Max Boot’s latest Los Angeles Times column is a tribute to David Petraeus:
He did fine on the “march up” to Baghdad, but he truly excelled when called upon to garrison northern Iraq. He did not limit himself to purely military concerns because he understood that generating electricity and electing mayors would be as important as firing bullets and missiles, if not more so. More-hidebound officers looked askance at a dynamic young division commander who seemed to be getting out of his “lane.” But Petraeus’ understanding of what it took to prevail would be amply vindicated when he was called upon to rescue a failing war effort as the top commander in Iraq in 2007.
For all of Petraeus’s flaws, it is important that we not forget his contributions to American national security in a time of turmoil.