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Could Gen. Petraeus be awarded a fifth star?

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Luke X. Martin
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However, noted Waller, “There’s a certain niche to it that would give him an incredible amount of political power, both within the Pentagon and also within U.S. politics. I think if Obama was smart, he would incentivize him to stay in the military as long as possible so that he didn’t have to run against him as a civilian next time around.”

That being said, the fifth star is not a be-all, end-all. One need only look to five-star Gen. Douglas MacArthur, who was relieved of his command by President Harry Truman during the Korean War, as an example of that, noted Crane. MacArthur (and McChrystal more recently) was quickly reminded of who was boss.

“Having four-stars, five-stars, 10-stars doesn’t matter,” Crane said. “The president’s in charge.”

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Thane-Eichenauer/100000548899920 Thane Eichenauer

    It would make sense to discuss a fifth star once the US has declared war and not before.

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  • thephranc

    But this is the new America where every one passes school grades and get trophies just for showing up. Think about this mans self esteem if he had to do something above and beyond his normal duties to earn that 5th star.

  • Skepticus

    General Petraeus is a capable leader but does not deserve a fifth star. He does not belong in the same group as “Generals of the Army” Eisenhower, Bradley, Marshall, MacArthur and Arnold.

  • gringott

    Please. Give me a break. He is not a genius nor a giant. He is a good man, and he gave good advice about Iraq. That does not a five star make. This guy’s big skill is training, he is great at it. A fighting general? Not really. If I remember correctly his branch is artillery. Not Infantry. The only Army branch that matters.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Monique-Hamm/1562790618 Monique Hamm

      Actually he was an infantry officer after he finished his stint at this little school called West Point. He also commanded the 101rst Airborne (AKA the Screaming Eagles) division in Baghdad (INFANTRY!)… As for fighting, he definitely got in on the Gulf War action after being shot by an M16. Oh and he also has a PHD from Princeton (making him pretty darn smart!)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Pechon-Jr/779420277 David Pechon Jr

    When we had five star generals, the Army had nearly eight times the soldiers it has now. During WWII, Army Groups (which consisted of several Armies)were commanded by four star generals. The five star rank was given to field commanders who were in charge of several army groups. Eisenhower was in command of ground troops in the European theater, MacArthur was in charge of ground troops in the Pacific, Arnold was in charge of the entire Army Air Forces (and later the USAF), and Marshall was the equivilent of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

    Bradley was appointed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and promoted to Gen of the Army after the start of the Korean War. He was the last person to hold the rank.

    Crane is correct that the rank was made up because of the Brits. Mostly because they had prima-donna commanders like Montgomery. Besides, it be awkward considering the GEN Petreas has three officers apointed over him: The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Army Chief of Staff, and the new CENTCOM commander.