Charles Krauthammer: Petraeus’s Success

Posted by on Sep 16, 2007 in Military, Politics | No Comments

When asked about Shiite militia domination of southern Iraq, Petraeus patiently went through the four provinces, one by one, displaying a degree of knowledge of the local players, terrain, and balance of power that no one in Washington — and few in Iraq — could match.

When Biden thought he had a gotcha — contradictions between Petraeus’s report on Iraqi violence and the less favorable one by the Government Accountability Office — Petraeus calmly pointed out that the GAO had to cut its data-gathering five weeks short to meet reporting requirements to Congress. And since those most recent five weeks had been particularly productive for the coalition, the GAO numbers were not only outdated but misleading.

For all the attempts by Democrats and the antiwar movement to discredit Petraeus, he won the congressional confrontation hands down. He demonstrated enough military progress from his new counterinsurgency strategy to conclude: “I believe we have a realistic chance of achieving our objectives in Iraq.”

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Owen West: America’s soldiers are committed to the war. But they’re not going to lie about its progress.

Posted by on Sep 16, 2007 in Military, Politics | No Comments

Monday’s advertisement, which depicted Gen. Petraeus as a traitor, has been dismissed by Sen. Reid as an inconsequential distraction. But according to the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan research group, the ad reflects the growing distrust of a Democratic Party that may be taking cues from its leadership. Last month 76% of Republicans expressed confidence in the military to give an “accurate picture of the war,” while only 36% of Democrats did.

This explains the collective skepticism surrounding Gen. Petraeus’s comments but does not excuse it. For while the country can thrive as a politically divided nation, its ability to defend itself diminishes alongside faith in the fidelity of the military. The unbalanced portrayal of the conduct of our soldiers has done damage enough. To impugn our warriors’ motives as political is thoroughly corrosive and hurts all Americans.

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Peggy Noonan: Gen. Petraeus is a man of “straightforward decisiveness” who values “action with results.”

Posted by on Aug 10, 2007 in Military, Politics | No Comments

Gen. Petraeus of course will be all over television in September, reporting to Congress on the war, and America will be getting used to him. He is not in an easy position. The left and most Democrats are invested in the idea of Iraq as disaster. The right and most Republicans placed their bets on the president and the decision to invade.

Normal Americans just want Iraq handled. They want America to succeed: for the war to end in a way and time that prove if possible that the Iraq endeavor helped the world, or us, or didn’t make things worse for the world, or us. My hunch: The American people have concluded the war was a mistake, but know from their own lives that mistakes can be salvaged, and sometimes turned to good.

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Michael Yon: Superman

Posted by on Jul 17, 2007 in Military | No Comments

Michael Yon’s latest dispatch from Iraq has been posted; a sort-of tribute to the Stryker, on behalf of the men in Iraq, whose lives it is saving.

The crew consisted of four men. Specialist William Pfeiffer was alone up front and driving. Behind Pfeiffer was the crawl space called the “hell hole” that led to the crew compartment. Standing in the front left hatch was LT Brad Krauss, the platoon leader. To Krauss’ right stood Staff Sergeant Daniel Walwark who operated the missiles and a machine gun. In the large single hatch to the rear of the stood PFC Devon Hoch.

I don’t know which Kenny Chesney song they were listening to before the bomb exploded, but I played my favorite—“Me and You”—over and over while writing their story, wondering what might have been going through their minds just before the detonation. Although the bomb was massive, they couldn’t have seen it. It was hidden and packed into a culvert under the road.

Full Dispatch…

First lieutenant Pete Hegseth: The strategy we have in Iraq today is sound

Posted by on Jul 10, 2007 in Military | One Comment

Despite the daily pronouncements by feckless, power hungry Democrats (and some spineless Republicans), coalition forces under General David Petraeus are beginning to make real progress in Iraq (see Michael Yon’s dispatches). Executive director of, and veteran of the Iraq war, Pete Hegseth addresses four major falsehoods…

Falsehood No. 1: The “surge” is already a failure.

Falsehood No. 2: Gen. Petraeus believes the military has done all it can do in Iraq.

Falsehood No. 3: The U.S. is playing insurgent “whack-a-mole” throughout Iraq.

Falsehood No. 4: U.S. troops are not fighting an enemy in Iraq, just policing a “civil war.”

…in his WSJ commentary: Give the ‘Surge’ a Chance.

Thomas P.M. Barnett: “Do not plan to win the war, unless you plan to win the peace.”

Posted by on Jul 7, 2007 in Military, World | One Comment

Thomas P.M. Barnett, author of The Pentagon’s New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-first Century, presents his vision for removing global threats, and the rebuilding phase that must follow.

Special Ops Extraction

Posted by on Jul 3, 2007 in Military | No Comments

This is one way to board a chopper:

Imagine the skill required to hover a transport chopper partly in the water.