Gen. David H. Petraeus, the most recognized military officer of his generation, retires from the Army today after roughly four decades in uniform and a career like no other.
With his retirement upon us, we invited four defense experts to reflect on his record. Some of them have known the general up close, others from afar. To each the question was the same: What is his legacy and how has he shaped the U.S. armed forces?
For some, Petraeus will be remembered as the model statesman-soldier — commander of two wars launched by the United States and chief intellectual author of a counterinsurgency doctrine that advances American interests. But for others, Petraeus will be remembered less for his remarkable accomplishments — which are almost universally admired — than for his association with a U.S. foreign policy that, in their view, is costly, misguided and not always effective.