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Book Claims Petraeus Almost Quit After Afghan Drawdown

January 3, 2012 by  

Book Claims Petraeus Almost Quit After Afghan Drawdown

Four-star General turned CIA Director David Petraeus almost resigned as Afghanistan war commander over President Barack Obama’s decision to draw down surge forces, according to a new book about the career of the Army veteran.

The Associated Press reported that the book, All In: The Education of General David Petraeus, traces the career of the former General, from his days at West Point to his command of both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

According to the news outlet, which received an advance copy of the book, Petraeus decided that resigning would be a “selfish, grandstanding move with huge political ramifications” and that now was “time to salute and carry on.”

The AP reported that the book describes Petraeus’ frustration at still being labeled an outsider from the Obama Administration, even though he retired from the military at the request of the President before taking the job as the CIA’s 20th director.

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  • Sirian

    Is this really all that unusual? Isn’t it fairly common for “four stars” to step into the political arena before, during and after they have completed thirty to thirty-five years in the military? They too play the games necessary that will advance them further up the pole. So, Petraeus is in a way a “run of the norm” type. Yes, he is very good in the field but again, so many “four stars” are in pursuit of political recognition/position once they leave the military, retired or otherwise.

    • Margaret Hood

      Sorry to inform you but HE didn’t nor does seek anything presidential. Many had already tapped him before Obama’s clever move, his answer was NO!!

    • Robert Smith

      Posted: “so many “four stars” are in pursuit of political recognition/position once they leave the military, retired or otherwise.”

      Yes, Eisenhour is an excellent example.

      Oops the Republican party recruited him and then stuck him with Nixon so they could get their real stooge in.


      • s c

        [this is the second time I submitted this. this version is a bit more polite, but still approximates my disgust] -
        R, how many stars has your W H wunderkind earned?

        • Joe H.

          the way the press tried to gut Petraeus, I’m suprised he didn’t quit!!! Doesn’t anybody remember the “Betrayus” remarks??? That the press can scrub off the good name of a man who has done nothing wrong but serve his nation honorably and get away with it is DISGUSTING!!

    • karel Eekels

      Sirian my friend, may I respectfully suggest you read the classical “On War” written by Carl von Clausewitz, who eloquently explains why and how ” war is politics by other means”. By his own exposure and experience, going back to the 19th. century, von Clausewitz a crack military commander and strategist reminds us that a civilian form of government ultimately calls the shots. Yes, right or wrong, whether you and I like it or not it is disturbing to see elected civilian representatives in the body politico ( with no military background with zero military experience) be part of this process. his .

      All things considered Sirian, General D. Petraeus, along with several other outstanding military leaders with higher or lower rank served the country well and honorably in a very difficult environment with debatable marching orders from our current leadership. I happened to feel safe knowing that Gen. Petraeus is now at the helm of the CIA. I have my hopes up that he can end the in-house “turf battle” between the DOD and the Intelligence community.

  • No fool

    Of course he’s considered and outsider. He’s a Republican with several years of real training and leadership. Unfortunately Obama has him in his pocket and this retired 4 star general now knows he’s just a puppet taking orders from a party who couldn’t even run a candy store.

  • Suoertad108

    My problem with this is the fact he merely thought about it. When will we start getting men and woman that stand and act on principle and not just think about it? He has a bully pulpit use the darn thing to stand up for what is right. Imagine the damage we can do to this hostile take-over if we had people of influence gain a few nads and stand up and SPEAK! Enough of this thinking crap.

    • Robert Smith

      “He has a bully pulpit use the darn thing to stand up for what is right.”

      You mean like Colin Luther Powell who admitted that his most embarasing moment was speaking to the UN on behalf of GWB’s “weapons of mass destruction” lie?

      Oops, it took Colin Powell years to come clean about those lies. Eventually he did do the right thing though.


      • s c

        You’re consistent, r. Your head is still permanently rammed up your ‘opinion.’ Nice touch
        with the GB remark. How do you explain dead Kurds? Were they killed with mental vibes? The fact that GB waited too long to search for WMDs doesn’t mean they never existed.
        Just another utopian LIE put out for public consumption. If you want, I’ll send you a check for a dollar so you can go and buy some integrity at a local garage sale. Utopian hypocrite.

  • SSMcDonald

    To his eternal shame, Petraeus (USMA74) did not stand with McChrystal (USMA76) when the obvious stand was to support McChrystal. So the one-world government power brokers now have one more new face for the future in which they control.

  • Randy131

    If Petraeus was truly a principled man, and cared for the USA, he would have resigned in protest, to show the American people what a terrifically dire decission was made, that will put to waste all the sacrifices made by the US Military and the American people, but instead he took a pay-off of a touted government position, to ensure the extension of his government career. What you’ve seen is what we got from Pretaeus, no ifs, ands, or buts, the facts can be seen by all, and the outcome of the future of Afghanistan will tell the truth.

    • eddie47d

      Afghanistan is with us and blowing smoke up Gen Petraeus’s butt won’t do much to solve that scenario. I opposed both the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and pray that all our troops come home yet I believe Petraeus is a man of integrity and worthy of respect. I don’t know if he will try and keep the CIA honest (an impossible task) but maybe more accountable.

  • James

    General Petraeus, like Gen. MacArthur, is from the old school, he wanted to stay there until we defeated the enemy. The problem is, the enemy was dispersed among people of Afghanistan who were not our enemy. Our action there was really a Police Action, and that will continue forever, like Korea and a few dozen other places.

  • Robert X. Leeds

    I also served in Iraq and I was most disappointed when more Generals didn’t step up and support General McChrystal. The front office of any war is on the battlefield and for a neophyte (who has never served in any military force) decides how we will fight our wars encourages a disgraceful conclusion. While serving, our political leaders decided that the decrease in military casualties was worth losing the war. Many times we took small arm fire and rocket fire and immediately turned aroung and headed for our base at full speed. Not once was I on a patrol that stopped and engaged the enemy. “We didn’t want to hurt any civilians even though the “civilians” were carrying the rocket launchers, ieds, and rockets. For every strike we made, we let a dozen go by because the terrorists were near “civilian” houses. Counter insurgency and counter terrorism can co-exist, but you don’t excuse the civilians who aid and abet the terrorists. In the end, we were nothing but moving targets and forbidden to stop and engage the enemy. My Stryker was struck by an RKPG and five of us got out alive (but injured). We had 5 strykers in our patrol with probably over 25,000 rounds between us. We could have cut down every blade of grass in the field where the terrorist was hiding, but were forbidden to do so. One week later, in the same spot, the terrorist got lucky and penetrated the armor of the Stryker and killed all five soldiers inside. We should never, never, never go into a war without the total overwhelming force and supplies to win! Of course we would need a leader who doesn’t promise to quit by a certain date and who gives the enemy our exact troop strength and a laundry list of our equipment. I’d vote for David Petraeus tomorrow and I think most people who know this man would join me!

    • CJM

      You cannot fight, let alone win, a war using political correctness as your field guide…and that’s how the conflicts in the Middle East are being fought. The day after the Sept 11 attack, Bush should have ordered a well-aimed missile at bin Ladin’s favorite hideout in the Afghan mountains. Had he done so, the fools in the ME would have realized the US is nothing to sneer at.

    • s c

      Robert, thank you for your service. Those of us who are older and try to keep informed concerning what’s going on around the world and in the White House know that the roots of current events were planted in Korea and Vietnam. That is, when the ‘best and the brightest’ crowd takes over, forget tactics and winning.
      I’m sorry that you had to serve under a pretender C-i-C. A prez who never saw military service (combat or otherwise) is a liability. That is a
      lesson that is not appreciated among our
      pedestal-loving ‘cream’ in Washington.
      Hopefully, General Petraeus can exert some leverage in his new capacity. It must have been a mind-numbing experience having to keep quiet while academic hacks and instant experts told the
      military what it could do, where, how and when.
      Since Eisenhower, I wonder how many W H occupants since then could have lasted through a KP detail or bouts as a latrine queen, let alone be seen as real Commanders-in-Chief.

  • CJM

    Why do we need a book to tell us what the general public already knew; it was common knowledge that Patreus was contemplating resignation after the Afghanistan fiasco. The quote given was also in the news at the time. Seems like the pundits have nothing else to do except rehash old news.

  • hithadeck

    General Petraeus became a direct threat to Obama because of his success in Iraq and his popularity with the American people. He is conservative and it was rumored that Republican Party wanted him to run him against Obama in 2012. Obama knew that and put Petraeus as head of the CIA which is a position that normally stays in the background because of its stealthy activities. Obama also used the same tactic with Hillary Clinton making her obligated to him as the Secretary of State. This was a useless position for her dealings in the Middle East, because Muslims have no respect and will not negotiate with women but it kept her out of her political ambitions to run against Obama in 012.


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