25 April 2008

Petraeus, Odierno & Chiarelli

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Great news from Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates yesterday. General David Petraeus has been nominated to command U.S. Central Command and Lt. General Raymond Odierno was nominated to take Petraeus' spot in Iraq.

This is great news for America and great news for Iraq and Afghanistan. From the Wall Street Journal:
This means that both men will be able to build on the Iraq success of the last year, without losing time as new commanders learn the ropes. It also means that General Petraeus won't face a superior at Centcom agitating that he withdraw troops before Iraqis are ready to handle their own security. That was the case with former Centcom chief, Admiral William Fallon, who recently resigned with a well-deserved White House push. As a theater commander with a direct line to the Defense Secretary and President, General Petraeus also won't have to answer to service chiefs jealous of his success and resources.
We've followed Petraeus since he first commanded the 101st in the early stages of the Iraq War. He is honorable and competent. Lt. General Raymond Odierno is cut from the same cloth. These promotions and the success of these men and our military are evidence, once again, not only of the superiority of our armed forces, but also that the U.S. Military is collectively the greatest meritocracy in the world.

However, the job isn't quite done yet and these nominations will have to face the Democratic (big d) circus in Congress. Ralph Peters in the NY Post described it well and posed the appropriate questions:
It's now up to Congress to respond to Gates' request that these nominations be approved by Memorial Day. Will the partisans on Capitol Hill create another spectacle, or will they do the right thing? Will election-year politics undercut our soldiers yet again?
It's another of our elitist audacious hopes for this country that the adults will be in charge (not Harry Reid, who's nuts) when these promotions come up and that these men will be confirmed and in position to fill their respective commands ASAP.

*UPDATE 30 April 5:38pm MST: Capt. Pete Hesgeth on Generals Petraeus and Odierno: Cleaning Up Mesopotamia

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buruboi said...
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buruboi said...

I'm encouraged that Patraeus will be calling the shots for Centcom. Afghanistan and the larger War on Terror need expert management. Don't know much about Odierno. Lets hope he is cut from the same fabric as you say.

Ben Treasure said...

By most accounts, Odierno was responsible for losing the 'hearts and minds' of Baghdad in the critical window following the '03 invasion - under his command of the 4th ID. Opposition to his appointment will be far from political.