Tue Aug 21, 2018 | 20:31
Petraeus potential presidential candidate
Fri, 29 Apr 2011 17:07:24 GMT
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A former CIA analyst says by making General David Petraeus CIA director, President Barack Obama has given him the opportunity to rally neo-cons support and potentially run for president.

Press TV interviewed Ray McGovern regarding the US troop withdrawal in Afghanistan and General Petraeus new position as the Director of the CIA.

Press TV: I wanted to ask you about Petraeus specifically. It's been said that Obama made this move in order to avoid a public tussle with Petraeus over the schedule of the withdrawal out of Afghanistan by moving him out of theater. Do you think that there is some truth to that?

McGovern: There may be a little truth to that but what Obama has really done is given Petraeus the opportunity now to rally support for himself here in Washington. I believe that Petraeus probably has political ambitions. I would not be surprised to see him on the National ticket either in 2012 or 2016.

Press TV: Many observers online are saying that President Obama timed this reshuffle really well and that this will in fact help to play a very crucial role in this Afghanistan withdrawal. How exactly will this help in the Afghanistan withdrawal?

McGovern: It's not going to help at all. The dynamics there in Afghanistan is such that even though the President security commitment from the military leaders was that they would not object in July of this year when the drawdown starts, the drawdown is going to be very painful because the gains made over recent months are really very illusory.

General Petraeus was talking about them being very fragile and very difficult to maintain. So the bottom line really is Afghanistan is a conflict that really needs to be brought to an end. However, the President will not have any help from the military in doing that because what the military does of course is what a hammer does when it sees a nail. It starts the battle.

So it's going to be still quite a challenge for the civilian President to harness military energy particularly in a year leading up to election year when Obama's primary preoccupation is to make sure that no one in the whole world could call him soft on terrorism.

So it's a very sticky thing. The President is not out of the woods. He thinks he has removed Petraeus, but what he has really done is brought Petraeus into Washington where he can maneuver, and have his own support among the neo-cons. Thus he will cause more problems than he could have out there in Kabul.

Press TV: Let's talk about Mr. Ryan Crocker just before letting you go. They are saying for him to be moving to Kabul as the US Ambassador is a good thing for the United States because Mr. Crocker has proved himself to be a formidable diplomatic fixer. They are saying if anyone can deal with the “erratic” Karzai according to US media it's Mr. Crocker Is there some truth to that?

McGovern: Crocker is apparently a quintessential diplomat. That simply means he engages in exposition of our foreign policy or foreign governments. He's never really been styled as a decision maker or a mover and shaker. So in a word, he will be listening to what Hillary Clinton tells him and to what Petraeus tells him and the military.

He will carefully carry out his duties as he did in Bagdad, and they will not really make much of an impact on the policy itself, but rather in the conduct of diplomacy. He is accomplished in that. This is his fifth ambassadorial post. So he will do a decent job on that. Although, what we really need are strong people who can see that there is no end to these wars. The sooner they end the better.

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