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David Howell Petraeus
Born November 7, 1952 (1952-11-07) (age 57)
GEN Petraeus Class A.jpg
Place of birth Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch United States Army seal United States Army
Years of service 1974–present
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg General
Commands held USCENTCOM.jpg U.S. Central Command
Multi-National Force - Iraq
U.S. Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth
Multi-National Security Transition Command Iraq
US 101st Airborne Division patch.svg 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)
82 ABD SSI.svg 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division
3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment
A Company, 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment (Mechanized)
Battles/wars Operation Joint Force (Bosnia)
Operation Uphold Democracy (Haiti)
Operation Desert Spring (Kuwait)
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Awards Defense Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Army Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Defense Superior Service Medal (2)
Legion of Merit (4)
Bronze Star with Valor V
Defense Meritorious Service Medal

General David Howell Petraeus, USA (pronounced /pɨˈtreɪ.əs/; born November 7, 1952) is the 10th and current Commander, U.S. Central Command. Petraeus previously served as Commanding General, Multi-National Force - Iraq (MNF-I) from January 26, 2007 to September 16, 2008.[1] As Commander of MNF-I, Petraeus oversaw all coalition forces in Iraq.[2][3] Petraeus 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.[4] He subsequently earned a M.P.A. degree (1985) and a Ph.D. degree (1987) in International Relations from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He later served as Assistant Professor of International Relations at the U.S. Military Academy and also completed a fellowship at Georgetown University. He has a BSc. from the U.S. Military Academy—class of 1974—from which he graduated as a distinguished cadet (top 5% of his class).

Some news reports have speculated that Petraeus may have interest in running for the presidency. Despite these accounts, Petraeus has categorically asserted that he has no political ambitions,[5][6][7][8][9][10] responding to the repeated question with "what part of 'No' don't you understand?"[11]


Early years

Petraeus was born in Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York, the son of Miriam (née Howell) and Sixtus Petraeus. His mother was American and his father was a sea captain who had immigrated to the United States from the Netherlands during the initial phase of World War II.[12] Sixtus settled in Cornwall-on-Hudson, where David Petraeus grew up and graduated from Cornwall Central High School in 1970. Residents called him 'Peaches' in reference to his often-mispronounced last name[13] and the nickname stuck with him as a cadet.[14]

Petraeus then went on to the U.S. Military Academy in nearby West Point. Petraeus was on the intercollegiate soccer and ski teams, was a cadet captain on the brigade staff, and was a "distinguished cadet" academically, graduating in the top 5% of the Class of 1974 (ranked 43rd overall). In the class yearbook, Petraeus was remembered as "always going for it in sports, academics, leadership, and even his social life."[15]

Two months after graduation Petraeus married Holly Knowlton, a graduate from Dickinson College and daughter of Army General William A. Knowlton who was superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy (West Point) at the time.[16] Holly is multi-lingual, was a national merit scholar in high-school, and graduated summa-cum laude from Dickinson College. They have two grown children, Anne and Stephen.

Army career


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 a 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.[17] 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,[18] 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.[19][20] 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,[21][22] he has been called "the world's leading expert in counter-insurgency warfare".[23] 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.[24]

Military operations


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).[25] 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.[26][27]

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."[28] 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.[29] 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.[30] In 2007, he was promoted to General.[31] 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.[32]

Involvement in the Iraq War

101st Airborne Division
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,"[33] 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.[34][35][36][37][38][39]

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,[40][41][42] and launching 4,500 reconstruction projects.[43] 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.[44] Some Iraqis gave Petraeus the nickname 'King David',[40][45] which was later adopted by some of his colleagues.[46][47][48] 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."[49]

One of the General's major public works was the restoration and re-opening of the University of Mosul.[50][51][52] 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.[53][54] Petraeus' often repeated[55][56][57][58] catchphrase[59] was later incorporated into official military briefings[60][61] and was also eventually incorporated into the U.S. Army Counterinsurgency Field Manual drafted with Petraeus's oversight.[62]

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".[63] Former diplomat Peter Galbraith, a paid adviser to the Kurdish Regional Government,[64] criticized Petraeus's command of the 101st, saying his achievements have been exaggerated and his reputation is inflated.[65] 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."[66] 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."[67] 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."[68] 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."[69]

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.[70]

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."[71] 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."[72] 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.[73][74] 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.[75][76] Thousands of body armour pieces have also been lost.[77] 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."[78] The Pentagon conducted its own investigation, and accountability was subsequently regained for many of the weapons.[79]

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.[80]

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's 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.[81]

Throughout Petraeus's 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.[82][83][84]

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.[85][86]

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.[87] Kilcullen upon his return from Iraq and based on his experiences has recently published, The Accidental Guerrilla,[88] and recently discusses the central front of the war and lessons learned in Iraq, the father of the surge and other topics with the The Washington Post.[89]

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.[90]

By late May 2007, Congress did not impose any timetables in war funding legislation for troop withdrawal.[91] 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.[92][93] 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.[94] 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.[95][96] "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."[97]

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.[98] 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."[99] 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."[100][101]

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.[102]

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".[103] 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."[104]

Republican Presidential candidate Duncan Hunter called the report "a candid, independent assessment given with integrity".[105] Republican Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona stated that "I commend General Petraeus for his honest and forthright assessment of the situation in Iraq."[106] 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."[107] A USA Today/Gallup poll taken after Petraeus' report to Congress showed virtually no change in public opinion toward the war.[108] A Pew Research Center survey found that most Americans who have heard about the report approve of Petraeus' recommendations.[109]

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 in the September 10, 2007 edition of The New York Times. All forty-nine Republican Senators and twenty-two Democratic Senators voted in support.[110] The House passed a similar resolution by a 341-79 vote on September 26.[111]

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".[112]

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".[113]

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."[114] 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.[115][116] 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.[117]

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.[118] 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.[119][120]

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."[121] 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.[122] 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.[123]

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."[124]

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'.[125] 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."[126]

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.[126] 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."[126] He presented Petraeus with the Defense Distinguished Service Medal.[126] 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.[126] 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."[127] This is also illustrated by the Iraq Trends charts that the MNF-I produces weekly. The January 3, 2009, Iraq Trends Chart File:Iraq Trends 3 Jan 2009.pdf clearly depicts over time, the increases in incidents followed by the sharp decline as described by Dexter Filkens and others.***

U.S. Central Command (Fall 2008 to present)

Gen David H. Petraeus, CENTCOM official photo.

On October 31, 2008, Petraeus assumed command of the United States Central Command (USCENTCOM) headquartered in Tampa, Florida. Petraeus is now responsible for US 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 [128]. Petraeus reiterated this view in a 2009 interview published in Parade Magazine.[129] 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.” [130]

Insignia Rank Date
US-O10 insignia.svg GEN 2007
US-O9 insignia.svg LTG 2004
US-O8 insignia.svg MG 2003
US-O7 insignia.svg BG 2000
US-O6 insignia.svg COL 1995
US-O5 insignia.svg LTC 1991
US-O4 insignia.svg MAJ 1985
US-O3 insignia.svg CPT 1978
US-OF1A.svg 1LT 1976
US-OF1B.svg 2LT 1974

Prostate cancer

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[131]. 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. However, President Barack Obama and top members of his administration were informed.[132][133]

Decorations and badges

U.S. military decorations
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Defense Distinguished Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster)
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Distinguished Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster)
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Defense Superior Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster)
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit (with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters)
Bronze Star (with V Device)
Defense Meritorious Service ribbon.svg Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Service Medal (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters)
Joint Service Commendation ribbon.svg Joint Service Commendation Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Army Commendation Medal (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters)
Us jointservachiev rib.svg Joint Service Achievement Medal
Army Achievement Medal ribbon.svg Army Achievement Medal
U.S. unit awards
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Joint Meritorious Unit Award (with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters)
Meritorious Unit Commendation ribbon.svg Army Meritorious Unit Commendation
Army Superior Unit Award ribbon.svg Army Superior Unit Award
U.S. non-military decorations
USA - DOS Distinguished Service Award.png State Department Secretary's Distinguished Service Award[134]
Superior Honor Award.svg State Department Superior Honor Award
U.S. service (campaign) medals and service and training ribbons
Bronze star
Bronze star
National Defense Service Medal (with 2 Service Stars)
Bronze star
Bronze star
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (with 2 Service Stars)
Bronze star
Bronze star
Iraq Campaign Medal (with 2 Service Stars)
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary ribbon.svg Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service ribbon.svg Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Armed Forces Service Medal ribbon.svg Armed Forces Service Medal
Humanitarian Service ribbon.svg Humanitarian Service Medal
Army Service Ribbon.svg Army Service Ribbon
Army Overseas Service Ribbon (with award numeral 3)
U.S. badges, patches and tabs
Expert Infantry Badge.svg Expert Infantryman Badge
Combat Action Badge.svg Combat Action Badge
MPB.jpg Master Parachutist Badge (United States)
AirAssault.gif Air Assault Badge
GeneralStaffID.gif Army Staff Identification Badge
US - Joint Chiefs.png Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge
USCENTCOM.jpg U.S. Central Command Badge
Ranger Tab.png Ranger Tab
Central Command insignia.jpg U.S. Central Command Patch worn as his Current Unit of Assignment (left arm) Shoulder Sleeve Insignia (United States Army)
101AirborneDivCSIB.jpg 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Patch

worn as his Shoulder Sleeve Insignia (United States Army) – Former War Time Service (SSI-FWTS).

101AirborneDivDUI.jpg 101st Airborne Division Distinctive Unit Insignia
ArmyOSB.jpg 9 Overseas Service Bars

Foreign military decorations

  • Gold Award of the Iraqi Order of the Date Palm Ribbon.png Gold Award of the Iraqi Order of the Date Palm
  • Ribbon of the French commemorative Medal French Military Campaign Medal
  • Cross of Merit of the Minister of Defence of the Czech Republic.png National Defence Cross of the Minister of Defence of the Czech Republic

Foreign civil decorations

Non-U.S. service medals and ribbons

Foreign badges

Additional recognition of note

Petraeus has garnered numerous accolades in recent years. In 2010, he received the Lotos Club's Award of Distinction and Medal of Merit, as well as the Pilgrims of the United States' Medallion for Service to the Nation.

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's William 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,[136] as well as a Distinguished Member of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment.

In 2008, a poll conducted by Foreign Policy and Prospect magazines selected Petraeus as one of the world's top 100 public intellectuals.[137] 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."[138] As 2008 came to a close, GQ (December 2008) named Petraeus as the "Leader of the Year: Right Man, Right Time",[139] Newsweek named him the 16th most powerful person in the world in its December 20, 2008 edition,[140] and Prospect magazine named him the "Public Intellectual of the Year".[141]

In 2007, Time named Petraeus one of the 100 most influential leaders and revolutionaries of the year[142] as well as one of its four runners up for Time Person of the Year.[143][144] He was also named the second most influential American conservative by The Daily Telegraph[145] as well as The Daily Telegraph's 2007 Man of the Year.[146][147] In 2005, Petraeus was selected as one of America's top leaders by US News and World Report.[5]

Speeches and public remarks

  • "The Future of the Alliance and the Mission in Afghanistan," 45th Munich Security Conference, February 8, 2009 [9]
  • "The Emerging Regional Security Network," US-Islamic World Forum, February 14, 2009 [10]
  • "The Foreign Policy Interview with Gen. David H. Petraeus," January/February 2009, [11]

Published works

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ Gates Notes Shift in Mission as Iraq Command Changes Hands
  2. ^ Holusha, John (January 23, 2007). "General Calls Iraq Situation Dire". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ Gordon, Michael (January 5, 2007). "Bush to Name a New General to Oversee Iraq". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ Los Angeles Times. Profile: Gen. David Petraeus. Composed September 9, 2007. Retrieved November 4, 2007
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ Burns, Robert (Mar 9, 2010). "Petraeus for president? 'No' is his handy answer". The Associated Press. RealClearPolitics. Retrieved 9 March 2010. 
  12. ^ Atkinson, Rick; March 7, 2004; Unexpected Challenges Tested Petraeus in Iraq; Washington Post; retrieved September 11, 2007.
  13. ^ Little League Online
  14. ^ Can the general deliver? - In Depth -
  15. ^ Bruno, Greg; January 11, 2007; New Iraq commander is Cornwall's favorite son; Times-Herald Record; retrieved January 13, 2007.
  16. ^ "Hollister Knowlton Betrothed To David H. Petraeus, a Cadet". The New York Times: p. GN57. May 12, 1974. 
  17. ^ 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 
  18. ^ External link From the Commander—Farewell to Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavenworth.
  19. ^ FM 3-24 text
  20. ^ Nutt, Cullen; March 2, 2008; The Star-Ledger Section 2 page 1 and 4
  21. ^ Ricks, Thomas Fiasco New York: Penguin Press, 2006, page 419.
  22. ^ Barnes, Julian E.; October 31, 2005; An Open Mind for a New Army; US News and World Report;retrieved April 2, 2008;
  23. ^
  24. ^ [1]
  25. ^ NPR news story
  26. ^ Atkinson, Rick (January 7, 2007). "Iraq Will be Petraeus's Knot to Untie". The Washington Post: p. A15. 
  27. ^ Atkinson, Rick, In the Company of Soldiers: A Chronicle of Combat (New York City: Henry Holt & Co., 2004, ISBN 0-641-78803-7), p. 38.
  28. ^ Barnes, Julian An Open Mind for a New Army May 31, 2005, accessed April 2, 2008
  29. ^ "General Officer Announcements". DefenseLink. 2001-06-19. Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  30. ^ "Army General Officer Announcement". DefenseLink. 2004-05-05. Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  31. ^ "General Officer Announcements". DefenseLink. 2007-01-17. Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  32. ^ "2 Commanders Picked to Lead War Efforts Beyond 2008". New York Times. 2008-04-24. Retrieved 2008-04-25. 
  33. ^ The Story of O - New York Times
  34. ^ US general who acknowledges that the way ahead is not easy - Middle East, World -
  35. ^ Iraq Will Be Petraeus's Knot to Untie -
  36. ^ Iraq: Tell Me How This Ends, David Martin: It's Not Worth Arguing About Who Made Mistakes, Just How To End The War - CBS News
  37. ^ NPR: Petraeus Set for Another Shot at Iraq
  38. ^ Mark Hemingway on David Petraeus & Media on National Review Online
  39. ^ CAN PETRAEUS LEAD U.S. TO VICTORY? / General may be military's best - and last - hope in Iraq
  40. ^ a b IRAQ'S REPAIRMAN | Newsweek Iraq War |
  41. ^ CaseWeb: 1834.0 The Accidental Statesman: General Petraeus and the City of Mosul, Iraq
  42. ^ [Ricks, Thomas. Fiasco (New York: Penguin Press, 2006) page 228-232.
  43. ^ frontline: beyond Baghdad: interviews: maj. gen. david petraeus |PBS
  44. ^ Gordon, Michael. 101st Scores Success in Northern Iraq September 4, 2003.
  45. ^ Biggest challenge for 'pied piper of N. Iraq' - Telegraph
  46. ^ Petraeus, Our Old New Man in Iraq
  47. ^ NPR: Leader of the Fabled 101st to Command in Iraq
  48. ^ The Seattle Times: Nation & World: New Iraq commander tough and driven
  49. ^ IRAQ'S REPAIRMAN | Newsweek Iraq War |
  50. ^ A REGION INFLAMED: OCCUPATION; Baathists, Once Reviled, Prove Difficult to Remove - New York Times
  51. ^ Welcome support from Petraeus, Crocker for the Assyrian Christians of Iraq
  52. ^ Learning counterinsurgency: observations from soldiering in Iraq | Military Review |Find Articles at
  53. ^ race to win the peace, The | Army |Find Articles at
  54. ^ U.S. Cavalry On Point
  55. ^ Washington Week: Student Voices (O)
  56. ^ The Wall Street Journal Online - Peggy Noonan
  57. ^ FrontPage Magazine
  58. ^
  59. ^ America is braced for the general's verdict | Iraq |Guardian Unlimited
  60. ^ 101st Airborne Scores Success in Reconstruction of Northern Iraq
  61. ^
  62. ^ Paradoxes of Counterinsurgency Operations from the U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual
  63. ^ The Teflon general with a liking for the limelight | Iraq |Guardian Unlimited
  64. ^ Ambassador Peter Galbraith, Adviser to the Kurdistan Regional Government
  65. ^ A warrior and a scholar - America's last best hope for salvation in Iraq | Iraq |Guardian Unlimited
  66. ^ The Surge - The New York Review of Books
  67. ^ Fiasco by Thomas Ricks (New York: Penguin Press, 2006) page 232
  68. ^ Klein, Joe. "When Bad Missions Happen to Good Generals" Time January 22, 2007; accessed April 16, 2008
  69. ^ Gordon, Michael and Bernard Trainor. Cobra II New York: Panetheon Books, 2006, pages 455-456.
  70. ^ Ajami, Faoud. The Foreigner's Gift (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2006) pages 295-298.
  71. ^ "Battling for Iraq", Washington Post
  72. ^
  73. ^ "Weapons Given to Iraq Are Missing" on August 7, 2007
  74. ^ 190,000 US weapons feared missing in Iraq | Iraq |Guardian Unlimited
  75. ^ "Iraq's Arms Bazaar" in Newsweek
  76. ^ "U.S. shoots self in foot with lost weapons in Iraq" in The Oakland Tribune
  77. ^ "US 'loses track' of Iraq weapons"
  78. ^ Pentagon admits 190,000 weapons missing in Iraq - Americas, World -
  79. ^ Weapons Given to Iraq Are Missing -
  80. ^ "Learning Counterinsurgency: Observations from Soldiering in Iraq" in Military Review
  81. ^ "General Petraeus's Opening Statement" published January 23, 2007, accessed April 17, 2008.
  82. ^ Klein, Joe. "Operation Last Chance" TimeJune 28, 2007, accessed April 16, 2008.
  83. ^ Peters, Ralph. "Iraq's Reliberation" New York Post August 22, 2007; accessed April 16, 2008.
  84. ^ Robinson, Linda. "Petraeus Tries to Make Headway in Iraq US News and World Report May 28, 2007; accessed April 16, 2008.
  85. ^ Baker, Peter. "General Is Front Man For Bush's Iraq Plan", The Washington Post, February 7, 2007. Retrieved February 8, 2007.
  86. ^ Sennott, Charles M. "The Petraeus doctrine", The Boston Globe, January 28, 2007. Retrieved February 8, 2007.
  87. ^ Ricks, Thomas E. "Petraeus selects team of warrior-intellectuals", MSNBC, February 5, 2007. Retrieved February 7, 2007.
  88. ^ [2]
  89. ^ [3]
  90. ^ "Senate passes Iraq withdrawal bill; veto threat looms". CNN. 2007-04-26. Retrieved 2007-05-12. 
  91. ^ Congress surrenders to Bush, FinalCall
  92. ^ Petraeus says security crackdown working, USA Today
  93. ^ Reid Blasts Generals on Iraq (June 15, 2007),Capital Hill Blue
  94. ^ Iraq 'Challenges' to Last for Years (June 18, 2007), Washington Post
  95. ^ Burns, John F. "For Top General in Iraq, Role is a Mixed Blessing" The New York Times August 18, 2007, accessed April 16, 2008.
  96. ^ "Petraeus lauds Iraq violence fall" BBC News December 21, 2007; accessed April 16, 2008.
  97. ^ [4]
  98. ^
  99. ^ "Top General May Propose Pullbacks." Los Angeles Times. Aug 15, 2007. retrieved August 16, 2007. (see page 2)
  100. ^
  101. ^ "Report to Congress on the Situation in Iraq." 10 Sept 2007. retrieved September 10, 2007.
  102. ^ "Report to Congress on the Situation in Iraq" September 10–11, 2007
  103. ^ Petraeus Warns Against Quick Pullback in Iraq - New York Times
  104. ^ Democratic response to president's address - MarketWatch
  105. ^ Petraeus Warns Against Quick Pullback in Iraq News Graphic
  106. ^ Senator Jon Kyl Press Office
  107. ^ NPR: Political Junkie: The Impact of the Iraq Reports
  108. ^ Poll: Public not swayed by Petraeus -
  109. ^ Summary of Findings: Petraeus' Proposals Favored, But No Lift in War Support
  110. ^ U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records Home > Votes > Roll Call Vote
  111. ^ [5]
  112. ^ Most Revealing Fibs: Hillary Clinton - Fact Checker
  113. ^ Iraq | Finding a way forward in Iraq |Seattle Times Newspaper
  114. ^ "Progress in Iraq reshapes debate over war". USA Today. Published February 18, 2008.
  115. ^ Robinson, Linda. [ "Why David Petraeus Wants to Go Slowly on Troop Drawdowns" US News and World Report January 17, 2008, accessed April 16, 2008.
  116. ^ Duffy, Michael. "The Surge At Year One" Time January 31, 2008, accessed April 16, 2008.
  117. ^ "Gates: US may slow Iraq drawdown" February 11, 2008; accessed April 16, 2008
  118. ^ "Report to Congress on the Situation in Iraq" April 8–9, 2008; accessed April 16, 2008
  119. ^ Myers, Stephen Lee and Thom Shanker. "Petraeus Urges Halt in Weighing Troop New Cut in Force" The New York Times April 9, 2008; accessed April 16, 2008
  120. ^ Michaels, Jim and David Jackson "Petraeus' Testimony Met with Praise, Skepticism" USA Today April 9, 2008; accessed April 16, 2008
  121. ^ Flaherty, Anne. [6] "A Top Senate Democrat Signals Support for Petraeus" May 22, 2008; accessed June 3, 2008
  122. ^ [7] "US Central Command Opening Statement" May 22, 2008; accessed June 3, 2008
  123. ^ [8] Operational Update by MG Kevin Bergner, spokesman for Multi-National Force-Iraq, and MajGen Qassim Atta, spokesman for Operation Fardh Al Qanoon, Baghdad, Iraq, June 4, 2008; accessed June 4, 2008
  124. ^ No victory in Iraq, says Petraeus. BBC News. Published September 11, 2008.
  125. ^ Gen. Petraeus Defines Victory in Iraq. NPR News. Published March 18, 2008.
  126. ^ a b c d e "Gates Praises Petraeus On Eve of Duty Transfer". The New York Times. Page A13. Published September 16, 2008.
  127. ^ Filkins, Dexter. "Exiting Iraq, Petraeus Says Gains Are Fragile." The New York Times. Published August 20, 2008. Found at
  128. ^ (
  129. ^ (
  130. ^ (
  131. ^
  132. ^ NPR: Gen. David Petraeus Treated For Prostate Cancer
  133. ^
  134. ^
  135. ^ United Nations Mission in Haiti
  136. ^
  137. ^
  138. ^
  139. ^
  140. ^
  141. ^
  142. ^
  143. ^,28804,1595326_1615513_1615454,00.html
  144. ^,28804,1690753_1695388_1695379,00.html
  145. ^
  146. ^
  147. ^,1518,533781,00.html

External links

Further reading

  • Cloud, David; Greg Jaffe (2009). The Fourth Star: Four Generals and the Epic Struggle for the Future of the United States Army. Random House. 
Military offices
Preceded by
William Scott Wallace
Commandants of the United States Army Command and General Staff College
October 20, 2005 - February 2, 2007
Succeeded by
William B. Caldwell IV
Preceded by
George W. Casey, Jr.
Commander Multinational Force Iraq
Succeeded by
Raymond T. Odierno
Preceded by
Martin E. Dempsey(acting)
Commander of United States Central Command
October 31, 2008 -
Succeeded by


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

There are no easy choices. The way ahead will be very hard … But hard is not hopeless.
Political progress will only take place if sufficient security exists.

David Howell Petraeus (born November 7, 1952) is a general in the United States Army.


  • There are no easy choices. The way ahead will be very hard. Progress will require determination and difficult U.S. and Iraqi actions, especially the latter, as ultimately the outcome will be determined by the Iraqis. But hard is not hopeless, and if confirmed, I pledge to do my utmost to lead our wonderful men and women in uniform and those of our coalition partners in Iraq as we endeavor to help the Iraqis make the most of the opportunity our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines have given to them.
  • Iran, as we have already discussed, has carried out very, very harmful activities inside Iraq. Funding, trainings, arming and, in some cases, even directing the activities of the special groups associated with the Jaish al-Mahdi and the Sadr Militia.
    • As quoted in "Ranking House Committee Members Grill Crocker and Petraeus on U.S. Progress in Iraq" in The Washington Post (10 September 2007)

External links

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