Friday, February 27, 2009

The Petraeus and Bush relationship

Great article by Thomas Ricks in the Washington Post:

"As Centcom commander, Fallon was technically Petraeus's new boss. In practice, however, Petraeus bypassed the chain of command and answered directly to Bush, enjoying what was probably the most direct relationship between a frontline general and his commander in chief since the Civil War."

This description may lend some credence to the claim by some that Fallon and Petraeus hated each other. Now, for any student of the Civil War, Lincoln's relationship with his generals draw many interesting comparisons with that of Bush and Petraeus. Prior to, and during the battle of Chancellorsville, for example, Lincoln received reports via courier directly from Major General Joe Hooker. Furthermore, Lincoln himself visited the front to participate in strategy planning with the general. Hooker was appointed by Lincoln to change the course of the war, much as Petraeus was. Neither Lincoln's Secretary of War, nor his Army Chief of Staff supported Hooker's appointment, and they had little dealings with the commander of the Army of the Potomac. They left him to deal directly with the President, which was just what Hooker preferred.

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