Day 66, January 4, 2009



The Times of London ran an interview praising everyone's favourite soldier today and brought to mind again why his strategy worked where others failed.

"...In the earliest stages of the surge Petraeus gave his security detail conniptions by acting on his own advice and taking off his helmet when walking through villages still harbouring those who would have liked nothing more than to have killed a US general. This is where Petraeus the intellectual morphs into Petraeus the man of action – after all, his slightly tilted gait is not eccentricity but the legacy of a malfunctioning parachute and a resulting crushed pelvis. "

One interesting quote on the difference between the politicians in government and the generals on the ground was this:

“... Al-Qaeda and its allies are keenly aware of the strategic context in which they operate. They are very aware of the Washington clock, the Nato clock, the London clock. I have to tell you that I sometimes thought that the Washington clock was running a lot more rapidly than the Baghdad clock – occasionally you had to tap the Baghdad clock to make sure that it was still ticking. So, again, an awareness of Al-Qaeda’s appreciation of the global context, and its resilience, must be considered as we craft and refine our strategy."

In a related development, Military Times released an unofficial poll stating that six out of ten active servicemen and women are either uncertain or pessimistic about their new commander in chief. One third are optimistic, and that includes eight out of 10 African-American servicemen and -women.

It does come with the disclaimer that the survey "under-represents minorities, women and junior enlisted service members, and over-represents soldiers."


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