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General Patraeus To Ask Congress for Flexibility in Iraq

General Petraeus, the top military commander in Iraq, is coming back to Capitol Hill Tuesday and Wednesday to testify before Congress. He will most likely ask for flexibility and the avoidance of a timetable for troop withdrawals.

Many Democrats and Republicans have praised the popular General for decreasing violence in Iraq. But, some prominent members of the military are questioning whether it is wise to rely solely on Petraeus's counterinsurgency tactics, as they may hinder US ability to fight a conventional war. Hopefully, an in depth debate regarding US tactics will unfold this week.

Mother Jones polled a dozen of national security experts to find out what they would ask General Petraeus. For some of the highlights,


  • Andrew Bacevich, professor of history and international relations at Boston University: Many credit the "surge" with reducing the level of violence in Iraq. Yet violence continues and over the past several months has leveled out. How will you reduce violence to levels that are acceptable? What is the definition of "acceptable" in this context?
  • Larry Johnson, former CIA and State Department intelligence official: How many Iraqi army divisions are capable of conducting unilateral operations?
  • David Isenberg, military affairs analyst and adjunct scholar with the Cato Institute: What are the likely average monthly costs for the Iraq war? Will they reach a predicted peak level of $12 billion a month?

What would you ask General Petraeus about the Iraq War?


hartsfull hartsfull 9 years
Cabaker, UnDave, don't you get it? I think this was opposites day!
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
I have no problem critising the man for mistakes he has made. But to begin calling him a betrayer before he reports is just short of slander. He isn't perfect, and his mission is difficult, but give the man the respect he deserves.
tiff58 tiff58 9 years
I totally agree cabaker. That ad angered me so much, and to know that people are still talking about it as if it were a good thing makes it all the worse.
remedios remedios 9 years
Being in the military doesn't make one immune to criticism.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Well said Cabaker. It's also worth noting that he stepped in to do a job that is a very thankless, especially from the far left. He's been painted as a villian before any type of trial. too sad
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
Nothing like smearing a General who has served this country probably far better and more honroably than those who smear him...
stephley stephley 9 years
I can't either, but people only get mad when we say stuff like that, so I'll just chuckle at how perfect his name is.
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 9 years
General Betrayus is more like it; I can not stand this man.
remedios remedios 9 years
awesome... good to know I'm not the only one whose mind heads in the grade school direction with his name. Eh, it could be much worse!
stephley stephley 9 years
...but amusing. I think "yessir, you're fat!"
remedios remedios 9 years
I can not hear this guy's name without in my head hearing "General Betray Us"... guess the ad was successful in that way. It's like the former PLO leader Yassir Arafat - I always giggle (even if just in my head) when I hear his name because I think "You, sir, are fat!" Ok, that was OT, and immature...
stephley stephley 9 years
Since he's said in the past that fighting an insurgency can take up to a decade, how about a ballpark estimate of how far along we are now. If we're going to be in Iraq for five to ten more years and we're cutting back on extended tours, we're going to have to figure out where the fresh troops are going to come from.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
My first question would be "why do you look so terrified?"
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