The Spectacle Blog

Petraeus Almost Resigned Over Afghan Drawdown

By on 12.29.11 | 8:20AM

The AP gets a sneak peak at forthcoming biography of David Petraeus and finds some news:

WASHINGTON (AP) - Four-star general-turned-CIA director David Petraeus almost resigned as Afghanistan war commander over President Barack Obama's decision to quickly draw down surge forces, according to a new insider's look at Petraeus' 37-year Army career.

Petraeus decided that resigning would be a "selfish, grandstanding move with huge political ramifications" and that now was "time to salute and carry on," according to a forthcoming biography.

Author and Petraeus confidante Paula Broadwell had extensive access to the general in Afghanistan and Washington for "All In: The Education of General David Petraeus," due from Penguin Press in January.

The salute-and-carry-on instinct is somewhat understandable, and we'll have to see the quotes in context to fully assess Petraeus's reasoning, but it's hard not to wish that he'd gone ahead and resigned. He's right that the political ramifications would have been huge, but they might also have been salutary.

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