Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Petraeus likes his "designated thinkers" to be highly intelligent, and preferably, to engage in a little hero-worship

General David Petraeus

George Bush's executive branch seems to be run by young, loyal, highly politicized, but not well-educated, people like Monica Goodling.

General David Petraeus, the top US commander in Iraq, likes a different type of young person: one who can think outside the box. One of Petraeus' favorite thinkers is Wesley Morgan, a 19-year-old Princeton sophomore who became interested in military history and counterinsurgency at age 6. He has studied Petraeus for years, and seems to have a significant case of hero-worship. Morgan is spending his summer vacation in Iraq, going out on patrols, and confering with Petraeus and other leaders.

Meg Greenwall of the Washington Post wrote on September 3, 2007:

"He [Petraeus] has been open about his desire to shape the officer corps into a group of highly educated thinkers and has surrounded himself with Rhodes Scholars and PhDs, a group that has come to be known as his brain trust.

""I think he's universally well known for finding smart people who are interested in doing things a little differently, and I think that's a major reason for his success," says Capt. Elizabeth McNally, a West Point graduate and Rhodes Scholar who is Petraeus's speechwriter."

Perhaps someone who doesn't worship him might give Petraeus less biased feedback. But I have a feeling that Petraeus is grooming Morgan for a long term position at Petraeus' side.

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