Among his favorite axioms is this: "Any army of liberation has a certain half-life before it becomes an army of occupation." Petraeus made this comment repeatedly to reporters in 2003 and 2004. He reiterated the point in a 2006 article summarizing his own lessons from Iraq. The point is not without wisdom. It also possesses immediate relevance to matters at hand. Somewhat coyly, Petraeus has never specified the duration of this half-life. Yet this much is certain: The moment when Americans might have persuaded Iraqis to embrace them as liberators has long since passed.
Aug 7, 2007
Bacevich on Petraeus
Andrew J. Bacevich writes about the General David Petraeus' plans for Iraq in The New Republic.