Petraeus and Allen: Non-Combatant, General Disgraces

Colonel Douglas Macgregor (US Army retired)

By Andrew Bostom

Unlike Generals David Petraeus and John Allen, Colonel Douglas Macgregor (US Army retired), is an actual combat veteran, and innovative, iconoclastic PhD military strategist. After one year at the Virginia Military Institute, and four years at West Point, Macgregor was commissioned in the U.S. Army during 1976

As described by US News reporter Richard J. Newman (July 28,  1997. “Renegades Finish Last. A Colonel’s Innovative Ideas Don’t Sit Well with the Brass”. U.S. News & World Report 123 (4): 35), Macgregor was the “squadron operations officer who essentially directed the Battle of 73 Easting in the 1991 Gulf War. Under Macgregor’s  bold leadership, U.S. troops with 10 tanks and 13 Bradley fighting vehicles destroyed almost 70 Iraqi Republican Guard opponent, armored vehicles without any U.S. casualties during a 23 minute span of the battle. Moreover, positioned towards the front of the battle and involved in firing, Macgregor didn’t “request artillery support or report events to superiors until the battle was virtually over, according to one of his superior officers.”

My colleagues Diana West and AJ Rice, directed me to print and radio interview comments, respectively, that Colonel Macgregor has provided in the aftermath of the salacious allegations against Generals Petraeus and Allen.

Macgregor is singularly unimpressed with the military leadership record of these men—the Army’s Petraeus, Allen of the Marines—noting that both lacked personal combat experience, having, “never pulled a trigger” or “lead soldiers in direct fire battle.” Nonetheless, Macgregor observes, Petraeus and Allen created faux heroic identities and  succeeded in their egotistical quest for military promotion.

Macgregor’s withering critique of Petraeus includes these comments made to Time reporter Mark Thompson:

Petraeus is a remarkable piece of fiction created and promoted by neocons in government, the media and academia. How does an officer with no personal experience of direct fire combat in Panama or Desert Storm become a division CDR in 2003, man who for 35 years shamelessly reinforced whatever dumb idea his superior advanced regardless of its impact on soldiers, let alone the nation, a man who served repeatedly as a sycophantic aide-de-camp, military assistant and executive officer to four stars get so far? How does the same man who balked at closing with and destroying the enemy in 2003 in front of Baghdad agree to sacrifice more than a thousand American lives and destroy thousands of others installing Iranian national power in Baghdad with a surge that many in and out of uniform warned against? Then, how does this same man repeat the self-defeating tactics one more time in Afghanistan? The answer is simple: Petraeus was always a useful fool in the Leninist sense for his political superiors — Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, and Gates.

Entirely consistent with their apparent moral lapses, but infinitely worse in effect, is the fact that both of these zero combat experience generals have been avatars of the delusive, self-destructive “see No Islam/Jihad” counterinsurgency (COIN) doctrine which has fatally sacrificed or maimed thousands of our brave troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, to no avail. Petraeus is gone, Allen should be fired, and let us pray good riddance to their failed, morally depraved ideology follows swiftly, as well.

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