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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.

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Robin and Jeremy

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

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