Friday, September 12, 2008

The Petraeus Show

In less than a week, General Petraeus will turn over control of the multi-national forces in Iraq to General Odierno. A colleague suggested that, before General Petraeus departs, I should attend one of his battlefield update assessments. The update is a daily meeting that covers everything from casualties and status of operations, to electricty output and media coverage.

Standing unobtrusively off to the side of the operations room where embassy personnel connect via video teleconference screens to the base camp where GEN Petraeus runs the meeting, I watched as each person briefed the general. Occasionally he would ask a question, offer a comment or congratulate them for a job well done. Even though I read the battlefield update materials every day, it was fascinating to see it in person. It was a great education of what our military is achieving every single day. I was also impressed with the precision and conciseness with which the meeting was run. Not like a typical State Department meeting!

On another topic, an embassy employee passed along a message he received from a young Iraqi:

One thing more, please thank on behalf of me and many young Iraqis for the sacrifices that you Americans have done for us. A lot of people in Iraq are afraid to say it in public but deep in our hearts we well never forget the brave men and women's who wanted to build a new free and democratic Iraq. God bless America :)

That was nice to read.

1 comment:

Lee said...

How's the Kool-Aid taste Heather?