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Yesterday I read an article about Petraeus' resignation, and the little thing that jumped out at me was that in US military law, adultery is still a crime. Seems archaic, doesn't it? The article said that a retired general is unlikely to be tried for that crime, but it makes me wonder if any military personnel have been tried for adultery in recent history.

There's a lot of discussion going on about whether Petraeus has been knocked down by his enemies, either within the military or elsewhere in the government. There's a lot of talk about him as a self-promoter full of naked ambition. I guess the other thing that caught my eye in the article I read is that he applied for the job of head of the CIA when his path to further promotion within the military was blocked. What higher role did he want within the military? Who blocked him? I can't help but wonder if this is the final move in a game that started when he became the public face of Bush's policy in Iraq. It always seemed to me pretty tawdry (and fundamentally anti-American) that a Commander-in-Chief would use a general in such a political way, and I wonder if there weren't people in the military who felt it was tawdry for a general to allow himself to be used in that way.

Well, how the mighty are fallen. Something rather operatic about it all.



( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 11th, 2012 07:13 pm (UTC)
Petraeus was the architect of the counter-insurgency strategy in Iraq, or at least he took credit for it. Either way, that would be enough to earn him some serious enemies within the Pentagon. Supporters too, but that just makes him controversial, not universally liked.
Nov. 11th, 2012 07:43 pm (UTC)
I don't see how this scandal undermines his theory (or practice) of counter-insurgency, but I suppose somebody could just be being vindictive about losing the argument over strategy. If, in fact, somebody ratted him out and it wasn't just a case of his being incredibly sloppy on a personal level.
Nov. 11th, 2012 08:59 pm (UTC)
I was responding to where you were wondering who might have blocked his further promotion within the military. My guess is that it was the military establishment. They lost the argument over strategy and tactics in Iraq, and they were forced to win the war Petraeus' way instead of losing it their way, and they are never going to forgive him over it.

There's a good article in The Atlantic, "General Failure", about how incompetent generalship goes unpunished and even gets promoted. It is a stark contrast with WW II where Marshall reassigned ineffective generals and had a fast track for promoting junior offices with the abilities we needed. In the GWOT, eventually things got so desperate that we had to resort to proven techniques for winning, but only after trying everything else first, and not without ill feelings.
Nov. 11th, 2012 09:07 pm (UTC)
Ah, I see. I'm not sure that I agree that we won in Iraq, other than the fact that we were able to get out without all hell breaking loose (so far). I suppose it depends on your definition of victory.
Nov. 11th, 2012 10:04 pm (UTC)
We survived (mostly) and we got out (mostly). FTW!
Nov. 11th, 2012 07:37 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I kinda fail to understand why Petraeus resigned rather than filing for divorce or going for marriage counseling.
Nov. 11th, 2012 07:52 pm (UTC)
Nothing a nice, rigorous hike on the Appalachian Trail couldn't have solved!
Nov. 12th, 2012 02:59 am (UTC)

I think this might fall under the "pillow talk" fear, that someone with sensitive intelligence info might blab to their lover. (As someone said on Twitter, you can't make this stuff up: the woman he had the affair with was writing his biography and it is titled "All In" :-> )
Nov. 12th, 2012 07:47 am (UTC)
The FBI is making it sound like they stumbled into the story because of a spat between Broadwell and another woman that led them to Petraeus' relationship with Broadwell. Even more operatic, if so.
Nov. 12th, 2012 07:10 am (UTC)
Well, there seems to be something about his lover rummaging around in his laptop when she woke up before him, and using stuff she found to threaten people she didn't like. That seems to go a little beyond typical relationship problems. Apparently there's a big story in tomorrow's nytimes...
Nov. 12th, 2012 07:54 am (UTC)
So either the Director of the CIA had no security on his laptop or he gave Broadwell access? Oh, the humanity!

Edited at 2012-11-12 07:54 am (UTC)
Nov. 12th, 2012 07:46 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's not so much that Petraeus had an affair as that he had an affair with a snoopy nutcase blackmailer, which shows really bad judgment.
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 12th, 2012 07:14 am (UTC)
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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