Archive for the ‘David H. Petraeus’ Category

One Man’s Military-Industrial-Media Complex

November 30, 2008

In the spring of 2007 a tiny military contractor with a slender track record went shopping for a precious Beltway commodity.
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The company, Defense Solutions, sought the services of a retired general with national stature, someone who could open doors at the highest levels of government and help it win a huge prize: the right to supply Iraq with thousands of armored vehicles.

Access like this does not come cheap, but it was an opportunity potentially worth billions in sales, and Defense Solutions soon found its man. The company signed Barry R. McCaffrey, a retired four-star Army general and military analyst for NBC News, to a consulting contract starting June 15, 2007.

Four days later the general swung into action. He sent a personal note and 15-page briefing packet to David H. Petraeus, the commanding general in Iraq, strongly recommending Defense Solutions and its offer to supply Iraq with 5,000 armored vehicles from Eastern Europe. “No other proposal is quicker, less costly, or more certain to succeed,” he said.

By DAVID BARSTOW
The New York Times

Above: Barry R. McCaffrey is among the retired military officers working as network analysts.
Artwork by the New York Times

Thus, within days of hiring General McCaffrey, the Defense Solutions sales pitch was in the hands of the American commander with the greatest influence over Iraq’s expanding military.

“That’s what I pay him for,” Timothy D. Ringgold, chief executive of Defense Solutions, said in an interview.

General McCaffrey did not mention his new contract with Defense Solutions in his letter to General Petraeus. Nor did he disclose it when he went on CNBC that same week and praised the commander Defense Solutions was now counting on for help — “He’s got the heart of a lion” — or when he told Congress the next month that it should immediately supply Iraq with large numbers of armored vehicles and other equipment.

He had made similar arguments before he was hired by Defense Solutions, but this time he went further. In his testimony to Congress, General McCaffrey criticized a Pentagon plan to supply Iraq with several hundred armored vehicles made in the United States by a competitor of Defense Solutions. He called the plan “not in the right ballpark” and urged Congress to instead equip Iraq with 5,000 armored vehicles.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/30/washin
gton/30general.html?_r=1&hp

Petraeus unites GOP on pullout

September 13, 2007

By S.A. Miller
The Washington Times
September 13, 2007

Senate Republicans, bolstered by Army Gen. David H. Petraeus’ war report this week, are closing ranks and say Democrats will continue to fall far shy of the votes needed to force a pullout from Iraq.

Republicans facing intense antiwar pressure in home states, such as Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, and the party’s war critics, including Sens. Richard G. Lugar of Indiana and Pete V. Domenici of New Mexico, say the general’s congressional testimony helped persuade them not to switch their votes.

“I’m supportive of a reasonable plan which they offered,” Mr. Lugar said on PBS’ “NewsHour” after Gen. Petraeus, U.S. commander in Iraq, called for withdrawing about 30,000 troops by July.

President Bush, in a prime-time address tonight, is expected to endorse the general’s plan to return to the pre-surge force strength of 130,000 troops by July.
But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who failed repeatedly to muster enough votes to compel the president to accept a pullout plan, yesterday said he will try again next week with measures to force significantly larger troop reductions.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070913/NATION/109130096/1001