Former famed CIA director David Petraeus apologized last week for his blackmail-able extramarital affair with sycophant author Paula Broadwell that “caused such pain for [his] family, friends and supporters,” during an event honoring the military at the University of Southern California.
While it must have been devastating for his wife Holly of 37 years to have to go to the family doctor to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases thanks to her husband’s infidelity and lies—something all spouses and partners need to do under such circumstances, that is between them.
The truth is Petraeus is getting off easy. Sex has a provided him with cover that conceals his real record worthy of apology, explanation, and contrition; a record no number of shiny medals can camouflage that has hurt America’s national security while destroying and continuing to destroy military families.
It’s time to look at General Petraeus’s legacy of COIN, a so-called counter-insurgency program to win “hearts and minds” of the local population by ordering troops to leave their armored vehicles to patrol hostile streets and fields on foot. COIN is an arguably suicidal, counter-productive policy that has led to years of war in Afghanistan with no victory in sight. COIN is the apology Petraeus should be making along with members of the Bush and Obama administrations who implemented and continue it. How could anyone send troops to war ordered to fight under suicidal, unwinnable polices? Don’t take my word for it; instead learn about Petraeus’s COIN record from two military men who were ordered to follow it.
First, meet Army Staff Sgt. Matthew S. Sitton. SSG Sitton was killed when he was 26 years old with another U.S. soldier on August 2, 2012 while on a foot patrol “winning hearts and minds” in an IED-riddled field in Afghanistan. He left behind a wife, son and a prophetic letter to U.S. Rep. C.W. “Bill” Young asking for help because of COIN. Previously Sgt. Sitton had sought help from his commanders in Afghanistan and was told to shut up and quit whining about his orders to lead patrols twice daily without objective, “or purpose” on foot through basically “a mine field.”
As SSG Sitton wrote, “I am only writing this email because I feel myself and my soldiers are being put into unnecessary positions where harm and danger are imminent. I know the threat of casualties in war and am totally on board with sacrifice for my country, but what I don’t agree with is the chain of command making us walk through, for lack of a better term, basically a mine field on a daily basis……….