Theodore's World: Obama Planning To Replace General Petraeus as Commander of US and NATO Forces in Afghanistan

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February 16, 2011

Obama Planning To Replace General Petraeus as Commander of US and NATO Forces in Afghanistan

REPORT: General Petraeus To Quit As US Commander In Afghanistan

The Times of London is reporting from exclusive sources that General David Petraeus, the commander of the US-led international coalition in Afghanistan, is to be replaced.

“General David Petraeus, the most celebrated American soldier of his generation, is to leave his post as commander of US and Nato forces in Afghanistan. The Times can reveal that the Pentagon aims to replace General Petraeus, who was appointed less than eight months ago, by the end of the year. Sources have confirmed that the search for a new commander in Kabul is under way,” reported The Times.

The report said the US is seeking sweeping changes of top US leadership in Afghanistan with the aim of establishing a view the efforts were not dependent on Petraeus’ reputation. The goal is to replace him by the end of the year.

Petraeus was installed as the commanding general only eight months ago, replacing General Stanley McChrystal who was pushed out over remarks made to a Rolling Stone magazine reporter.

“General Petraeus is doing a brilliant job but he’s been going virtually non-stop since 9/11 [and] he can’t do it forever,” Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary, told The Times.

Afghanistan: Petraeus, personalities and policy


Petraeus, more than anyone else, has been identified with the intensified military campaign in Afghanistan which, according to critics of the policy, has reduced prospects of a political settlement by alienating Taliban leaders who might otherwise be coaxed into peace talks.

Petraeus has been a towering figure in Washington and difficult to challenge politically. He had what was seen in the United States as a good track record in Iraq. And he was backed by Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — making it very hard for those within the U.S. administration who disagreed with his assessment to win President Barack Obama over to their point of view.

Moreover, Obama had already sacked two generals — Generals David McKiernan and Stanley McChrystal — and could hardly dismiss a third. (If I remember rightly — and no doubt someone will correct me if I am wrong — no president since Abraham Lincoln has changed his generals so frequently in wartime.) Promoting Petraeus would be far easier.

His departure, especially with Gates on his way out, could create the space for Obama to recalibrate Afghan strategy, backing away from the military surge and focusing more on a political settlement - if he wants to do so.

Wild Thing's comment.......

Petreaus is a good military man, waging a war he’s not ALLOWED to win, seeing good men being killed and injured. No way he leaves a war un-won after only eight months in charge. That’s not his history; that’s not his style. Petraeus is not being given the freedom to implement his strategy, but instead is being ordered to follow a plan that has no hope of success. So I really think this is all on Obama and his campaign for 2012, his wanting to make the war more like tea time with the taliban then bombing the hell out of the place. To do that he would have to remove or promote Petraeus to clear the way for someone more akin to how obama thinks. Just a guess on my part, I could be wrong.

Posted by Wild Thing at February 16, 2011 05:55 AM


What this says to me, things are going to well over there, and the bad guys are losing. ocama, ocoma...whatever, can't have that. They start these wars they tie our troops hands behind their back and expect them to win, when they pay for it blood. Shut it down and bring the troops home. This isn't worth the cost, the price we are paying is too steep, with no endgame in sight.

Posted by: Mark at February 16, 2011 07:05 AM

If Obama gets someone who thinks like him to be in command he'll be installing Elmer Fudd as general.

Posted by: petesuj at February 16, 2011 08:04 AM

obama does not want us to win in Afghanistan. I don't know that we can win anyway, but obama wants American military forces humiliated by his fellow muslims. Whoever obama picks to replace Petraeus will certainly be a yes man.

Posted by: TomR at February 16, 2011 01:44 PM

Mark, that is exactly the thing, if there is no desire to win from the very top, from the CIC then all it is doing is sending our troops to get them killed or injured for what the amusement of obama the jerk. I wish we could just feed obama to the front line and see how he handles what our troops go through and give him the same R.O.E.'s they have to serve with.

Posted by: Wild Thing at February 16, 2011 04:24 PM

Pete, yes, that seems to be what obama wants.

Posted by: Wild Thing at February 16, 2011 04:26 PM

Tom, I agree, he does not want to win and for us to win even without him would take our country getting serious about the enemy and that is not happening. It feels like the troops are fighting this war and then back home here we are inviting the enemy to come and live among us and thanks to horrible CAIR etc. we give in on everything they want.

I agree too about the next person being a yes man.

Posted by: Wild Thing at February 16, 2011 04:29 PM