promoted to General. On April 23, 2008, Secretary of Defense Gates announced that President Bush was nominating General Petraeus to command U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM), headquartered in Tampa, Florida. The nomination required, and received, Senate confirmation.
Involvement in the Iraq War
Maj. Gen. David H. Petraeus (right), commanding general, 101st Airborne Division, (Air Assault) looks on as Lt. Gen. William S. Wallace, V Corps commanding general speaks to soldiers, March 21, 2003, Kuwait.
In 2003, Petraeus, then a Major General, saw combat for the first time when he commanded the 101st Airborne Division during V Corps's drive to Baghdad. In a campaign chronicled in detail by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Rick Atkinson of The Washington Post in the book In the Company of Soldiers, Petraeus led his division through fierce fighting south of Baghdad, in Karbala, Hilla, and Najaf. Following the fall of Baghdad, the division conducted the longest heliborne assault on record in order to reach Ninawa Province, where it would spend much of 2003. The 1st Brigade was responsible for the area south of Mosul, the 2nd Brigade for the city itself, and the 3rd Brigade for the region stretching toward the Syrian border. An often-repeated story of Petraeus's time with the 101st is his asking of embedded Washington Post reporter Rick Atkinson to "Tell me how this ends," an anecdote he and other journalists have used to portray Petraeus as an early recognizer of the difficulties that would follow the fall of Baghdad.
In Mosul, a city of nearly two million people, Petraeus and the 101st employed classic counterinsurgency methods to build security and stability, including conducting targeted kinetic operations and using force judiciously, jump-starting the economy, building local security forces, staging elections for the city council within weeks of their arrival, overseeing a program of public works, reinvigorating the political process, and launching 4,500 reconstruction projects. This approach can be attributed to Petraeus, who had been steeped in nation-building during his previous tours in places like Bosnia and Haiti and thus approached nation-building as a central military mission and who was "prepared to act while the civilian authority in Baghdad was still getting organized," according to Michael Gordon of The New York Times. Some Iraqis gave Petraeus the nickname 'King David', which was later adopted by some of his colleagues. Newsweek has stated that "It's widely accepted that no force worked harder to win Iraqi hearts and minds than the 101st Air Assault Division led by Petraeus."
One of the General's major public works was the restoration and re-opening of the University of Mosul. Petraeus strongly supported the use of commanders' discretionary funds for public works, telling Coalition Provisional Authority director L. Paul Bremer "Money is ammunition" during the director's first visit to Mosul. Petraeus' often repeated catchphrase was later incorporated into official military briefings and was also eventually incorporated into the U.S. Army Counterinsurgency Field Manual drafted with Petraeus's oversight.
In February 2004, the 101st was replaced in Mosul by a unit roughly one quarter its size—a Stryker brigade. The following summer, the Governor of Nineveh Province was assassinated and most of the Sunni Arab Provincial Council members walked out in the ensuing selection of the new governor, leaving Kurdish members in charge of a predominantly Sunni Arab province. Later that year, the local police commander defected to the Kurdish Minister of Interior in Irbil after repeated assassination attempts against him, attacks on his house, and the kidnapping of his sister. The largely Sunni Arab police collapsed under insurgent attacks launched at the same time Coalition Forces attacked Fallujah in November 2004.
There are differing explanations for the apparent collapse of the police force in Mosul. The Guardian quoted an anonymous US diplomat saying "Mosul basically collapsed after he [Petraeus] left". Former diplomat Peter Galbraith, a paid adviser to the Kurdish Regional Government, criticized Petraeus's command of the 101st, saying his achievements have been exaggerated and his reputation is inflated. He wrote for The New York Review of Books that "Petraeus ignored warnings from America's Kurdish allies that he was appointing the wrong people to key positions in Mosul's local government and police." On the other hand, in the book Fiasco, Washington Post reporter Tom Ricks wrote that "Mosul was quiet while he (Petraeus) was there, and likely would have remained so had his successor had as many troops as he had--and as much understanding of counterinsurgency techniques." Ricks went on to note that "the population-oriented approach Petraeus took in Mosul in 2003 would be the one the entire U.S. Army in Iraq was trying to adopt in 2006." Time columnist Joe Klein largely agreed with Ricks, writing that the Stryker brigade that replaced the 101st "didn't do any of the local governance that Petraeus had done." Moving away from counterinsurgency principles, "they were occupiers, not builders." New York Times reporter Michael Gordon and retired General Bernard Trainor echoed Ricks and Klein, including in their book Cobra II a quote that Petraeus "did it right and won over Mosul."
Multi-National Security Transition Command – Iraq
In June 2004, less than six months after the 101st returned to the U.S., Petraeus was promoted to lieutenant general and became the first commander of the Multi-National Security Transition Command Iraq. This newly-created command had responsibility for training, equipping, and mentoring Iraq's growing Army, Police, and other security forces as well as developing Iraq's security institutions and building associated infrastructure, such as training bases, police stations, and border forts. During Petraeus's fifteen months at the helm of MNSTC-I, he stood up a three-star command virtually from scratch and in the midst of serious fighting in places like Fallujah, Mosul, and Najaf. By the end of his command, some 100,000 Iraqi Security Forces had been trained; Iraqi Army and Police were being employed in combat; countless reconstruction projects had been executed; and hundreds of thousands of weapons, body armor, and other equipment had been distributed in what was described as the "largest military procurement and distribution effort since World War II," at a cost of over $11 billion.
In September 2004, Petraeus wrote an article for The Washington Post in which he described the tangible progress being made in building Iraq's security forces from the ground up while also noting the many challenges associated with doing so. "Although there have been reverses -- not to mention horrific terrorist attacks," Petraeus wrote, "there has been progress in the effort to enable Iraqis to shoulder more of the load for their own security, something they are keen to do." Some of the challenges involved in building security forces had to do with accomplishing this task in the midst of a tough insurgency—or, as Petraeus wrote, "making the mission akin to repairing an aircraft while in flight -- and while being shot at." Other challenges included allegations of corruption as well as efforts to improve Iraq's supply accountability procedures. For example, according to former Interim Iraq Governing Council member Ali A. Allawi in The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace, "under the very noses of the security transition command, officials both inside and outside the ministry of defense were planning to embezzle most, if not all, of the procurement budget of the army." The Washington Post stated in August 2007 that the Pentagon had lost track of approximately 30% of weapons supplied to the Iraqi security forces. The General Accounting Office said that the weapons distribution was haphazard, rushed, and did not follow established procedures—particularly from 2004 to 2005, when security training was led by Petraeus and Iraq's security forces began to see combat in places like Najaf and Samarra. Over a hundred thousand AK-47 assault rifles and pistols were delivered to Iraqi forces without full documentation, and some of the missing weapons may have been abducted by Iraqi insurgents.Thousands of body armour pieces have also been lost. The Independent has stated that the military believed "the situation on the ground was so urgent, and the agency responsible for recording the transfers of arms so short staffed, that field commanders had little choice in the matter." The Pentagon conducted its own investigation, and accountability was subsequently regained for many of the weapons.
Following his second tour in Iraq, Petraeus authored a widely-read article in Military Review, listing fourteen observations he had made during two tours in Iraq, including: do not do too much with your own hands, money is ammunition, increasing the number of stakeholders is critical to success, success in a counterinsurgency requires more than just military operations, ultimate success depends on local leaders, there is no substitute for flexible and adaptable leaders, and, finally, a leader's most important task is to set the right tone.
Multi-National Force – Iraq (Spring 2007)
In January 2007, as part of his overhauled Iraq strategy, President George W. Bush announced that Petraeus would succeed Gen. George Casey as commanding general of MNF-I to lead all U.S. troops in Iraq. On January 23, the Senate Armed Services Committee held Petraeus' nomination hearing, during which he testified on his ideas for Iraq, particularly the strategy underpinning the "surge" of forces. During his opening statement, Petraeus stated that "security of the population, especially in Baghdad, and in partnership with the Iraqi Security Forces, will be the focus of the military effort." He went on to state that security will require establishing a persistent presence, especially in Iraq's most threatened neighborhoods. He also noted the critical importance of helping Iraq increase its governmental capacity, develop employment programs, and improve daily life for its citizens.
Throughout Petraeus' tenure in Iraq, Multi-National Force-Iraq endeavored to work with the Government of Iraq to carry out this strategy that focuses on securing the population. Doing so required establishing—and maintaining—persistent presence by living among the population, separating reconcilable Iraqis from irreconcilable enemies, relentlessly pursuing the enemy, taking back sanctuaries and then holding areas that have been cleared, and continuing to develop Iraq's security forces and to support local security forces, often called Sons of Iraq, and to integrate them into the Iraqi Army and Police and other employment programs.
The strategy underpinning the "surge" of forces, as well as the ideas Petraeus included in FM 3-24, have been referred to by some journalists and politicians as the "Petraeus Doctrine," although the surge itself was proposed a few months before Petraeus took command. Despite the misgivings of most Democratic and a few Republican senators over the proposed implementation of the "Petraeus Doctrine" in Iraq, specifically regarding the troop surge, Petraeus was unanimously confirmed as a four-star general and MNF-I commander on January 27.
Before leaving for Iraq, Petraeus recruited a number of highly educated military officers, nicknamed "Petraeus guys" or "designated thinkers," to advise him as commander, including Col. Mike Meese, head of the Social Sciences Department at West Point and Col. H.R. McMaster, famous for his leadership at the Battle of 73 Easting in the Gulf War and in the pacification of Tal Afar more recently, as well as for his doctoral dissertation on Vietnam-era civil-military relations entitled Dereliction of Duty. While most of Petraeus's closest advisers are American military officers, he also hired Lt. Col. David Kilcullen of the Australian Army, who was working for the US State Department. Kilcullen upon his return from Iraq published The Accidental Guerrilla, and has discussed the central front of the war and lessons learned in Iraq in The Washington Post.
U.S. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the commander of Multi-National Force - Iraq, briefs reporters at the Pentagon April 26, 2007, on his view of the current military situation in Iraq.
After taking command of MNF-I on February 10, 2007, Petraeus inspected U.S. and Iraqi units all over Iraq, visiting outposts in greater Baghdad, Tikrit, Baquba, Ramadi, Mosul, Kirkuk, Bayji, Samarra, Basrah and as far west as al-Hit and Al Qaim. In April 2007, Petraeus made his first visit to Washington as MNF-I Commander, reporting to President Bush and Congress on the progress of the "surge" and the overall situation in Iraq. During this visit he met privately with members of Congress and reportedly argued against setting a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq.
By late May 2007, Congress did not impose any timetables in war funding legislation for troop withdrawal. The enacted legislation did mandate that Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, deliver a report to Congress by September 15, 2007, detailing their assessment of the military, economic and political situation of Iraq.
In June 2007, Petraeus stated in an interview that there were “astonishing signs of normalcy” in Baghdad, and this comment drew criticism from Senate majority leader Harry Reid. In the same interview, however, Petraeus stated that "many problems remain" and he noted the need to help the Iraqis "stitch back together the fabric of society that was torn during the height of sectarian violence" in late 2006. Petraeus also warned that he expected that the situation in Iraq would require the continued deployment of the elevated troop level of more than 150,000 beyond September 2007; he also stated that U.S. involvement in Iraq could last years afterward. These statements are representative of the fact that throughout their time in Iraq, Petraeus and Crocker remained circumspect and refused to classify themselves as optimists or pessimists, noting, instead, that they were realists and that the reality in Iraq was very hard. They also repeatedly emphasized the importance of forthright reports and an unvarnished approach. "Indeed, Petraeus' realistic approach and assessments were lauded during the McLaughlin Group's 2008 Year-End Awards, when Monica Crowley nominated Petraeus for the most honest person of the year, stating, "...[H]e spoke about the great successes of the surge in Iraq, but he always tempered it, never sugar-coated it."
Multi-National Force – Iraq (Summer and Fall 2007)
In July 2007, the White House submitted to Congress the interim report on Iraq, which stated that coalition forces had made satisfactory progress on 6 of 18 benchmarks set by Congress. On September 7, 2007, in a letter addressed to the troops he was commanding, Petraeus wrote that much military progress had been made, but that the national level political progress that was hoped for had not been achieved. Petraeus' Report to Congress on the Situation in Iraq on Iraq was delivered to Congress on September 10, 2007.
On August 15, 2007, The Los Angeles Times stated that, according to unnamed administration officials, the report "would actually be written by the White House, with inputs from officials throughout the government."However, Petraeus declared in his testimony to Congress that "I wrote this testimony myself." He further elaborated that his testimony to Congress "has not been cleared by, nor shared with, anyone in the Pentagon, the White House, or Congress."
In his September Congressional testimony, Petraeus stated that "As a bottom line up front, the military objectives of the surge are, in large measure, being met." He cited numerous factors for this progress, to include the fact that Coalition and Iraqi Forces had dealt significant blows to Al-Qaeda Iraq and had disrupted Shia militias, that ethno-sectarian violence had been reduced, and that the tribal rejection of Al-Qaeda had spread from Anbar Province to numerous other locations across Iraq. Based on this progress and additional progress expected to be achieved, Petraeus recommended drawing down the surge forces from Iraq and gradually transitioning increased responsibilities to Iraqi Forces, as their capabilities and conditions on the ground permitted.
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada argued Petraeus' "plan is just more of the same" and "is neither a drawdown or a change in mission that we need." Democratic Representative Robert Wexler of Florida accused Petraeus of "cherry-picking statistics" and "massaging information". Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Tom Lantos of California called the General and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker "Two of our nation's most capable public servants" and said Democrats feel "esteem for their professionalism." He also said that "We can no longer take their assertions on Iraq at face value"; concluding, "We need to get out of Iraq, for that country's sake as well as our own."
Republican Presidential candidate Duncan Hunter called the report "a candid, independent assessment given with integrity". Republican Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona stated that "I commend General Petraeus for his honest and forthright assessment of the situation in Iraq." Anti-war Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska criticized the report while praising Petraeus, saying "It's not your fault, general... It's not Ambassador Crocker's fault. It's this administration's fault." A USA Today/Gallup poll taken after Petraeus' report to Congress showed virtually no change in public opinion toward the war. A Pew Research Center survey found that most Americans who have heard about the report approve of Petraeus' recommendations.
On September 20, the Senate passed an amendment by Republican John Cornyn III of Texas designed to "strongly condemn personal attacks on the honor and integrity of General Petraeus". Cornyn drafted the amendment in response to a controversial full-page ad by the liberal group Moveon.org in the September 10, 2007 edition of The New York Times. All forty-nine Republican Senators and twenty-two Democratic Senators voted in support. The House passed a similar resolution by a 341-79 vote on September 26.
In December 2007, The Washington Post's "Fact Checker" stated that "While some of Petraeus's statistics are open to challenge, his claims about a general reduction in violence have been borne out over subsequent months. It now looks as if Petraeus was broadly right on this issue at least".
Based on the conditions on the ground, in October 2007, Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker revised their campaign plan for Iraq. In recognition of the progress made against Al Qaeda Iraq, one of the major points would be "shifting the U.S. military effort to focus more on countering Shiite militias".
Multi-National Force – Iraq (Spring 2008)
On February 18, 2008, USA Today stated that "the U.S. effort has shown more success" and that, after the number of troops reached its peak in fall 2007, "U.S. deaths were at their lowest levels since the 2003 invasion, civilian casualties were down, and street life was resuming in Baghdad." In light of the significant reduction in violence and as the surge brigades began to redeploy without replacement, Petraeus characterized the progress as tenuous, fragile, and reversible and repeatedly reminded all involved that much work remains to be done. During an early February trip to Iraq, Defense Secretary Robert Gates endorsed the idea of a period of consolidation and evaluation upon completion of the withdrawal of surge brigades from Iraq.
Petraeus and Crocker continued these themes at their two full days of testimony before Congress on April 8 and 9th. During his opening statement, Petraeus stated that "there has been significant but uneven security progress in Iraq," while also noting that "the situation in certain areas is still unsatisfactory and that innumerable challenges remain" and that "the progress made since last spring is fragile and reversible." He also recommended a continuation of the drawdown of surge forces as well as a 45-day period of consolidation and evaluation after the final surge brigade has redeployed in late July. Analysts for USA Today and The New York Times stated that the hearings "lacked the suspense of last September's debate," but they did include sharp questioning as well as both skepticism and praise from various Congressional leaders.
In late May 2008, the Senate Armed Services Committee held nomination hearings for Petraeus and Lieutenant General Ray Odierno to lead United States Central Command and Multi-National Force-Iraq, respectively. During the hearings, Committee Chairman Carl Levin praised these two men, stating that "we owe Gen. Petraeus and Gen. Odierno a debt of gratitude for the commitment, determination and strength that they brought to their areas of responsibility. And regardless of how long the administration may choose to remain engaged in the strife in that country, our troops are better off with the leadership these two distinguished soldiers provide." During his opening statement, Petraeus discussed four principles that would guide his efforts if confirmed as CENTCOM Commander: seeking to strengthen international partnerships; taking a "whole of government" approach; pursuing comprehensive efforts and solutions; and, finally, both supporting efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan and ensuring readiness for possible contingency operations in the future. Petraeus also noted that during the week before his testimony, the number of security incidents in Iraq was the lowest in over four years. After Petraeus's returned to Baghdad, and despite the continued drawdown of surge forces as well as recent Iraqi-led operations in places like Basrah, Mosul, and Baghdad, the number of security incidents in Iraq remained at their lowest level in over four years.
Multi-National Force – Iraq (Summer and Fall 2008)
In September 2008, Petraeus gave an interview to BBC News stating that he did not think using the term "victory" in describing the Iraq war was appropriate, saying "This is not the sort of struggle where you take a hill, plant the flag and go home to a victory parade... it's not war with a simple slogan."
Petraeus had discussed the term 'victory' before in March 2008, saying to NPR News that "an Iraq that is at peace with itself, at peace with its neighbors, that has a government that is representative of—and responsive to—its citizenry and is a contributing member of the global community" could arguably be called 'victory'. On the eve of his change of command, in September 2008, Petraeus stated that "I don't use terms like victory or defeat... I'm a realist, not an optimist or a pessimist. And the reality is that there has been significant progress but there are still serious challenges."
Change of command
Iraq Defense Minister Abdul Qadir presents a gift to Petraeus during a farewell ceremony in Baghdad on September 15, 2008.
On September 16, 2008, Petraeus formally gave over his command in Iraq to General Raymond T. Odierno in a government ceremony presided by Defense Secretary Robert Gates. During the ceremony, Gates stated that Petraeus "played a historic role" and created the "translation of a great strategy into a great success in very difficult circumstances". Gates also told Petraeus he believed "history will regard you as one of our nation's greatest battle captains." He presented Petraeus with the Defense Distinguished Service Medal. At the event, Petraeus mentioned the difficulty in getting the Sons of Iraq absorbed in the central Government of Iraq and warned about future consequences if the effort stalls. Indeed, when speaking of these and other challenges, Petraeus is the first to note that "the gains [achieved in Iraq] are tenuous and unlikely to survive without an American effort that outlasts his tenure". Even so, as Petraeus departed Iraq, it was clear to all that he was leaving a much different Iraq than the one that existed when he took command in February 2007. As described by Dexter Filkins, "violence has plummeted from its apocalyptic peaks, Iraqi leaders are asserting themselves, and streets that once seemed dead are flourishing with life." This is also illustrated by the Iraq Trends charts that the MNF-I produces weekly. The January 3, 2009, "Iraq Trends Chart" clearly depicts over time, the increases in incidents followed by the sharp decline as described by Dexter Filkens and others.
General Petraeus's critical role in Iraq is widely acknowledged. In a recent introduction of Petraeus at an ROTC commissioning ceremony, June 1, 2010, Princeton President Shirley Tilghman noted that, "Although he has distinguished himself in many roles since receiving his commission as a young West Point cadet in 1974, his 48 months of service in Iraq, including 19 as commanding general, were of historic proportions as he brought comparative stability to a country so riddled with violence that it threatened to disintegrate." Tilghman Princeton OCS Remarks 2010
U.S. Central Command (Fall 2008 to present)
Gen David H. Petraeus speaking at Saint
On October 31, 2008, Petraeus assumed command of the United States Central Command (USCENTCOM) headquartered in Tampa, Florida. Petraeus is now responsible for U.S. operations in 20 countries spreading from Egypt to Pakistan—including Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. During his time at CENTCOM, Petraeus has advocated that countering the terrorist threats in the CENTCOM region requires more than just counter-terrorism forces, demanding instead whole-of-governments, comprehensive approaches akin to those of counterinsurgency. Petraeus reiterated this view in a 2009 interview published in Parade magazine. In a recent interview for Newsweek magazine’s "Interview Issue: The View From People Who Make a Difference", Petraeus expressed his support for President Obama’s recently announced Afghanistan strategy and discussed his view that reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan should for the time being occur "at the lower and midlevels".
In mid-August, 2009, Petraeus established the Afghanistan-Pakistan Center of Excellence within the USCENTCOM Directorate of Intelligence to provide leadership to coordinate, integrate and focus analysis efforts in support of operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
On March 16, 2010, testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Petraeus described the continuing Israeli–Palestinian conflict as a challenge to U.S. interests in the region. According to the testimony, the conflict was "fomenting anti-American sentiment" due to "a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel." This was widely commented on in the media. When questioned by journalist Philip Klein, Petraeus said the original reporter "picked apart" and "spun" his speech. He believes there are many important factors standing in the way of peace, including “a whole bunch of extremist organizations, some of which by the way deny Israel’s right to exist. There’s a country that has a nuclear program who denies that the Holocaust took place. So again we have all these factors in there. This [Israel] is just one."
In March 2010, Petraeus visited the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College to speak about Iraq and Afghanistan. Petraeus spoke a few days after the seventh anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, noting the successful changes in Iraq since the U.S. troop surge. The visit to Saint Anselm created rumors that Petraeus was contemplating a run for the Presidency; however, he denied the speculation saying that he was not aware that the college has been the site of numerous presidential debates.
In recent engagements, including in his interview published in Vanity Fair, Petraeus has discussed the effort to determine and send to Afghanistan the right “inputs” for success there; these inputs include several structures and organizations that proved important in Iraq, including “an engagement cell to support reconciliation…a finance cell to go after financing of the enemy… really robust detainee-operations task force, a rule-of-law task force, an energy-fusion cell—all these other sort of nonstandard missions that are very important.”
On May 7, 2010, Petraeus announced that Times Square bombing suspect, Faisal Shahzad, is a "lone wolf" terrorist who did not work with others. On May 10, 2010, Attorney General Eric Holder said that the evidence shows the Pakistani Taliban directed this plot.
Involvement in Afghanistan
On June 23, 2010, President Obama announced that he would nominate Petraeus to succeed General Stanley A. McChrystal as the Commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan. The change of command was prompted by McChrystal's comments about the Obama administration and its policies in Afghanistan during an interview with Rolling Stone magazine.
Insignia Rank Date
In September 2007, General Petraeus was reported to have endured severe back pain, and got through Senate hearings with the aid of the painkiller Motrin.
General Petraeus was diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer in February 2009 and underwent two months of successful radiation treatment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The diagnosis and treatment was not publicly disclosed until October 2009 because Petraeus and his family regarded his illness as a personal matter that did not interfere with the performance of his duties.
On June 15, 2010, General Petraeus momentarily fainted while being questioned by the Senate Armed Services Committee. He quickly recovered and was able to walk and exit the room without assistance.
Decorations and badges
Additional recognition of note
Petraeus has garnered numerous accolades in recent years. In 2010, he has received the American Enterprise Institute’s Irving Kristol Award, the Citadel Business School’s Leader of Principle Award, the AUSA Massachusetts Bay Area Chapter’s Person of the Year Award, HELP USA’s Award for Veterans, Princeton University’s James Madison Medal, the Lotos Club’s Award of Distinction and Medal of Merit, the Pilgrims of the United States’ Medallion for Service to the Nation, and the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum's 2010 Intrepid Freedom Award.
In 2009, he received the Sam M. Gibbons Lifetime Achievement Award, American Legion's Distinguished Service Medal, the Atlantic Council's Military Leadership Award, the Union League Club of Philadelphia's Abraham Lincoln Award, the National Father's Day Committee's Father of the Year Award. Also in 2009, Petraeus received the National Committee on American Foreign Policy's George F. Kennan Award, the National Defense Industrial Association's Eisenhower Award, the Office of Strategic Service Society's William J. Donovan Award, the No Greater Sacrifice Freedom Award, and the Congressional Medal of Honor Society's Distinguished Citizen Award. He was also named as one of the "75 Best People in the World" in the October 2009 issue of Esquire, as well as a Distinguished Member of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment and Honorary President of the 7th Armored Division Association.
In 2008, a poll conducted by Foreign Policy and Prospect magazines selected Petraeus as one of the world's top 100 public intellectuals. Also, the Business Executives for National Security awarded Petraeus their 2008 Eisenhower Award. Also in 2008, the Static Line Association named Petraeus as its 2008 Man of the Year, and Der Spiegel named him "America's most respected soldier. As 2008 came to a close, GQ (December 2008) named Petraeus as the "Leader of the Year: Right Man, Right Time", Newsweek named him the 16th most powerful person in the world in its December 20, 2008 edition, and Prospect magazine named him the "Public Intellectual of the Year".
In 2007, Time named Petraeus one of the 100 most influential leaders and revolutionaries of the year as well as one of its four runners up for Time Person of the Year. He was also named the second most influential American conservative by The Daily Telegraph as well as The Daily Telegraph's 2007 Man of the Year. In 2005, Petraeus was selected as one of America's top leaders by US News and World Report.
Speeches and public remarks
"Institutionalizing Change: Transformation in the US Army, 2005-2007,” May 2010
National Committee on American Foreign Policy George F. Kennan Award Acceptance Remarks. American Foreign Policy Interests, July/August 2009, 31(4)).
"The Future of the Alliance and the Mission in Afghanistan," 45th Munich Security Conference, February 8, 2009
"The Emerging Regional Security Network," US-Islamic World Forum, February 14, 2009.
"The Foreign Policy Interview with Gen. David H. Petraeus," January/February 2009,
Lorenz, G.C.; Willbanks, James H.; Petraeus, David H.; Stuart, Paul A.; Crittenden, Burr L.; George, Dewey P. (1983). Operation Junction City, Vietnam 1967 : battle book. Ft. Leavenworth, KS: United States Army Command and General Staff College, Combat Studies Institute. DTIC ADA139612, LCC DS557.7 .O63 1987. OCLC 15637627
Petraeus, David H. (1983). "What is Wrong with a Nuclear Freeze," Military Review v.63:49-64, November, 1983.
Petraeus, David H. (1984). "Light Infantry in Europe: Strategic Flexibility and Conventional Deterrence," Military Review v.64:33-55, December, 1984.
Petraeus, David H. (1985). "Review of Richard A. Gabriel's The Antagonists: A Comparative Combat Assessment of the Soviet and American Soldier". Military Affairs (Lexington, VA: Society for Military History) 49 (1): pp. 17–22. January 1985. doi:10.2307/1988272. LCC E181 .A5 v.49 1985. OCLC 37032240. Retrieved 2007-08-18
Petraeus, David H. (1986), "Lessons of history and lessons of Vietnam", Parameters (Carlisle, PA: US Army War College) 16(3): 43-53, Autumn 1986.
Petraeus, David H. (1987). The American military and the lessons of Vietnam : a study of military influence and the use of force in the post-Vietnam era. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University. OCLC 20673428.
Clark, Asa A., Kaufman, Daniel J., and Petraeus, David H. (1987). “Why an Army?” Army Magazine v38(2)26-34, February 1987.
Petraeus, David H. (1987). “El Salvador and the Vietnam Analogy,” Armed Force Journal International, February 1987.
Taylor, William J., Jr.; Petraeus, David H. (1987). "The legacy of Vietnam for the U.S. military". in Osborn, George K.. Democracy, strategy, and Vietnam : implications for American policy making. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books. LCC E876 .D46 1987. ISBN 9780669163407. OCLC 15518468
Petraeus, David H. (1987). "Korea, the Never-Again Club, and Indochina". Parameters (Carlisle, PA: U.S. Army War College) 17 (4): pp. 59–70. December 1987. SuDoc No. D 101.72:17/4, GPO Item No. 0325-K, PURL LPS1511. ISSN 0031-1723. OCLC 1039883.
Golden, James R.; Kaufman, Daniel J.; Clark, Asa A.; Petraeus, David H. (Eds)(1989),"NATO at Forty: Change Continuity, & Prospects". Westview Pr.
Petraeus, David H. (1989). "Military Influence And the Post-Vietnam Use of Force". Armed Forces & Society (Piscataway, NJ: SAGE Publications) 15 (4): pp. 489–505. Summer 1989. doi:10.1177/0095327X8901500402. OCLC 49621350. Retrieved August 26, 2007.
Petraeus, David H.; Carr, Damian P.; Abercrombie, John C. (1997). "Why We Need FISTs—Never Send a Man When You Can Send a Bullet" (PDF). Field Artillery (Fort Sill, OK: US Army Field Artillery School) 1997 (3): pp. 3–5. May-June 1997. HQDA PB6-97-3, USPS 309-010, PURL LPS13201, SuDoc No. D 101.77/2: 1997/3. ISSN 0899-2525. OCLC 16516511. Retrieved August 26, 2007.
(2004) ""Lessons of the Iraq War and Its Aftermath"". Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
(2006) "Learning Counterinsurgency: Observations from Soldiering in Iraq," Military Review
Petraeus, David H. (2006). "A Conversation with Lieutenant General David H. Petraeus" . Insights (Suffolk, VA: Lockheed Martin) 3 (1): pp. 2–5, 28–29. March 2006.
(2007) The US Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual (Forward)"FM-3-24"
(2007) "Beyond the Cloister," The American Interest Magazine
Petraeus, David H. (2007). "Iraq: Progress in the Face of Challenge". Army Magazine (Arlington, VA: Association of the US Army) 57 (10): pp. 115–123. October 2007.
Petraeus, David H. (2008). "Iraq: Building on Progress" ([dead link]). Army Magazine (Arlington, VA: Association of the US Army) 58 (10): pp. 109–123. October 2008.
(2008) "Multi-National Force - Iraq Commander's Counterinsurgency Guidance," Military Review
Petraeus, David H. (2010). "Counterinsurgency Concepts: What We Learned in Iraq," Global Policy Journal v1(1)116-117, January 2010.
(2010) "Shoulder to shoulder in Afghanistan," Policy Options, April 2010.
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