David Petraeus

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David Petraeus

General David Howell Petraeus is the former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Petraeus previously served as Commander of U.S. Central Command, and as Commanding General, Multi-National Force-Iraq (MNF-I) from January 2007 to September 2008. As Commander of MNF-I, Petraeus oversaw the coalition forces in Iraq.

Solomon Hughes writes of Petraeus in the Morning Star:

Petraeus wrote the new "counter-insurgency" manual for the US army, a guide that puts a heavy emphasis on propaganda. Petraeus says that the army must "remember the global audience," because "the decisive battle is for the people's minds." For Petraeus "every action, including uses of force, must be wrapped in a bodyguard of information."
Petraeus believes that the US was only defeated in Vietnam because the US population lost its will to fight. He thinks that US troops did well in the Vietnamese battlefields, but that the war was lost in the minds of US voters. So, shaping the perceptions of the "global audience," including the US population, is as important as winning the hearts and minds of Iraqis.[1]


David Kilcullen | John Nagl | Lt General Sir Graeme Lamb

External resources


  1. Solomon Hughes Feature - The Petraeus doctrine; Solomon Hughes looks at how Washington's man in Iraq hopes to mould our minds, Morning Star, August 24, 2007