Petraeus Scandal Reveals 4-Star Generals' Swanky Lives
It's like being Jay-Z, says one expert
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2012 10:44 AM CST
In this June 29, 2010 file photo, Gen. David Petraeus testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

(Newser) – Huge mansions, private jets, drivers and security guards and gardeners and aides and chefs, presidential-size police convoys: These are the perks that come along with being a four-star general. The David Petraeus scandal shines a light on the swanky lifestyle he and other top military leaders enjoy—including benefits that, the Washington Post reports, are more luxurious than those granted to anyone in the government other than the president himself.

Some are wondering if those benefits ultimately led Petraeus to behave so badly. "There is something about a sense of entitlement and of having great power that skews people’s judgment," says former defense secretary Robert Gates. Adds one expert and author of a historical book on American commanders, "Being a four-star commander in a combat theater is like being a combination of Bill Gates and Jay-Z." But many in the military disagree, saying the tough life Petraeus led while fighting two wars is more likely to blame for his infidelity.

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Nov 19, 2012 10:34 AM CST
Excellent time to cut the military budget, starting at the top.
Nov 19, 2012 8:56 AM CST
Tough Fighting ? Did they say tough fighting ? Doing exactly what ? Standing over a map and instructing commanders to beef up their patrols ? Based on the outcome of the theatres in which in was commander I'd say he did pretty much of nothing. He let Iraq travel along the same path that was set by the previous commander and floated along in Afghanistan waiting out the training of those dumb shits that are so uncoordinated they can't run in place without tripping over themselves. They don't deserve all the perks. You can be a General too. Just read a book or two on tactics and take a business administration course at your local Junior College. And most importantly, have a good golf game.
Nov 19, 2012 1:52 AM CST
Man... Woman... War... Away from home... Human nature... C'mon, what do you expect? The question is, was he an effective commander at that time?