Petraeus Comes Home to Pick New Generals

Army needs his help finding innovative leaders—like him
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 17, 2007 12:56 PM CST
U.S. Commander in Iraq Gen. David Petraeus speaks during an interview with the Associated Press at the Pentagon in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2007. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – David Petraeus is returning to Washington this week to help select the next generation of generals, an unusual move highlighting the Army’s desperation to inject Petraeus-style unconventional thinkers into its leadership, the Washington Post reports. “It's unprecedented for the commander of an active theater to be brought back to head something like a brigadier generals board,” said one retired general.

The Army is trying to change a system long accused of rewarding traditionalists ill-suited to modern asymmetrical warfare. Young officers are resigning, frustrated by unresponsive leadership. “The system is very risk-adverse,” said one Iraq vet. “There is every disincentive to challenging that senior officer's worldview.” Instead, new policies aim to encourage new Petraeuses, comfortable with politics, information operations, and counterinsurgency tactics.