Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Petraeus to CENTCOM

Or, in the words of AM, "CENTCOM is not IRAQCOM."

My thoughts from a comment there (that basically mirrored a subsequent post...something about great minds I guess):
My first thought was reeeeally bad idea, for a variety of reasons.

Primary among these is the fact that CENTCOM is not Iraq. CENTCOM is not Iraq and Afghanistan. CENTCOM is not Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran. CENTCOM is about 15 major issues on top of 50 intermediate ones on top of too many minor ones to count. Is it really a good idea to move the guy who has spent his past tour worried solely about one of those major issues directly into worrying about all of them?

It's not a slur on Gen. Petraeus, but it's only natural for someone who has spent years focused on one problem to naturally continue to focus on that one problem.
And another comment from the above linked post:
Heh, insert comment about "great minds and all that" here.

Forget Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran. What about the HOA? What about piracy and the subsequent maritime interests involved?

I'm with you that SACEUR would've been a good place. Hell, I'd even be okay with sending him to SACEUR and then back to something Middle East related (either CENTCOM commander or a "war czar" type position, or whatever). But sending him directly from MNF-I to CENTCOM just isn't a good idea.

And you're just talking about this from a regional perspective. What about domestically? Do we really want all the baggage from Iraq to be carried over into our larger regional policy? Because like it or not, mentioning the words "Petraeus" and "Middle East" in the same sentence are going to conjure up images of "General Betray-us" and "willful suspension of disbelief" on both sides of the aisle.
Yeah, suffice to say I don't think this is that good of an idea. Especially considering this on the domestic front: his tour as CENTCOM commander will theoretically last into the next administration. Do we really want all that baggage clouding every discussion on policy in the Middle East?