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The Case for Giving Gen. Petraeus a Fifth Star

7:51 AM, Jan 13, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Pete Hegseth and Wade Zirkle write in the Wall Street Journal:

After succeeding in the face of near-unanimous doubt, Gen. Petraeus was promoted to commander of Central Command (Centcom) in 2008, where he would oversee a two-front war in Iraq and Afghanistan. His tour at Centcom was cut short, however, when President Barack Obama asked him to replace the dismissed Gen. Stanley McCrystal in Afghanistan. It was a step down on the career ladder for Gen. Petraeus—but he was the president’s last hope to turn around Afghanistan. Demonstrating classic statesmanship, Gen. Petraeus relinquished his more prestigious post at Centcom.

The U.S. war against terrorism is now the longest war in U.S. history, and Gen. Petraeus has clearly distinguished himself as a leader worthy of joining the ranks of Gens. MacArthur, Marshall and Nimitz. A promotion would properly honor his service—and it would also honor the troops he leads and has led. Today’s soldiers have fought as valiantly as any in American history, and they deserve recognition of their leaders. Congressional approval of a fifth star would demonstrate the nation’s commitment to their mission.

David Petraeus is also a soldier-statesmen who works with foreign diplomats and generals in hotspots across the globe. The prestige that would come with a fifth star would also likely help the U.S. in its negotiations with neighboring states—and show the enemies of freedom that we are fully committed to the war against terrorism.

It has been more than half a century since a U.S. general was awarded a fifth star. David Petraeus’s generalship has spanned 11 years, three presidents and seven Congresses. It is time to promote him to “General of the Army” and award him a fifth star. Our military deserves it, and he has certainly earned it.

Whole thing here.

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