Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Friday, November 16, 2012

Analyst: David Petraeus Is No General Patton

A 2011 photo of U.S. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, left (U.S. Military), and an undated photo of George S. Patton as a lieutenant general (Wikimedia Commons).

As commander in Iraq and Afghanistan, General David Petraeus got credit as a great general.

Is that an accurate reflection of reality? Not everyone thinks so.

Military analyst Andrew Bacevich. (Kalman Zabarsky)

Retired Army Col. and military analyst Andrew Bacevich told Here & Now that the goal posts have been moved. We now judge our military leaders not by winning wars, like General George Patton and his soldiers did in World War II, but by not losing them.

We’ve also been putting military leaders on a pedestal, Bacevich said.

“These figures who had become God-like are mere mortals,” he said. “And in a sense that’s the good news that will come out of these scandals, that we will become less inclined to defer to people just because they wear four stars and have lots of ribbons.”

Hear Bacevich’s take on Petraeus’ role in the increased use of drones:


  • Andrew Bacevich, retired Army colonel and military analyst. He’s also a professor of history and international relations at Boston University.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.

Experts share a range of perspectives on how to combat the Islamic State militant group, and the role the U.S. should play.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

November 27 Comment

Books To Give As Gifts This Year

If you're looking to give a book to a friend or family member this holiday, NPR Books editor Petra Mayer shares her picks.

November 26 9 Comments

Arlo Guthrie Celebrates 50 Years Of ‘Alice’s Restaurant’

Listening to the 18-minute musical monologue has been a Thanksgiving tradition among folk music fans for decades.

November 26 Comment

One Refugee’s Story Of Coming To America

Paul Okot vividly remembers landing at JFK airport in New York at 7 years old, after fleeing violence in southern Sudan.

November 25 3 Comments

Rapper Le1f Finds Struggle And Moral Diversity In American Music

We've been asking musicians what they think of when they think "American music." Today we hear from Khalif Diouf, aka Le1f.