June 25th, 2010
11:17 AM ET

Petraeus brings change in leadership but similarity in style

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/25/petraeus.jpg]

Mike Mount
CNN Senior Pentagon Producer

On paper, it appeared to be a winning team for President Obama and his new plan to fix Afghanistan: a celebrated general, a master of counterinsurgency strategy overseeing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as head of CENTCOM, with his his protege running the war in Afghanistan.

The two - Gens. David Petraeus and Stanley McChrystal - had enjoyed success because of their military minds. Ask around the Pentagon, and the phrase most often used in connection with both is "brilliant."

While coming from different paths, both generals have a good deal of similarities. After the now-infamous Rolling Stone article, however, it is clear that Petraeus alone has the savvy to survive in Washington.

An academic with political deftness, Petraeus approaches combat with a mix of military and diplomacy, the essence of counterinsurgency.

Petraeus made his first big mark with a successful air assault in northern Iraq in 2003 and kept the region U.S.-friendly while the rest of the country spiraled into chaos. He then used the counterinsurgency strategy to help bolster the U.S. war effort in Iraq for President George W. Bush.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Afghanistan • Raw Politics
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Annie Kate

    Hopefully, Petraeus will be very effective and will get this war over with and our military back home. I thought McChrystal, despite of what he said, was very effective and while unfortunate his remarks to his aides or around his aides should not have resulted in his resignation. Hopefully, Petraeus will step in and be effective in getting the results that are needed so our military can home home.

    June 25, 2010 at 8:08 pm |