- David Petraeus made headlines when he abruptly resigned from his post as CIA director, but he's long been in the news.
Iraq War and national prominence
- Then-Major General Petraeus rose to national attention when he led the 101st Airborne Division into Baghdad during the Iraq War. He was regarded in the media as being one of the few high-ranking military leaders to understand the complexities of dealing with the citizens of a post-invasion Iraq.
- Petraeus, a student of military history, wrote a lengthy history and lessons learned from the war in Vietnam in 1986.
Leading American forces in Iraq
- In 2004, Petraeus was tapped to lead a 2004 transition team which was given the task of training and guiding Iraq's recreated Army and police forces. Petraeus' group was also tasked with distributing billions of dollars' worth of military materials. In September of that year, Petraeus penned an op-ed for the Washington Post in which he touted the success of the Multinational Security Transition Command in Iraq.
- However, in 2007, an investigation by the Washington Post uncovered that the distribution of weapons to Iraqi security forces was haphazard and failed to follow established procedures.
The surge and General "Betray Us"
- When Gen. George Casey was tapped by the Bush Administration to be the Chief of Staff of the Army in early 2007 Petraeus was a natural lock to succeed him. By that time, the war was stagnating, and public opinion was turning sour. Most notably, it was a major factor in a crushing Republican defeat which allowed the Democrats to gain control of the House of Representatives.
The Petraeus selection was linked to a change in strategy known as the surge: The Administration sent roughly 30,000 troops into Iraq to provide a greater police presence, as well as to focus on counter-insurgency. It was a tactical decision that raised many questions about the future of the Iraq war.
Petraeus was expected to deliver a September report to Congress which would include a partial pullback of troops from Iraq. However, suspicions that the report would be written by the Bush Administration — and not Petraeus himself — led the liberal advocacy group MoveOn.org to put an ad in the New York Times questioning whether or not Petraeus' report could be questioned.
- The Petraeus report, and the overall success of the surge, are debated even today.
- Gen. Petraeus was promoted in late 2008 to lead the United States Central Command, the group responsible for overseeing the military operations in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. With the promotion, Petraeus was given oversight of the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He held that position until 2010.
Taking charge of Afghanistan
Retirement and CIA appointment
- In August 2011, President Obama nominated Petraeus to be the director of the Central Intelligence Agency when CIA Director Leon Panetta was named the Secretary of Defense.
As seen ondelcotimes.com
David Petraeus affair: The career of David Petraeus
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