Newsweek suddenly discovers that Army officers are educated. Well, yes.

The Petraeus Brain Trust isn’t just a collection of officers with PhDs. The Petraeus team has some of the best commanders and counterinsurgents in the US and allied Armed Forces today like LTC Nagl, Col. McMaster, LTC Kilcullen, UK Maj. Gen. Newton. Men like McMaster are legends in their own right.

The previous generation of top officers were stuck in a Cold War mentality. Usually in wars, armies find out that their best peace time generals are better politicians than fighters. Today, our peace-time politician-generals were mediocre, not awful, so they didn’t perform well but didn’t screw up much either. It takes a few years for the true leadership to emerge in any war.

Petraeus and his team are like the Civil War team of Grant, Sheridan, and Sherman, or the WWII team of Eisenhower, Bradley and Patton. Petraeus’ rise signals a more lasting change because this also changes the ‘culture’ of military promotions, so now the real counterinsurgents can rise in rank and responsibility.

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