General Petraeus Accomplishments

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Accidental Statesman: General Petraeus and the City of Mosul, Iraq
SFC Sheron E. Andrews
Master Leaders Course

Senior commanders and leaders in the Army are equipped with abundant information and doctrine on the fundamentals of invading and occupying enemy territory. In 2003, Major General Petraeus was the 101st division commander at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Before entering, Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) General Petraeus abilities as a Combatant Commander were revered by senior military officials. Unbeknownst to General Petraeus, he would be the author and creator of new military policies of stabilizing regions in which the United States Forces would occupy in the future. General Petraeus initial mission of the liberation
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Setting the tone for the region as a diplomat for peace

General Petraeus most notable achievement in Mosul was his public relations and physiological operations in the area. He set out to “win the hearts and minds” of the local population. By doing so, he inadvertently decreased armed conflicts in the area with the anti-
American segment. He implemented rules that were not popular with his own forces, but these rules were necessary to maintain peace in the city. One such rule was the rules of engagement. Soldiers in 101st Airborne Division were ordered only to fire upon Iraqi citizens, if they were fired upon. Petraeus was diligent in rebuilding the public infrastructure of the city and restoring essential necessities to the people. However, I believe his most impactful gesture was setting the tone for democratic elections for city government. A drastic contrast to the years of harsh dictatorship and tribal rule.


And when people are entering upon a war they do things the wrong way around. Action
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⎯Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War.

Albert Einstein famously quoted that “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” In the past wars were determined a success based on tactical engagements. However,
General political tactics to reduce violence and reestablish metropolitan governments in his area of operations. His foresight and cognitive reasoning of displaying generosity and decent humanity while maintaining a military authority in the area was more instrumental to the Iraqi people than imposing the United States military might. He stated, “If you don't want to have to kill or capture every bad guy in the country, you have to reintegrate those who are willing to be reconciled and become part of the solution instead of a continued part of the problem.” General
Petraeus understood the key component to stabilizing not only his area of operations, but within the theater, was to empower the people in the region to govern themselves and be self-reliant.
Thus giving further generations of Iraqi citizens a voice and the ability to choose their future
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