This week, I happened to come across the Newsweek cover having just read the LAT front pager titled “It’s a Pentagon divided.” (The more direct title inside read: “Joint Chiefs, commanders in Iraq at odds over troops.”)
The Times article puts this cover photo in an interesting new perspective.
In essence, the Times piece details how General Petraeus and his “supporters” (wink, wink) have somehow managed to do an end-run around the military chain-of-command, including the Secretary of Defense, and the Joint Chiefs and their Chairman, Adm Mullen. (As you know, Adm. Fallon, the former U.S. commander in the the Middle East was knocked out of the box last week.)
Whereas Mullen and the top brass have had a plan in place to reduce the force levels in Iraq, and thus saving the military from coming apart at the seams, Petraeus seems to have somehow magically acquired a veto over his superiors.
Which brings us to the Newsweek cover.
Practically identified as Petraeus’ boys, these guys — armed to the teeth and standing their ground — actually give off an impression (led by the aptly named Captain Wright as head of the General’s posse) that they aren’t going to budge. (And, for reinforcement, check out the shot, left, from the table of contents where Wright has it all mapped out.)
What became codified as “the surge,” having evaded Congress, appears to have morphed into a large-scale insurgent force within our own military.
(image 1: Ghaith Abdul-Ahad/Getty for Newsweek. image 2: Seamus Murphy for Newsweek. April 2008. Iraq. Newsweek Magazine)