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Or Maybe Petraeus is Freer to Care About More Than Iraq!

So speaking of Petraeus, Ann Scott Tyson and Tom Ricks report, contrary to my piece:

Indeed, military officials familiar with the relationship between Petraeus and Odierno said mutual trust would make it easier for Petraeus to turn his attention to pressing regional issues such as Iran, Pakistan and Lebanon while Odierno assumed the reins in Iraq. As Centcom chief, Petraeus would oversee more than 200,000 U.S. military personnel in the region.

"Petraeus has the opportunity to hand off with confidence and expand his area of control and responsibility," said Lt. Col. Nathan P. Freier, a former adviser to Odierno in Iraq.

To which Charlie (who’s a woman! Stop being so gender-normative!) remarks:

Indeed, the inside-baseball picture [I'm] getting is that Petraeus wanted Odierno at the helm in Iraq because he knew his former deputy already understood his intent (and would be unlikely will strike out and try to create his own Iraq "legacy"). With Odierno continuing to execute his strategy in Iraq, Petraeus can turn to Afghanistan, Iran, etc. with greater comfort. Now Charlie doesn’t fully buy into all of this: she thinks the jury is still out on Odierno, and agrees with [co-blogger Abu Muqawama] that it will be psychologically and emotionally hard for Petraeus to move past Iraq. But she’s markedly more sanguine than she was yesterday afternoon.

I share Charlie’s skepticism, for what it’s worth. Petraeus has now done three Iraq tours: one as a division commander; the second as leader of the Iraqi-training mission; the third as commanding general. It’s human nature to feel a little bit extra-invested in a war that has truly become Your War.

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