Patraeus’s Self Evaluation updated
This is priceless.
Some of you might remember the chat
I had with Rand
Beeers of NSN. Well yesterday, Ilan
Goldenberg, the Executive Director of NSN, wrote about the insanity of General
Patraeus giving himself a “self-evaluation.”
So would this ever happen in the corporate world? You have an employee. He’s
doing a job. You ask him to evaluate how he is doing his job. You base your
entire evaluation on his own assessment without getting any objective outside
input. Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it. But that’s exactly what President
Bush wants us to do when evaluating whether or not the “surge”
We are supposed to sit tight and wait for General Petraeus to deliver his
report in September and tell us how well he is doing his job. Then based on
his own self evaluation Congress should make a decision. The conflict of interest
is brutally obvious. Petraeus is inextricably tied to the “surge”.
Concluding that it isn’t working would be a huge blow to his own career
and legacy. Not to mention any political aspirations that he may have after
life in the military. He has also realized that one of the centers of gravity
for the war is American public support. Without it the war can’t go
on and his strategy has no chance. He seems to be taking it upon himself to
try and build that support. Finally, there is his previous behavior. Larry
Korb points out that Petraeus has injected himself into politics before, writing
an op-ed six weeks before the 2004 election arguing that the Iraq Security
Force training was going well. Keeping all of this in mind, it’s not
surprising to see reports that military leaders are already starting to move
the goal posts on the September report so that they can project an image of
success instead of failure.
I can tell you what the Petraeus report will say. It’s what every employee
self evaluation says. “I’m doing a great job, but just to show
you that I’m a modest guy here are some areas where I can improve.”
Not long afterwards, Petraeus’s spokesperson was online defending his boss.
Didn’t DoD ban this type of web interaction? You’ve got to read
it for yourself. Needless to say it’s a bit, let’s just say, defensive.
UPDATE: The saga continues.
And since we’re speaking about Iraq, as a quick update to the Petraeus post, I just got an email from Ilan Goldenberg, the Executive Director of NSN. He’s got quite a dialogue going on with Colonel Boylan, Petraeus’s spokesman, which ends up with Boylan getting smacked. Part of it revolves around Lawrence Korb’s recent op-ed, which calls out Lt. General Petraeus’s misleading op-ed in the Washington Post right before the ’04 election. This is a must read, but here’s a snippet.
The Colonel also argues that:
General Petraeus over the times he has been in Iraq has written op-eds on various topics in order to provide context to what is happening on the ground.
But actually I did a little research and was not able to find another op-ed in a major newspaper that General Petraeus has written in the past five years. My search included more than 200 newspapers including almost all of the highest circulation papers in the country as well as most of the large circulation magazines. If I missed something, I would ask the Colonel to correct me. But as far as I can tell, the piece that came out six weeks before the 2004 election and conveniently reiterated the President’s talking points is the only one out there in a major U.S. newspaper. This only reiterates Korb’s point.