June 23, 2010
President Obama's hand-picked general to lead the war in Afghanistan barely held ground against the Taliban, and was losing the bureaucratic battle to Obama's even more inept civilian appointees; an incompetent ambassador, a clueless national security advisor, and of course, a defeatist President. Instead of losing Afghanistan due to incompetent Democratic leadership, Gen. Stanley McCrystal fragged his civilian leadership and his career, to open the door for the next general and give him a chance to win where McCrystal was not allowed.
Into this gap steps General David Petraeus, the general who broke Sunni and Shia insurgencies in Iraq and ended the war there are clearly as any insurgency can ever be defeated.
Most will applaud General Petraeus' decision to take command in Afghanistan, as it seems logical to have the architect of one counterinsurgency success take over what appears on the surface to be a similar effort.
But what most will not realize is that General Petraeus demoted himself to lead this war. The general who led Americas' efforts in the entire region is stepping back down to take over one grinding, thankless campaign.
By doing so he risks his legacy. He risks defeat in a land where outsiders have battled and lost for a thousand years. But he knows—better than any of us—that he is the best man to lead this fight. If anyone can win this war, he can.
God be with you General, and those in your command.