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1.0 Introduction In March 2003, the US attacked Iraq for the second time in just over 12 years.As Jeffrey Record points out in Dark Victory, the war was cheap in American blood; short and militarily decisive. Yet the latter developments of the invasion sparked many a debate about the moral reasoning behind it, and in fact made the invasion a benchmark of what not to do before, during and after a military campaign.Russia-gate, the sprawling investigation into whether Russia meddled in last year’s U. election, is often compared to the two big political scandals of the latter half of the Twentieth Century, Watergate and Iran-Contra.Sometimes you even hear that Russia-gate is “bigger than Watergate.” Yet what is perhaps most remarkable about those two Twentieth Century scandals is how little Official Washington really understands them – and how these earlier scandals significantly contrast, rather than compare, with what is unfolding now.
“I don’t think this personal indiscretion, in and of itself, could possibly trump his achievements and accomplishment,” says Keane, one-time Army vice chief of staff and a key architect, as a retired four-star general, of the Iraq surge led by Petraeus.
The call, from one retired four-star general to another, was somber.
Just-departed CIA chief Dave Petraeus’ voice – usually assertive, buffed by optimism — was lower, slower and more subdued than his former comrade had ever heard.
“I really screwed up,” he told Jack Keane, a retired four-star general — like Petraeus — who stepped down as the Army’s No. “This is my fault, and I’m devastated by the pain and suffering that I’ve caused.” But this is the rest of the story of “General Peaches,” whose career reached its apogee turning the Iraq war around in 2007, and whose professional and personal lives crashed and burned last Friday when he acknowledged an extra-marital affair, resigning from government service for the first time since he arrived at West Point as a cadet in 1970.
“Peaches” was the nickname Petraeus picked up as a kid when pals found “Petraeus” too tough to say.