PICTURED: Disgraced former-general David Petraeus. PC: ABC News.
WASHINGTON D.C. October 1st, 2022. ABC News’ This Week and host Jon Karl brought on the disgraced retired General and former CIA Director to discuss the recent retreat of Russian forces from the Ukraine town of Lyman.
Located near Kharkiv, a major supply hub for Russian forces in the north, Lyman is actually inside one of the four territories that Russia declared to have annexed last week.
Petraeus said that after this defeat Putin’s position was “irreversible,” and that “no amount of annexation, no amount of even veiled nuclear threats can get him out of this situation”.
Asked by Karl if Russia could win in its conflict with Ukraine, Petraeus replied “they cannot. There is nothing he [Putin] can do at this point”.
Former-General Petraeus proved to be one of the most famously incapable acting battlefield commanders in U.S. history since at least the end of the Cold War.
To be fair to the man, he was not the architect of the Afghanistan “surge” that flooded the country with 150,000 more troops and its own mini-Marshall Plan, that was his boss Stanley McChrystal, who to be fair to the record, Petraeus trumpeted loudly for; at least until he heard Obama was going to set an 18-month timeline.
The Afghanistan Papers, published by the Washington Post, revealed to the American and world press that Petraeus was the last of the surge-era generals who clicked his heels along to the “making steady progress” lie told by nearly every higher-up involved in the conflict, but as author Scott Horton writes in his book Fools Errand, Petraeus took over a situation he knew was untenable, and then escalated it in every deadly direction.
This was particularly true through the mass-application of special operations raids during the dead of night, which paralyzed the population with fear and anger, created immense distain for Americans during the attempt to win over their hearts and minds, and did little to reduce the Taliban’s insurgency.
“Petraeus was hell-bent on throwing money at the problem,”says an unidentified U.S. military officer quoted by the Post. “When Petraeus was around, all that mattered was spending”.
The details in part three of the Post’s story on the extent of that money are astonishing.
In civilian life, Petraeus as CIA Director was accused and found guilty in 2015 of relieving the agency of Top Secret and sensitive material and giving them over to a woman, Paula Broadwell, whom he was having an extra-marital affair with.
Towards the end of his publicized life, Petraeus suggested for a Syria policy to provide weapons and training to the al-Nusra group, literally the offshoot of al-Qaeda who Petraeus had fought against in Iraq in 2004-2005, in order for them to fight ISIS, or as Trever Timm of The Guardian put it, “arming terrorists to fight terrorists”.
Disgraced general on nuclear war
In his Sunday interview on This Week Petraeus mercifully explained he had not spoken to “Jake about this” referring to National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan about Vladimir Putin’s threat of nuclear war, but then preceded to give a hypothetical typical of the man and the times he’s lived and worked through.
“We would respond [to the use of tactical nuclear weapons] by leading a NATO—a collective effort and take out every Russian conventional force that we can see and identify on the battlefield in Ukraine, and also Crimea and every ship in the Black Sea”.
Bizarrely, Petraeus paused his hopefully-only-personal ruminations to correct Karl that this would not be an Article 5 situation, referring to Article 5 in the NATO charter that an attack against one nation is an attack against them all.
“It cannot go unanswered. But it doesn’t expand—it’s not nuclear for nuclear,” the disgraced former general added. “You don’t want to get into a nuclear escalation here, but you have to show that this cannot be accepted in any way”.
Many D.C. think tanks and retired military minds believe that conflicts against Russia can be waged without a general nuclear war following, in something called “escalation management”.
For example the Atlantic Council, the NATO-sponsored think thank in Washington has described Putin’s recent warning that his nuclear forces have been placed on high alert as “a form of nuclear blackmail to which the United States and its allies should not capitulate”.
Speaking for Russia, Putin, as well as his Foreign Minister, Defense Minister, Dept. Defense Minister, and the former president Medvedev have all concretely said that Ukraine is and has always been the red line for battlefield use of nuclear weapons, and the use of one is entirely dependent on battlefield conditions.
A general attack by that very “West” which Putin just claimed was waging an imperial war against Russia, on all the branches of his deployed armed forces would be leaving the now widely-stated nuclear red line in the review mirror so to speak.