Saturday, May 30, 2009

Is General Petraeus positioning himself for a post-Army political career?

Interesting question, but it is what came to mind when I read this:

During an interview today with Fox News, CENTCOM commander General David Petraeus said the US government had been “rightly” criticized for violating the Geneva Convention in recent years. The general added that he thought going forward it was important for the US to live up to the agreements it made internationally.

Petraeus defended the ban on “enhanced interrogation techniques,” saying it had taken away a tool used as a moral argument against the US on the international scene. He insisted that while “there might be an exception” he felt that the Army Field Manual was “generally sufficient” for interrogations.

I am well aware that Petraeus had generally denied any political ambitions, but this kind of statement is one that you'll usually only see out of a general officer contemplating his positioning for a new career. He can simultaneously be tough on defense [obviously], while demonstrating that moral rectitude so necessary these days to get elected. Short of getting a fifth star (unlikely unless North Korea actually invades and he's called on to take command there), CentCom is destined to be Petraeus' last command prior to retirement.

As a civilian, I'm thinking he makes an interesting post-Gates SecDef or post-Clinton SecState, both of whom will be gone--at the latest--in the first year of a second Obama administration. Other possibilities: the Dems dump Paterson and run him for Governor of New York in 2010.

No hard evidence--just sayin'.


Nancy Willing said...

I thought as much when he took this tack on the Geneva Convention violation. I thought as much when he first denied it too.

townie 76 said...


Petraeus would not be eligible to be the Secretary of Defense for ten years, as specified in 10 USC section 113 (a).

Secretary of State would be a better position.

My guess it will take a position as the President of a University.