Gen. Petraeus’ Paradigm Examined: A Look Inside of the Mind of a Soldier

How often do we forget about the actual individuals on the ground in the hotbeds of Iraq and Afghanistan, the civilians, the soldiers, the mothers and fathers, the sons and daughters? How often does the debate about the validity of the cause enable our attention to be turned from the human stories? More often then not I find myself focusing on the problems of the rhetoric, and ignoring the solutions in practice.

Gen. David Petraeus, until recently commander of the American forces in Iraq, recently discussed, with an international paper, the role of the forces stationed overseas, and the precarious changes that have come about recently, with his characteristic tones of realism and caution. Gen. Petraeus, who now assumes the head of US Central Command, the strategic military leadership of all US military forces, also turned his attention toward the future role the NATO soldiers and charity workers stationed in Afghanistan. His insights, as a professional soldier and diplomat offer a rare glimpse behind the bi-polar political rhetoric of our leaders, and displayed a strong awareness of the realities on the ground. Furthermore, Gen. Petraeus discussed, with surprising empathy, of the strength and resilience of the individuals on the ground, without resorting to dichotomous language designed to frighten or rally. Instead, he spoke measurably, as one who understands the consequence of each phrase uttered.

This interview is one that must be read, as to remind us of the realities on the ground overseas, without the political language of right or wrong. Instead, one can be immersed in the worldview of accomplishment and trials, of legitimate battles for survival and humanity. Regardless of personal preference or agreement, such a candid interview allows a rare glimpse into the practices of the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is a fascinating read. You can access it here.


~ by maffersalmon on September 29, 2008.

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