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January 24, 2007

New Iraq Commander: Mission Is 'Hard, Not Hopeless'

David Petraeus in field.jpgFrom the mouth of Lt. General Petraeus, one of our best military leaders and the man that has been chosen by the president to be the new coalition commander in Iraq: "The situation in Iraq is "dire," and the job he has been given is "hard" but "not hopeless."

... Lieutenant General David Petraeus told the Senate Armed Services Committee the plan can restore order in Baghdad and give the Iraqi government a chance to establish its authority and provide economic development. But he said success will require more than the additional U.S. troops President Bush is sending, and the Iraqi forces being moved to the capital from elsewhere in the country. He said it will require a concerted reconstruction effort by the Iraqis and by U.S. government civilian agencies, and tough political choices by Iraqi leaders. The general said the situation in Iraq is "dire," and the job he has been given is "hard" but "not hopeless."

... General Petraeus is the principal author of the Army's new counterinsurgency manual, and is known as one of the U.S. military's top intellectuals and one of its most experienced field commanders. This will be his third tour of duty in Iraq.

... General Petraeus also listed what he considers would be the dire consequences of a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, including increased ethnic cleansing, possible involvement by other countries in the region, the creation of terrorist havens in Iraq and disruption to the world economy.

General Petraeus is one of the better moves that Bush has made in Iraq. And even the al-Guardian says good things about him, noting that Petraeus gets a thumbs-up from bloggers, who point to his success in northern Iraq during the 2003 invasion. Hell, even the Islamist acadamician Juan Cole says good things about him.

Petraeus is likely the best we've got for the job at hand, and damned well deserves the chance. After all, many lives, including our own, could hang on his success in Iraq.

Posted by Mike in Iraq at January 24, 2007 12:47 PM

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