for things that really matter to us.
There's a shell game going on
like I've never seen before
--Sen. John Kerry
I'd say your were a carnival barker,
except that wouldn't be fair to carnival barkers.
A Carney will at least tell you up front
that he is running a shell game
Why is General David Petraeus being sidelined to the Central Intelligence Agency when he is obviously poised to be a future Chief of Staff of the Army or Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and why is Leon Panetta being moved from CIA to Secretary of Defense?
Petraeus's experience from Platoon to theatre Army commands plus his Centcom experience make him a natural as a NATO Deputy Chief of Staff and then on to the Joint Chiefs of Staff as Chief of Staff of the Army. He is NOT a logical choice for the CIA as he has no depth of intelligence experience. (Gen. Stanley McChrystal would be more of a natural for the top spook position as he has the sleazy background which would make him a hand/glove fit for the duties required.) Why short-circuit a natural progression?
Petraeus's depth of experience is essential to the institutional well-being of the Army. The CIA appointment is not a forward step, and this is the second time that Petraeus has been moved laterally. Entering the CIA is not a career progression for a professional combat unit soldier. Putting Petraeus in the CIA is an insult to his service.
The position of CIA director is now a backwater slot since the introduction of the Director of National Intelligence into the intel apparatus. Why is the CIA not promoting from within, as they did when Gates became the director?
Ditto the move of Leon Panetta from CIA to become Secretary of Defense: What cross-over exists between Defense and CIA? Should we want, or even encourage, the CIA to think like the Department of Defense, or vice versa? These agencies operate in two separate worlds, and it is not advisable that they cross-fertilize.
Why would Petraeus agree to such a move, and why did Obama conceive of this game plan? Petraeus is the iconic combat officer of his generation, so why would he abandon his loyalty to the Army?
Both Petraeus and Panetta are competent men in their respective fields. Ranger has even predicted that Petraeus would be a logical contender for the Republican presidential candidacy in 2012, coming as he would off of a long an unbroken term of service in the military field. The media and Congress are deferential to Petraeus and voters would view him favorably. With this move, he is being denied that unbroken train of integrity.
If terrorism is still the U.S.'s main concern, why dilute our institutional knowledge by shuffling around the top players? Though this shuffle is being portrayed as a positive reassignment, it reeks of political maneuvering. The Obama administration is willing to sideline key effective military leaders for unknown purposes.
Marine General James Cartwright, slated to to replace Admiral Mike Mullen, has never served in Afghanistan, nor has Petraeus's replacement, Lieutenant General Allen. Replacing Petraeus is a confusing move that weakens the entire Afghan war effort.
After 9+ years of war, one would think the USMC would have a depth of experience that would elevate those with Afghan experience to the highest levels of command. Putting newbies in the line of fire is not the smartest personnel move.