Thursday, February 07, 2008

From the Jaws of Victory?

If General Petraeus is doing such a great job in Iraq, why does the Pentagon what to rotate him out? Who’s running our strategic national defense anyway, military strategists or the DoD human resources department?

That’s the question asked in a terrific article today in The Wall Street Journal by Dr. Nadia Schadlow, one of the sharpest observers of the military and one day a household name – already is in some households.

She makes a terrific point.

Yes, it makes sense to rotate soldiers out of battle theaters every 12 months or so, but not the commanders. And when a commander rotates out, he takes his entire staff with him.

This makes no sense and it’s at odds with the Pentagon’s counterinsurgency policy (COIN) and with past history. McArthur spend 11 years in Asia before he rotated back to the United States.

Fortunately Patraeus has declined the rotation so he could stay and finish the job. Hopefully this article will spark some debate around a very shortsighted policy.

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