David Petraeus
American General
David Petraeus
David Howell Petraeus is a retired American military officer and public official. He served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from September 6, 2011, until his resignation on November 9, 2012. Prior to his assuming the directorship of the CIA, Petraeus was a highly decorated four-star general, serving over 37 years in the United States Army. His last assignments in the Army were as commander of the International Security Assistance Force and Commander, U.S.
David Petraeus's personal information overview.
News abour David Petraeus from around the web
Trump Scrambles To Find Top National Security Aide
Huffington Post - 10 days
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C., Feb 17 (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump, scrambling to find a new top security aide after firing his first one and being spurned by another candidate, said on Friday he has four people under consideration including acting national security adviser Keith Kellogg. Trump ousted Michael Flynn on Monday in a controversy over the retired lieutenant general’s contacts with Russia. Retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward on Thursday turn ...
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Huffington Post article
Paula Broadwell: Petraeus has paid his price
CNN - 13 days
Paula Broadwell called on people to move on from the scandal that caused former CIA Director David Petraeus to resign and ultimately plead guilty to federal charges.
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CNN article
As Trust In Michael Flynn Erodes, Donald Trump Considers His Options
Huffington Post - 14 days
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Huffington Post article
Trump and American 'Self-Confidence'
Wall Street Journal - 26 days
Obama ignored David Petraeus’s advice. Will the new President?
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Wall Street Journal article
60 Years in Journalism: 40-Something Presidents Who Wowed the Electorate
Huffington Post - about 1 month
I first saw Barack Obama in political action when I was assigned to cover the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary in the winter of 2008. Obama lost New Hampshire to Hillary Clinton, but when I arrived at a high school gymnasium late that evening expecting to observe some concessionary gloom, what Obama gave the crowd instead was a rousing campaign speech, looking to the primaries that still lay ahead. It was a demonstration of the 47-year-old Senator's skill in organizing two successful presidential campaigns, with himself as the spark plug. As they campaigned against each other, Senators Clinton and Obama returned to Washington for significant business on Capitol Hill. I covered a joint hearing on Iraq of the Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees with General David Petraeus. Clinton, a member of Armed Services, used her allotted minutes for a tirade against the General for his unwarranted optimism about the war; her Senate vote to give President Bush an Iraq green ligh ...
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Huffington Post article
Trump's Post-truth World Ends With The Death Of Democracy
Huffington Post - about 2 months
"Post-truth" was the big word for 2016, according to Oxford Dictionaries. And why not? Donald Trump won the presidency with lies and half-truths and spin, so the word does indeed resonate. But America has been edging toward post-truth for a long time -- even at its founding, skeptics might say.  The "City on a Hill," forged on an image of Christian rectitude, witnessed the genocide of Native Americans ("savages") and the embrace of slavery based on specious theories of racial inferiority, even as the Bible taught the love of neighbor and the equality of all before God. More recently, America has witnessed the triumph of post-truth in the aftermath of 9/11. Recall how the attacks on 9/11 were falsely connected to Iraq, which was then connected to false claims of Iraq having active programs of WMD development, including "yellowcake" uranium as well as chemical and biological agents spread by aerial drones.  All proven false, but all used to justify the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Indeed ...
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Huffington Post article
Trump, Obama and the Missed Opportunity of Pearl Harbor's 75th Anniversary
The Huffington Post - 3 months
How many generals are too many at the top tier of a presidential administration? What level of attention to the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor is too low? We now have an answer to the second question, and we may be on the verge of finding out the answer to the first, with Donald Trump having already made the former heads of Central Command, Southern Command, and the Defense Intelligence Agency, respectively, his picks to be the secretary of defense, secretary of homeland security, and national security advisor. And the most famous general of all, David Petraeus, is waiting in the wings as what looks to me at least as the best choice among Trump's announced candidates for secretary of state. More...
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The Huffington Post article
Paula Broadwell Wants You To Know Her Life Can't Be Summed Up With The Word 'Mistress'
Huffington Post - 3 months
With news that former CIA Director David Petraeus may be nominated as President-elect Donald Trump’s secretary of state, Paula Broadwell ― Petraeus’ biographer, and the woman with whom he had an extramarital affair ― is speaking out publicly for the first time. Broadwell, a former Army intelligence officer who is still waiting to receive resignation papers from the military, has found it difficult to move forward from the 2012 scandal that tainted her name. In an interview with Vanity Fair published Thursday, Broadwell, 44, discusses the stigma associated with the term “mistress” and the scrutiny she has faced as a woman. “It’s not just the word,” she said about the media primarily using the term “mistress” to characterize her. “The word is a label and I don’t like it at all. But it’s the fact that you can reduce my whole life to one word, whatever it is, my entire career, my service to my country, my academic rigor, my courage in going to interview terrorists, and refuge ...
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Huffington Post article
Tuesday's Morning Email: Joe Biden In 2020?
Huffington Post - 3 months
TOP STORIES JOE BIDEN FOR PRESIDENT IN 2020? The vice president floated the idea to reporters after presiding over the Senate for a vote concerning part of his “cancer moonshot” initiative. [Marina Fang, HuffPost] ‘PENTAGON BURIES EVIDENCE OF $125 BILLION IN BUREAUCRATIC WASTE’ “The Pentagon has buried an internal study that exposed $125 billion in administrative waste in its business operations amid fears Congress would use the findings as an excuse to slash the defense budget.” [WaPo] YOU THOUGHT BREXIT WAS BAD 2017 could prove to be a ‘bumpy one’ for the EU, with elections in Germany, France and the Netherlands. [NYT] INSIDE THE ‘FORGIVENESS CEREMONY’ AT STANDING ROCK Take a look at the moving photos. [Jenna Amatulli, HuffPost] JUDGE DECLARES MISTRIAL IN WALTER SCOTT CASE “A South Carolina judge declared a mistrial on Monday after jurors weighing a murder charge against a white former South Carolina police officer who shot and killed a black motorist s ...
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Huffington Post article
Did Petraeus and Clinton risk spilling bigger secrets than Snowden?
Yahoo News - 3 months
Edward Snowden, Hillary Clinton, and David Petraeus each mishandled classified information while working for the federal government in recent years, but the three face wildly divergent futures as US President-elect Donald Trump prepares for his transition into the White House. Mr. Snowden, a fugitive, is resisting felony charges. Mrs. Clinton, defeated in last month's presidential race, avoided prosecution.
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Yahoo News article
Friday Talking Points [417] -- Turkey Leftovers
Huffington Post - 3 months
So, has everyone had their fill of turkey leftovers? Well, taking a quick look at Donald Trump's cabinet choices should suffice anyone who still craves some leftover turkeys, if you know what we mean. The most amusing headline we've seen so far came from Trump's consideration of David Petraeus for secretary of State: "Hillary Clinton wasn't charged with mishandling classified information. Trump might appoint someone convicted of it." Heh. Trump's big photo op this week was at a Carrier plant in Indianapolis, where he announced he had only saved half the jobs which had been planned to move to Mexico. A thousand Carrier workers will still soon be out of a job, but Trump played it as a total victory. He only had to get Mike Pence to give up $7,000,000 in tax breaks from Indiana (Pence had refused the same deal earlier, a detail that also got lost in all the breathless reporting). Which, as Bernie Sanders quickly pointed out, is going to encourage all sorts of companies to th ...
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Huffington Post article
Sunday on ‘This Week’: VP-Elect Mike Pence and Gen. David Petraeus
ABC News - 3 months
Pence and Petraeus will appear on "This Week" Sunday.
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ABC News article
WATCH: David Petraeus: Everything You Need to Know
ABC News - 3 months
The retired general and former CIA director met with President-elect Donald Trump about a possible Cabinet position.
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ABC News article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of David Petraeus
  • 2016
    Age 63
    June 10, 2016, Petraeus and Mark Kelly, a retired NASA astronaut, announced the creation of the gun control group Veterans Coalition for Common Sense.
    More Details Hide Details Co-Chairman, Task Force on North America, Council on Foreign Relations Member, Board of Directors, Atlantic Council Washington Speakers Bureau Member, Board of Advisors, Team Rubicon Member, National Security Advisory Council, U.S. Global Leadership Coalition In 2007, Time named Petraeus one of the 100 most influential leaders and revolutionaries of the year as well as one of its four runners up for Time Person of the Year. He was also named the second most influential American conservative by The Daily Telegraph as well as The Daily Telegraph 2007 Man of the Year. In 2005, Petraeus was identified as one of America's top leaders by U.S. News & World Report.
    The Common Good organization presented Petraeus its American Spirit 2016 award for his leadership in conflict to safeguard the nation Friday, May 27, 2016 at its Common Good Forum & American Spirit Awards program.
    More Details Hide Details Petraeus' wife, Holly, has been recognized on multiple occasions for her lifelong commitment to supporting military families. In the 2012 video game Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Petraeus is portrayed, by a voice actor, as the Secretary of Defense in 2025. Petraeus resigned four days before the game was released. News and magazine articles (date sequence) Video
    Petraeus was inducted into the Cornwall High School Wall of Fame, April 29, 2016.
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    On February 10, 2016, the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs-Harvard University, unveiled a new project with its goals to use Petraeus’ experiences and his views on the role of the theater level commander, specifically from the perspective of strategic leadership: the link between policy and operations.
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    Press accounts in January 2016 indicated that Department of Defense staff were reviewing Department of Justice documents from the Petraeus prosecution and considering whether to recommend to the Secretary of Defense that Petraeus be demoted on the Army's retired list.
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    Petraeus called this change the most significant part of The Surge, saying in 2016 "the surge that mattered most was the surge of ideas.
    More Details Hide Details It was the change of strategy, and in many respects, this represented quite a significant change to what it was we were doing prior to the surge." Petraeus has been called "the world's leading expert in counter-insurgency warfare". Later, having refined his ideas on counterinsurgency based on the implementation of the new counterinsurgency doctrine in Iraq, he published both in Iraq as well as in the Sep/Oct 2008 edition of Military Review his "Commander's Counterinsurgency Guidance" to help guide leaders and units in the Multi-National Force-Iraq.
  • 2015
    Age 62
    Petraeus was presented the West Michigan Dutch-American Leadership Award during the West Michigan's Dutch American Heritage Day, November 17, 2015.
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    The matter was reviewed by then-Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh before he left office in October 2015; he recommended no further action.
    More Details Hide Details On January 29, press accounts indicated that Stephen C. Hedger, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs, had written to the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee. In his letter, Hedger informed the committee that Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter had concurred with the Army's recommendation, and would not impose any further punishment on Petraeus. On March 28, 2013, Petraeus joined American Corporate Partners, a national nonprofit organization that connects post-9/11 veterans to business professionals for career guidance. In March 2013, Petraeus accepted the role of Honorary Chairman of the OSS Society.
    In January 2015, officials reported the FBI and Justice Department prosecutors had recommended bringing felony charges against Petraeus for allegedly providing classified information to his biographer, Paula Broadwell (with whom he was having an affair), while serving as the director of the CIA.
    More Details Hide Details Eventually, Petraeus pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified information. Petraeus was born in Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York, the son of Miriam (née Howell), a librarian, and Sixtus Petraeus, a Frisian sea captain from Franeker, Netherlands. His mother was American, a resident of Brooklyn, New York. His father had sailed to the United States from the Netherlands at the start of World War II. They met at the Seamen's Church Institute of New York and New Jersey and married. Sixtus Petraeus commanded a Liberty ship for the U.S.A. for the duration of World War II.
  • 2013
    Age 60
    Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) named Petraeus as a Senior Vice President of the organization in August 2013.
    More Details Hide Details According to RUSI, "The honorary role was created by RUSI's trustees and advisory council in recognition of General Petraeus's long association with the Institute and his distinguished contribution to the study and development of defence and international security concepts, as well as his implementation of those concepts in operations in the Balkans, Iraq, and Afghanistan". In October 2013, Petraeus joined the Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government as a non-resident senior fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. According to the school, Petraeus will jointly lead a new project focusing on the technological, scientific and economic dynamics that are spurring renewed North American competitiveness. "The Coming North America Decades" project will analyze how potential policy choices could effect this ongoing transformation. On February 10, 2014, the University of Exeter in England named Petraeus as an Honorary Visiting Professor of the Strategy and Security Institute. Alongside the other honorary faculty, the appointment will help inform the Institute's key objectives of exploring policymaking, strategy, and security.
    On December 4, 2013, the Holland Society of New York recognized Petraeus and awarded him the Gold Medal for Outstanding Achievement in World Leadership.
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    The New York Historical Society awarded its 2013 History Makers Award to Petraeus on December 2, 2013, for his "groundbreaking work in Iraq, his dynamic approach to counterinsurgency, his advocacy of a comprehensive civil-military approach, and his encouragement of strategies that resolve problems through political processes rather than violence" according to Dr. Louise Mirrer.
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    The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) presented Petraeus with the Chesney Gold Medal on June 10, 2013.
    More Details Hide Details The award marks a lifelong distinguished contribution in the defense and international security fields, to the benefit of the United Kingdom and/or the international community. The Jagello 2000 Association for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation from the Czech Republic and the Slovak Atlantic Commission awarded Petraeus the 2013 Czech and Slovak Transatlantic Award September 20, 2013.
    The president of the Currahee Board of Trustees announced May 6, 2013, that Petraeus agreed to serve on the board of trustees that preserves Camp Toccoa.
    More Details Hide Details During WWII, four of the main parachute infantry regiments of the Army trained at Camp Toccoa prior to their deployment. Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P., a New York investment firm, hired Petraeus as chairman of the firm's newly created KKR Global Institute in May 2013. Petraeus will support its investment teams and portfolio companies when studying new investments, especially in new locations. In December 2014, Petraeus was named a partner at KKR and remains Chairman of the KKR Global Institute. Petraeus joined the board of advisers of Team Rubicon on June 18, 2013.
  • 2012
    Age 59
    Although US Attorney General Eric Holder was aware that the FBI had discovered the affair, it was not until November 6, 2012, that Petraeus's nominal superior, Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, was advised.
    More Details Hide Details That same evening Clapper called Petraeus and urged him to resign. Clapper notified the White House the next day, November 7. After being briefed on November 8, President Obama summoned Petraeus to the White House where Petraeus offered his resignation. Obama accepted his resignation on November 9, and Petraeus cited his affair when announcing that same day that he would resign as CIA Director. Eventually, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified information Petraeus allegedly provided to his mistress and biographer. Petraeus had a strategy to influence military conditions by using the press relations effectively in the theater and in Washington, according to critics of the general's military career after his fall from power. On November 13, 2012, Lawrence Korb, Ray McGovern, and Gareth Porter appearing on Al Jazeera English assessed the general's extensive military-media strategy linking his writings on counterguerrilla operations and subsequent military media efforts to his downfall with a female biographer. Critics said that the Petraeus media strategy would prove damaging for American policy in the future because of omissions and distorted interpretations that Washington policymakers, other experts, and the American public accepted from Petraeus's media contacts.
    Petraeus reportedly ended the affair in the summer of 2012, around the time that he learned that Broadwell had been sending harassing emails to a longstanding family friend of the Petraeuses, Jill Kelley.
    More Details Hide Details Kelley, a Florida socialite who frequently entertained senior military personnel at her and her husband's Tampa mansion, had approached an acquaintance who worked for the FBI Tampa Field Office in the late spring with regard to anonymous emails she considered threatening. The Bureau traced the emails to Broadwell, and noted that Broadwell appeared to be exchanging intimate messages with an email account belonging to Petraeus, which instigated an investigation into whether that account had been hacked into or was someone posing as Petraeus. According to an Associated Press report, rather than transmit emails to each other's inbox, which would have left a more obvious email trail, Petraeus and Broadwell left messages in a draft folder and the draft messages were then read by the other person when they logged into the same account.
    On November 9, 2012, General Petraeus resigned from his position as Director of the CIA, citing his extramarital affair which was reportedly discovered in the course of an FBI investigation.
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    The Soldiers', Sailors', Marines', Coast Guard and Airmans' Club presented Petraeus the 2012 Service to the Nation Award at its October 5 Military Ball.
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    The International Relations Council in Kansas City, MO, presented the Distinguished Service Award for International Statesmanship to Petraeus on September 10, 2012, in Kansas City during its 2012 Annual Awards Banquet.
    More Details Hide Details As part of the CIA's 65th birthday, Petraeus visited the New York Stock Exchange and was invited to ring The Opening Bell to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the CIA.
    Petraeus was a recipient of the 2012 Jefferson Award for Public Service, which was presented on June 19, 2012, at a Washington D.C luncheon.
    More Details Hide Details The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) presented Petraeus with its Patriot Award during the 121st Continental Congress held in DAR Constitution Hall. Petraeus was the keynote speaker during Defense Night when the award was presented.
    The Command and General Staff College Foundation's 2012 Distinguished Leadership Award was presented to Petraeus on May 10, 2012.
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    On March 16, 2012, the Dutch Minister of Defense Hans Hillen knighted Petraeus at the Hague with the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Orange-Nassau with swords.
    More Details Hide Details The Minister thanked Petraeus in his speech for his, "unconditional support to the Dutch troops and for being a driving force behind a successful mission. Through his personal efforts for cooperation between the Netherlands and America, the Netherlands could achieve significant operational successes with the Task Force Uruzgan."
    Petraeus was inducted January 29, 2012, into the Reserve Officers Association's (ROA) Minuteman Hall of Fame as the 2011 Inductee during the 2012 ROA National Security Symposium.
    More Details Hide Details The German Order of Merit was presented to Petraeus February 14, by the German Secretary of Defense Thomas de Maizière. According to de Maizière, he is an "outstanding strategist and a true friend of the German people."
    Early January 2012, Petraeus was named one of "The 50 Most Powerful People in Washington" by GQ magazine.
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  • 2011
    Age 58
    He served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from September 6, 2011, until his resignation on November 9, 2012.
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    Petraeus reportedly began an affair with Paula Broadwell, principal author of his biography, All In: The Education of General David Petraeus, after Petraeus left his ISAF command on July 18, 2011 to become CIA director.
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    Petraeus was sworn in at the White House on September 6 and then ceremonially sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden at CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia on October 11, 2011.
    More Details Hide Details Petraeus's tenure at the CIA was more low profile than that of his predecessor, Leon Panetta, declining to give media interviews while Director and speaking to Congress in closed sessions. He also differed from Panetta in management style, as an article in The New York Times published just days before his resignation said Panetta "wooed the work force and often did not question operational details, while Petraeus is a demanding boss who does not hesitate to order substandard work redone or details of plans adjusted." Although Petraeus was given good marks by most observers for his work heading the CIA, during October 2012 some critics took issue with the availability of accurate information from the CIA concerning a terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, the month prior. On September 11 four Americans had been killed, including the Ambassador, and more than thirty evacuated. Only seven of those evacuated did not work for the CIA. According to a Wall Street Journal story, other government agencies complained about being left "largely in the dark about the CIA's role," with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton telephoning Petraeus directly the night of the attacks seeking assistance. Although the "State Department believed it had a formal agreement with the CIA to provide backup security," "the CIA didn't have the same understanding about its security responsibilities," said the Wall Street Journal.
    On April 28, 2011, President Barack Obama announced that he had nominated Petraeus to become the new Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
    More Details Hide Details The nomination was confirmed by the United States Senate 94–0 on June 30, 2011.
    In early March 2011, Petraeus made a "rare apology" following a NATO helicopter airstrike under his command which resulted in the deaths of nine Afghan boys and the wounding of a 10th, as they gathered firewood in Eastern Afghanistan.
    More Details Hide Details In a statement, Petraeus apologized to the members of the Afghan government, the people of Afghanistan and the surviving family members, and said: "These deaths should have never happened." Several journalists and observers noted the humanitarian candor in Petraeus's open regrets. Petraeus relinquished command of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan on July 18. He received the Defense Distinguished Service Medal and the NATO Meritorious Service Medal for his service. Petraeus retired from the U.S. Army on August 31, 2011. His retirement ceremony was held at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. During this ceremony, he was awarded the Army Distinguished Service Medal by Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn. During the ceremony, Lynn in his remarks noted that, General Petraeus has played an important role as both a combat leader and strategist in the post-9/11 world. Lynn also cited General Petraeus's efforts in current counter insurgency strategy. Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in his remarks compared General Petraeus to Ulysses S. Grant, John J. Pershing, George Marshall and Dwight D. Eisenhower as one of the great battle captains of American history. With his four-star rank, Petraeus receives an annual pension of about $220,000.
    The Association of Special Operations Professionals named Petraeus as its 2011 Man of the Year for 2011, and was presented the award at Ft.
    More Details Hide Details Bragg on November 2, 2011 at its annual Special Operations Exposition.
    September 26, 2011, Petraeus was listed as number 2 of the 50 for 2011.
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    The Institute for the Study of War, 2011, National Security Leadership Award was presented to Petraeus on August 4, 2011.
    More Details Hide Details The New Statesman annual survey presents the most influential people from pop stars and dissident activists to tech gurus and heads of state, the people doing most to shape our world keep changing.
    In April, Petraeus was named in the 2011 Time 100.
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    Early January 2011, Pete Hegseth and Wade Zirkle from Vets for Freedom, wrote an Op-Ed for the Wall Street Journal making a claim that Petraeus should be promoted to Five-Star which would make him General of the Army.
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  • 2010
    Age 57
    Petraeus has repeatedly stated that he has no plans to run for elected political office. On June 23, 2010, President Barack Obama nominated Petraeus to succeed General Stanley McChrystal as commanding general of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, technically a step down from his position as Commander of United States Central Command, which oversees the military efforts in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Central Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, and Egypt.
    More Details Hide Details On June 30, 2011, Petraeus was unanimously confirmed as the next Director of the CIA by the U.S. Senate 94–0. Petraeus relinquished command of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan on July 18, 2011, and retired from the U.S. Army on August 31, 2011.
    Captured correspondence from Osama Bin Laden "Letters from Abbottabad" revealed that in May 2010, Bin Laden wanted to target President Barack Obama and General Petraeus, "The reason for concentrating on them is that Obama is the head of infidelity and killing him automatically will make Biden take over the presidency for the remainder of the term, as it is the norm over there.
    More Details Hide Details Biden is totally unprepared for that post, which will lead the U.S. into a crisis." It further went on to say, "As for Petraeus, he is the man of the hour in this last year of the war, and killing him would alter the war's path."
    In the October 2010 issue of Army Magazine, Petraeus discussed changes that had taken place over the previous 18 months, including sections discussing "setting the conditions for progress", "capitalizing on the conditions for progress", "improving security", "supporting governance expansion", "promoting economic development", "reducing corruption", and "our troopers: carrying out a difficult mission".
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    On August 1, 2010, shortly after the disclosure of the Afghan war logs on Wikileaks, Petraeus issued his updated Tactical Directive for the prevention of civilian casualties, providing guidance and intent for the use of force by the U.S. military units operating in Afghanistan (replacing the July 1, 2009 version).
    More Details Hide Details This directive reinforced the concept of "disciplined use of force in partnership with Afghan Security Forces" in the fight against insurgent forces.
    On June 23, 2010, President Obama announced that he would nominate Petraeus to succeed General Stanley A. McChrystal as the commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan.
    More Details Hide Details The change of command was prompted by McChrystal's comments about the Obama administration and its policies in Afghanistan during an interview with Rolling Stone magazine. The nomination was technically a positional step down from his position as commander of Central Command, however the President said that he believed that he was the best man for the job. After being confirmed by the Senate on June 30, Petraeus formally assumed command on July 4. During the assumption of command remarks, Petraeus provided his vision and goals to NATO, the members of his command, and his Afghan partners. As he was known to do while the Commander in Iraq, Petraeus delivered his first Letter to the Troops on the same day he assumed command.
    On June 15, 2010, Petraeus momentarily fainted while being questioned by the Senate Armed Services Committee.
    More Details Hide Details He quickly recovered and was able to walk and exit the room without assistance. He attributed the episode to possible dehydration.
    On May 7, 2010, Petraeus announced that Times Square bombing suspect, Faisal Shahzad, is a "lone wolf" terrorist who did not work with others.
    More Details Hide Details On May 10, 2010, Attorney General Eric Holder said that the evidence shows the Pakistani Taliban directed this plot. General Petraeus was diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer in February 2009 and underwent two months of successful radiation treatment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The diagnosis and treatment was not publicly disclosed until October 2009 because Petraeus and his family regarded his illness as a personal matter that did not interfere with the performance of his duties.
    In March 2010, Petraeus visited the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College to speak about Iraq and Afghanistan.
    More Details Hide Details Petraeus spoke a few days after the seventh anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, noting the successful changes in Iraq since the U.S. troop surge. The visit to Saint Anselm created rumors that Petraeus was contemplating a run for the Presidency; however, he denied the speculation saying that he was not aware that the college has been the site of numerous presidential debates. Toward the close of his tenure as CENTCOM Commander, including in his interview published in Vanity Fair, Petraeus discussed the effort to determine and send to Afghanistan the right "inputs" for success there; these inputs include several structures and organizations that proved important in Iraq, including "an engagement cell to support reconciliation a finance cell to go after financing of the enemy a really robust detainee-operations task force, a rule-of-law task force, an energy-fusion cell – all these other sort of nonstandard missions that are very important."
    On March 16, 2010, testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Petraeus described the continuing Israeli–Palestinian conflict as a challenge to U.S. interests in the region.
    More Details Hide Details According to the testimony, the conflict was "fomenting anti-American sentiment" due to "a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel". This was widely commented on in the media. When questioned by journalist Philip Klein, Petraeus said the original reporter "picked apart" and "spun" his speech. He believes there are many important factors standing in the way of peace, including "a whole bunch of extremist organizations, some of which by the way deny Israel's right to exist. There's a country that has a nuclear program who denies that the Holocaust took place. So again we have all these factors in there. This Israel is just one."
    The same year he was named number 12 of 50 people who mattered in 2010 by the New Statesmen magazine, and Petraeus was listed as number 8 of 100 Foreign Policy Top 100 Global Thinkers for 2011.
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    Petraeus was chosen as "one of Time magazine's 50 "People Who Mattered" in December 2010.
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    On December 9, 2010, Barbara Walters picked Petraeus for the Most Fascinating Person of 2010.
    More Details Hide Details Walters called the top commander in Afghanistan "an American hero".
    On September 20, the American Political Science Association (APSA) presented Petraeus with its 2010 Hubert H. Humphrey Award in recognition of notable public service by a political scientist.
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    May 27, 2010, The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum awarded its Freedom Award to Petraeus. "The Intrepid Museum's mission is to honor the men and women who have served our nation.
    More Details Hide Details General Petraeus has led our troops overseas in that exact effort, and we are indebted to his leadership and love of country", said Susan Marenoff, Executive Director of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. "This annual event throws a spotlight on individuals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty for our nation."
    On February 20, 2010, Petraeus received Princeton University's Madison Medal, named after the fourth president of the United States, who many consider to be Princeton's first graduate student.
    More Details Hide Details Established by the Association of Princeton Graduate Alumni, it is presented each year by the University to an alumnus or alumna of the Graduate School who has had a distinguished career, advanced the cause of graduate education or achieved an outstanding record of public service.
  • 2009
    Age 56
    In mid-August 2009, Petraeus established the Afghanistan-Pakistan Center of Excellence within the USCENTCOM Directorate of Intelligence to provide leadership to coordinate, integrate and focus analysis efforts in support of operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
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    Petraeus reiterated this view in a 2009 interview published in Parade magazine.
    More Details Hide Details In a recent interview for Newsweek magazine's "Interview Issue: The View From People Who Make a Difference", Petraeus expressed his support for President Obama's announced Afghanistan strategy and discussed his view that reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan should for the time being occur "at the lower and midlevels".
    General Petraeus's critical role in Iraq has been widely acknowledged by commands of the coalition forces. In her introduction of Petraeus at the Baccalaureate ceremony for the Class of 2009, Princeton University President Shirley Tilghman described his accomplishments.
    More Details Hide Details While acknowledging that much remains to be accomplished in Iraq, Tilghman paid tribute to Petraeus's "leadership in rethinking American military strategy through his principles of counterinsurgency," which are, she said, "eliminating 'simplistic definitions of victory and defeat in favor of incremental and nuanced progress'."
    Petraeus administered the oath of office at his son's 2009 commissioning into the Army after his son's graduation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
    More Details Hide Details His son went on to serve as an officer in Afghanistan as a member of 3rd Platoon, Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team. Petraeus's official residence in the United States is a small property in the community of Springfield, New Hampshire, which his wife inherited from her family. Registered to vote in that state as a Republican, Petraeus once told a friend that he was a Rockefeller Republican.
  • 2008
    Age 55
    In 2008, a poll conducted by Foreign Policy and Prospect magazines selected Petraeus as one of the world's top 100 public intellectuals.
    More Details Hide Details Also in 2008, the Static Line Association named Petraeus as its 2008 Airborne Man of the Year, and Der Spiegel named him "America's most respected soldier." As 2008 came to a close, Newsweek named him the 16th most powerful person in the world in its December 20, 2008, edition, and Prospect magazine named him the "Public Intellectual of the Year". He was also named as one of the "75 Best People in the World" in the October 2009 issue of Esquire, The OSS Society awarded Petraeus its Donovan Award May 2, 2009. In his introduction of Petraeus, Maj. Gen. John K. Singlub, USA, Ret., a 2007 award recipient and OSS Society chairman, said "The William J. Donovan Award is given to an individual who has rendered distinguished service in the interests of the democratic process, public service, courage in all its forms and the cause of freedom." The National Committee on American Foreign Policy (NCAFP) during its 35th Anniversary Gala and Award Dinner on May 28, 2009 in New York City, presented the George F. Kennan Award for Distinguished Public Service to Petraeus. The American Legion awarded its highest honor, the Distinguished Service Medal on August 25, 2009 at its 91st National Convention in Louisville, Kentucky.
    On October 31, 2008, Petraeus assumed command of the United States Central Command (USCENTCOM) headquartered in Tampa, Florida.
    More Details Hide Details Petraeus was responsible for U.S. operations in 20 countries spreading from Egypt to Pakistan—including Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. During his time at CENTCOM, Petraeus advocated that countering the terrorist threats in the CENTCOM region requires more than just counter-terrorism forces, demanding instead whole-of-governments, comprehensive approaches akin to those of counterinsurgency.
    On September 16, 2008, Petraeus formally gave over his command in Iraq to General Raymond T. Odierno in a government ceremony presided by Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
    More Details Hide Details During the ceremony, Gates stated that Petraeus "played a historic role" and created the "translation of a great strategy into a great success in very difficult circumstances". Gates also told Petraeus he believed "history will regard you as one of our nation's greatest battle captains." He presented Petraeus with the Defense Distinguished Service Medal. At the event, Petraeus mentioned the difficulty in getting the Sons of Iraq absorbed in the central Government of Iraq and warned about future consequences if the effort stalls. Indeed, when speaking of these and other challenges, Petraeus is the first to note that "the gains in Iraq are tenuous and unlikely to survive without an American effort that outlasts his tenure". Even so, as Petraeus departed Iraq, it was clear to all that he was leaving a much different Iraq than the one that existed when he took command in February 2007. As described by Dexter Filkins, "violence has plummeted from its apocalyptic peaks, Iraqi leaders are asserting themselves, and streets that once seemed dead are flourishing with life." This is also illustrated by the Iraq Trends charts that the MNF-I produces weekly. The January 3, 2009, "Iraq Trends Chart" clearly depicts over time, the increases in incidents followed by the sharp decline as described by Dexter Filkens and others.
    On the eve of his change of command, in September 2008, Petraeus stated that "I don't use terms like victory or defeat...
    More Details Hide Details I'm a realist, not an optimist or a pessimist. And the reality is that there has been significant progress but there are still serious challenges."
    Petraeus had discussed the term 'victory' before in March 2008, saying to NPR News that "an Iraq that is at peace with itself, at peace with its neighbors, that has a government that is representative of—and responsive to—its citizenry and is a contributing member of the global community" could arguably be called 'victory'.
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    In September 2008, Petraeus gave an interview to BBC News stating that he did not think using the term "victory" in describing the Iraq war was appropriate, saying "This is not the sort of struggle where you take a hill, plant the flag and go home to a victory parade... it's not war with a simple slogan."
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    In late May 2008, the Senate Armed Services Committee held nomination hearings for Petraeus and Lieutenant General Ray Odierno to lead United States Central Command and Multi-National Force-Iraq, respectively.
    More Details Hide Details During the hearings, Committee Chairman Carl Levin praised these two men, stating that "we owe Gen. Petraeus and Gen. Odierno a debt of gratitude for the commitment, determination and strength that they brought to their areas of responsibility. And regardless of how long the administration may choose to remain engaged in the strife in that country, our troops are better off with the leadership these two distinguished soldiers provide." During his opening statement, Petraeus discussed four principles that would guide his efforts if confirmed as CENTCOM Commander: seeking to strengthen international partnerships; taking a "whole of government" approach; pursuing comprehensive efforts and solutions; and, finally, both supporting efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan and ensuring readiness for possible contingency operations in the future. Petraeus also noted that during the week before his testimony, the number of security incidents in Iraq was the lowest in over four years. After Petraeus's return to Baghdad, and despite the continued drawdown of surge forces as well as recent Iraqi-led operations in places like Basrah, Mosul, and Baghdad, the number of security incidents in Iraq remained at their lowest level in over four years.
    On April 23, 2008, Secretary of Defense Gates announced that President Bush was nominating General Petraeus to command U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM), headquartered in Tampa, Florida.
    More Details Hide Details In 2010 Petraeus was nominated to command the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, which required Senate confirmation. He was confirmed on June 30, 2010, and took over command from temporary commander Lieutenant-General Sir Nick Parker on July 4, 2010.
  • 2007
    Age 54
    Based on the conditions on the ground, in October 2007, Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker revised their campaign plan for Iraq.
    More Details Hide Details In recognition of the progress made against Al Qaeda Iraq, one of the major points would be "shifting the U.S. military effort to focus more on countering Shiite militias". On February 18, 2008, USA Today stated that "the U.S. effort has shown more success" and that, after the number of troops reached its peak in fall 2007, "U.S. deaths were at their lowest levels since the 2003 invasion, civilian casualties were down, and street life was resuming in Baghdad." In light of the significant reduction in violence and as the surge brigades began to redeploy without replacement, Petraeus characterized the progress as tenuous, fragile, and reversible and repeatedly reminded all involved that much work remains to be done. During an early February trip to Iraq, Defense Secretary Robert Gates endorsed the idea of a period of consolidation and evaluation upon completion of the withdrawal of surge brigades from Iraq.
    In December 2007, The Washington Post "Fact Checker" stated that "While some of Petraeus's statistics are open to challenge, his claims about a general reduction in violence have been borne out over subsequent months.
    More Details Hide Details It now looks as if Petraeus was broadly right on this issue at least".
    Cornyn drafted the amendment in response to a controversial full-page ad by the liberal group Moveon.org in the September 10, 2007, edition of The New York Times.
    More Details Hide Details All forty-nine Republican Senators and twenty-two Democratic Senators voted in support. The House passed a similar resolution by a 341–79 vote on September 26.
    Petraeus's Report to Congress on the Situation in Iraq was delivered to Congress on September 10, 2007.
    More Details Hide Details On August 15, 2007, the Los Angeles Times stated that, according to unnamed administration officials, the report "would actually be written by the White House, with inputs from officials throughout the government". However, Petraeus declared in his testimony to Congress that "I wrote this testimony myself." He further elaborated that his testimony to Congress "has not been cleared by, nor shared with, anyone in the Pentagon, the White House, or Congress". In his September Congressional testimony, Petraeus stated that "As a bottom line up front, the military objectives of the surge are, in large measure, being met." He cited numerous factors for this progress, to include the fact that Coalition and Iraqi Forces had dealt significant blows to Al-Qaeda Iraq and had disrupted Shia militias, that ethno-sectarian violence had been reduced, and that the tribal rejection of Al-Qaeda had spread from Anbar Province to numerous other locations across Iraq. Based on this progress and additional progress expected to be achieved, Petraeus recommended drawing down the surge forces from Iraq and gradually transitioning increased responsibilities to Iraqi Forces, as their capabilities and conditions on the ground permitted.
    On September 7, 2007, in a letter addressed to the troops he was commanding, Petraeus wrote that much military progress had been made, but that the national level political progress that was hoped for had not been achieved.
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    Petraeus also warned that he expected that the situation in Iraq would require the continued deployment of the elevated troop level of more than 150,000 beyond September 2007; he also stated that U.S. involvement in Iraq could last years afterward.
    More Details Hide Details These statements are representative of the fact that throughout their time in Iraq, Petraeus and Crocker remained circumspect and refused to classify themselves as optimists or pessimists, noting, instead, that they were realists and that the reality in Iraq was very hard. They also repeatedly emphasized the importance of forthright reports and an unvarnished approach. "Indeed, Petraeus's realistic approach and assessments were lauded during the McLaughlin Group's 2008 Year-End Awards, when Monica Crowley nominated Petraeus for the most honest person of the year, stating, " He spoke about the great successes of the surge in Iraq, but he always tempered it, never sugar-coated it." In July 2007, the White House submitted to Congress the interim report on Iraq, which stated that coalition forces had made satisfactory progress on 6 of 18 benchmarks set by Congress.
    In June 2007, Petraeus stated in an interview that there were "astonishing signs of normalcy" in Baghdad, and this comment drew criticism from Senate majority leader Harry Reid.
    More Details Hide Details In the same interview, however, Petraeus stated that "many problems remain" and he noted the need to help the Iraqis "stitch back together the fabric of society that was torn during the height of sectarian violence" in late 2006.
    The enacted legislation did mandate that Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, deliver a report to Congress by September 15, 2007, detailing their assessment of the military, economic and political situation of Iraq.
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    In April 2007, Petraeus made his first visit to Washington as MNF-I Commander, reporting to President Bush and Congress on the progress of the "surge" and the overall situation in Iraq.
    More Details Hide Details During this visit he met privately with members of Congress and reportedly argued against setting a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq. By late May 2007, Congress did not impose any timetables in war funding legislation for troop withdrawal.
    After taking command of MNF-I on February 10, 2007, Petraeus inspected U.S. and Iraqi units all over Iraq, visiting outposts in greater Baghdad, Tikrit, Baquba, Ramadi, Mosul, Kirkuk, Bayji, Samarra, Basrah and as far west as al-Hit and Al Qaim.
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    In January 2007, as part of his overhauled Iraq strategy, President George W. Bush announced that Petraeus would succeed Gen. George Casey as commanding general of MNF-I to lead all U.S. troops in Iraq.
    More Details Hide Details On January 23, the Senate Armed Services Committee held Petraeus's nomination hearing, during which he testified on his ideas for Iraq, particularly the strategy underpinning the "surge" of forces. During his opening statement, Petraeus stated that "security of the population, especially in Baghdad, and in partnership with the Iraqi Security Forces, will be the focus of the military effort." He went on to state that security will require establishing a persistent presence, especially in Iraq's most threatened neighborhoods. He also noted the critical importance of helping Iraq increase its governmental capacity, develop employment programs, and improve daily life for its citizens. Throughout Petraeus's tenure in Iraq, Multi-National Force-Iraq endeavored to work with the Government of Iraq to carry out this strategy that focuses on securing the population. Doing so required establishing—and maintaining—persistent presence by living among the population, separating reconcilable Iraqis from irreconcilable enemies, relentlessly pursuing the enemy, taking back sanctuaries and then holding areas that have been cleared, and continuing to develop Iraq's security forces and to support local security forces, often called Sons of Iraq, and to integrate them into the Iraqi Army and Police and other employment programs.
  • 2004
    Age 51
    The largely Sunni Arab police collapsed under insurgent attacks launched at the same time Coalition Forces attacked Fallujah in November 2004.
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    The General Accounting Office said that the weapons distribution was haphazard, rushed, and did not follow established procedures—particularly from 2004 to 2005, when security training was led by Petraeus and Iraq's security forces began to see combat in places like Najaf and Samarra.
    More Details Hide Details Over a hundred thousand AK-47 assault rifles and pistols were delivered to Iraqi forces without full documentation, and some of the missing weapons may have been abducted by Iraqi insurgents. Thousands of body armour pieces have also been lost. The Independent has stated that the military believed "the situation on the ground was so urgent, and the agency responsible for recording the transfers of arms so short staffed, that field commanders had little choice in the matter." The Pentagon conducted its own investigation, and accountability was subsequently regained for many of the weapons. Following his second tour in Iraq, Petraeus authored a widely read article in Military Review, listing fourteen observations he had made during two tours in Iraq, including: do not do too much with your own hands, money is ammunition, increasing the number of stakeholders is critical to success, success in a counterinsurgency requires more than just military operations, ultimate success depends on local leaders, there is no substitute for flexible and adaptable leaders, and, finally, a leader's most important task is to set the right tone.
    In September 2004, Petraeus wrote an article for The Washington Post in which he described the tangible progress being made in building Iraq's security forces from the ground up while also noting the many challenges associated with doing so. "Although there have been reverses – not to mention horrific terrorist attacks," Petraeus wrote, "there has been progress in the effort to enable Iraqis to shoulder more of the load for their own security, something they are keen to do."
    More Details Hide Details Some of the challenges involved in building security forces had to do with accomplishing this task in the midst of a tough insurgency—or, as Petraeus wrote, "making the mission akin to repairing an aircraft while in flight – and while being shot at". Other challenges included allegations of corruption as well as efforts to improve Iraq's supply accountability procedures. For example, according to former Interim Iraq Governing Council member Ali A. Allawi in The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace, "under the very noses of the security transition command, officials both inside and outside the ministry of defense were planning to embezzle most, if not all, of the procurement budget of the army". The Washington Post stated in August 2007 that the Pentagon had lost track of approximately 30% of weapons supplied to the Iraqi security forces.
    In June 2004, less than six months after the 101st returned to the U.S., Petraeus was promoted to lieutenant general and became the first commander of the Multi-National Security Transition Command - Iraq.
    More Details Hide Details This newly created command had responsibility for training, equipping, and mentoring Iraq's growing army, police, and other security forces as well as developing Iraq's security institutions and building associated infrastructure, such as training bases, police stations, and border forts. During Petraeus's fifteen months at the helm of MNSTC-I, he stood up a three-star command virtually from scratch and in the midst of serious fighting in places like Fallujah, Mosul, and Najaf. By the end of his command, some 100,000 Iraqi Security Forces had been trained; Iraqi Army and Police were being employed in combat; countless reconstruction projects had been executed; and hundreds of thousands of weapons, body armor, and other equipment had been distributed in what was described as the "largest military procurement and distribution effort since World War II", at a cost of over $11 billion.
  • 2003
    Age 50
    Ricks went on to say that "the population-oriented approach Petraeus took in Mosul in 2003 would be the one the entire U.S. Army in Iraq was trying to adopt in 2006."
    More Details Hide Details Time columnist Joe Klein largely agreed with Ricks, writing that the Stryker brigade that replaced the 101st "didn't do any of the local governance that Petraeus had done". Moving away from counterinsurgency principles, "they were occupiers, not builders." The New York Times reporter Michael Gordon and retired General Bernard Trainor echoed Ricks and Klein, including in their book Cobra II a quote that Petraeus "did it right and won over Mosul".
    In 2003, Petraeus, then a Major General, saw combat for the first time when he commanded the 101st Airborne Division during V Corps's drive to Baghdad.
    More Details Hide Details In a campaign chronicled in detail by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Rick Atkinson of The Washington Post in the book In the Company of Soldiers, Petraeus led his division through fierce fighting south of Baghdad, in Karbala, Hilla and Najaf. Following the fall of Baghdad, the division conducted the longest heliborne assault on record in order to reach Ninawa Province, where it would spend much of 2003. The 1st Brigade was responsible for the area south of Mosul, the 2nd Brigade for the city itself, and the 3rd Brigade for the region stretching toward the Syrian border. An often-repeated story of Petraeus's time with the 101st is his asking of embedded The Washington Post reporter Rick Atkinson to "Tell me how this ends," an anecdote he and other journalists have used to portray Petraeus as an early recognizer of the difficulties that would follow the fall of Baghdad.
  • 2001
    Age 48
    During 2001–2002, as a brigadier general, Petraeus served a ten-month tour in Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of Operation Joint Forge.
    More Details Hide Details In Bosnia, he was the NATO Stabilization Force Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations as well as the Deputy Commander of the U.S. Joint Interagency Counter-Terrorism Task Force, a command created after the September 11 attacks to add counterterrorism capability to the U.S. forces attached to the NATO command in Bosnia. In 2004, he was promoted to Lieutenant General. In 2007, he was promoted to General.
    He was selected for promotion to Major General in 2001.
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  • 2000
    Age 47
    In 2000, Petraeus suffered his second major injury, when, during a civilian skydiving jump, his parachute collapsed at low altitude due to a hook turn, resulting in a hard landing that broke his pelvis.
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    From the 82nd, he moved on to serve as Chief of Staff of XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg during 2000–2001.
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  • 1999
    Age 46
    In 1999, as a brigadier general, Petraeus returned to the 82nd, serving as the assistant division commander for operations and then, briefly, as acting commanding general.
    More Details Hide Details During his time with the 82nd, he deployed to Kuwait as part of Operation Desert Spring, the continuous rotation of combat forces through Kuwait during the decade after the Gulf War.
  • 1997
    Age 44
    From 1997–99 Petraeus served in the Pentagon as Executive Assistant to the Director of the Joint Staff and then to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Henry Shelton, who described Petraeus as "a high-energy individual who likes to lead from the front, in any field he is going into".
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  • 1995
    Age 42
    His next command, from 1995–97, was the 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, centered on the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment.
    More Details Hide Details At that post, his brigade's training cycle at Fort Polk's Joint Readiness Training Center for low-intensity warfare was chronicled by novelist and military enthusiast Tom Clancy in his book Airborne.
    In 1995, he was assigned to the United Nations Mission in Haiti Military Staff as its Chief Operations Officer during Operation Uphold Democracy.
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  • 1993
    Age 40
    During 1993–94, Petraeus continued his long association with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) as the division's Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3 (plans, operations and training) and installation Director of Plans, Training, and Mobilization (DPTM).
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  • 1991
    Age 38
    During this period, he suffered one of the more dramatic incidents in his career; in 1991 he was accidentally shot in the chest with an M-16 rifle during a live-fire exercise when a soldier tripped and his rifle discharged.
    More Details Hide Details He was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, where he was operated on by future U.S. Senator Bill Frist. The hospital released him early after he did fifty push-ups without resting, just a few days after the accident.
    Upon promotion to lieutenant colonel, Petraeus moved from the office of the Chief of Staff to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where he commanded the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)'s 3rd Battalion 187th Infantry Regiment, known as the "Iron Rakkasans", from 1991–1993.
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  • 1988
    Age 35
    From 1988–1989, he served as operations officer to the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized)'s 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment (Mechanized).
    More Details Hide Details He was then posted as aide and assistant executive officer to the U.S. Army Chief of Staff, General Carl Vuono, in Washington, D.C.
  • 1985
    Age 32
    He subsequently earned an M.P.A. in 1985 and a Ph.D. degree in international relations in 1987 from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.
    More Details Hide Details He later served as Assistant Professor of International Relations at the United States Military Academy and also completed a fellowship at Georgetown University.
  • 1983
    Age 30
    From 1983–85 he was at Princeton; and 1985–87 at West Point.
    More Details Hide Details After earning his PhD and teaching at West Point, Petraeus continued up the rungs of the command ladder, serving as military assistant to Gen. John Galvin, the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe. From there, he moved to the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized).
    At graduation in 1983, he was the General George C. Marshall Award winner as the top graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.
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  • 1982
    Age 29
    He spent the next few years furthering his military and civilian education, including spending 1982–83 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, attending the Command and General Staff College.
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  • 1981
    Age 28
    In 1981, Petraeus became aide-de-camp to the Commanding General of the 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized).
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  • 1979
    Age 26
    In 1979, he assumed command of a company in the same division: A Company, 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment (Mechanized), and then served as that battalion's operations officer, a major's position that he held as a junior captain.
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  • 1974
    Age 21
    Upon his graduation from West Point in 1974, Petraeus was commissioned an infantry officer.
    More Details Hide Details After completing Ranger School (Distinguished Honor Graduate and other honors), Petraeus was assigned to the 509th Airborne Battalion Combat Team, a light infantry unit stationed in Vicenza, Italy. Ever since, light infantry has been at the core of his career, punctuated by assignments to mechanized units, unit commands, staff assignments, and educational institutions. After leaving the 509th as a first lieutenant, Petraeus began a brief association with mechanized units when he became assistant operations officer on the staff of the 2nd Brigade, 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized) at Fort Stewart, Georgia.
    Petraeus graduated from West Point in 1974.
    More Details Hide Details He earned the General George C. Marshall Award as the top graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College Class of 1983 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He subsequently earned an M.P.A. in 1985 and a Ph.D. in international relations in 1987 from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, where he was mentored by Richard H. Ullman. At that time, he also served as an Assistant Professor of International Relations at the U.S. Military Academy from 1985 to 1987. His doctoral dissertation was entitled "The American Military and the Lessons of Vietnam: A Study of Military Influence and the Use of Force in the Post-Vietnam Era". He also completed a military fellowship at Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service in 1994–1995, although he was called away early to serve in Haiti as the Chief of Operations for NATO there in early 1995.
    Petraeus was on the intercollegiate soccer and ski teams, was a cadet captain on the brigade staff, and was a "distinguished cadet" academically, graduating in the top 5% of the Class of 1974 (ranked 40th overall).
    More Details Hide Details In the class yearbook, Petraeus was remembered as "always going for it in sports, academics, leadership, and even his social life". While a cadet, Petraeus started dating the daughter of Army General William A. Knowlton (the West Point superintendent at the time), Hollister "Holly" Knowlton (born c. 1953). Two months after graduation, Petraeus married her. Holly, who is multi-lingual, was a National Merit Scholar in high school, and graduated summa cum laude from Dickinson College. They have a daughter and son, Anne and Stephen.
  • 1970
    Age 17
    The family moved after the war, settling in Cornwall-on-Hudson, where David Petraeus grew up and graduated from Cornwall Central High School in 1970.
    More Details Hide Details Petraeus went on to the United States Military Academy at West Point.
  • 1952
    Born on November 7, 1952.
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