Monday, September 10, 2007

Petraeus' Technocratitis

In 2004, as a division commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus was asking a philosophical question to which he clearly had no answer, “Tell me how this ends.”

At his first press conference after taking command this year, he was still focused on the broad picture, saying, “There is no military solution to a problem like that in Iraq...There needs to be a political aspect.”

In his appearance before Congress today, Gen. Petraeus seems to have put all doubts aside as he gives what amounts to an unqualified testimonial to the “progress” of the Surge and joins the chorus of chaos-sayers if we significantly withdraw our troops in the near future.

Given his intelligence and sincerity, the most obvious diagnosis is that the General has contracted a severe case of technocratitis--so involved in the security mission he is overseeing that he no longer has the perspective of three years ago, of Iraq as an endlessly frustrating enterprise.

It is Congress’ job to see the war in the perspective Petraeus had back then and has clearly lost to the tunnel vision of his assignment now.

Tell us how this ends, General, and when.

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