James Forsyth

The scale of Petraeus’s achievement

The scale of Petraeus’s achievement
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If you want to get an idea of how great General Petraeus’s achievement have been in Iraq, consider this revelation from Time’s profile of him

“At a Pentagon meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff in December 2006, President Bush asked the Chiefs how many supported the idea of a surge — the deployment of more troops (which Petraeus would command) into Baghdad to secure the city and create the conditions necessary for a reconciliation of the various Iraqi political factions. The Chiefs were unanimously opposed.”

There is no purely military solution in Iraq but without security there is no hope of a solution and there are encouraging signs that the political progress is beginning to be made in this new more secure environment—note the recent Kirkuk agreement.  As David Ignatius writes today in the Washington Post, “Just as no Iraqi wanted to be the last to abandon what appeared to be a sinking ship, neither will any want to be the last to clamber back aboard.”

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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