Petraeus and a Broad Named Broadwell

What would make a distinguished general and a woman who graduated from West Point decide to throw it all away?  My father used to have a name for this doyenne of the Daily Show, flirting and giggling like a Hollywood starlet rather than behaving as a dignified former Army Major, as she promoted her biography about Petraeus, All In:  The Education of General David Petraeus, on Comedy Central’s Daily Show:  “a broad.”  The book came out in January of 2012.  It was co-authored with Washington Post reporter Vernon Loeb.  This isn’t to excuse Petraeus’ part in all this.  This is certainly not the behavior of a war hero and CIA head.

Yet Broadwell was the homecoming queen and class valedictorian of Century High School in Bismarck, N.D.  She graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1995.  She earned a master’s degree at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies in 2006.  Then she earned a Master of Public Administration degree from the John F. Kenney School of Government at Harvard.  Lately, she’s been studying for her Ph.D at the Department of War Studies at King’s College London.  Petraeus’ biography was supposed to be part of her doctoral dissertation.  Broadwell served in the U.S. Army and is a Major in the United States Army Reserve.

Petraeus, as we all know, has had an illustrious military career.  He was born in Cornwall-on-Hudson, N.Y., the son of Miriam (née Howell), a librarian, and Sixtus Petraeus, a sea captain from Franeker, Netherlands.  His mother was American, while his father had sailed to the United States from the Netherlands at the start of World War II.  Sixtus settled in Cornwall-on-Hudson, where David Petraeus grew up and graduated from Cornwall Central H.S. in 1970.

Petraeus then went on to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point at.  Petraeus was on the intercollegiate soccer and ski teams, was a cadet captain on the brigade staff, and was a “distinguished cadet” academically, graduating in the top 5 percent of the Class of 1974 (ranked 43rd overall). In the class yearbook, Petraeus was remembered as “always going for it in sports, academics, leadership, and even his social life.”

Two months after graduation Petraeus married Holly Knowlton, a daughter of Army General William A. Knowlton, who was superintendent of West Point at the time. Holly, who is multi-lingual, was a National Merit Scholar in high school, and graduated summa cum laude from Dickinson College. They have a daughter and son, Anne and Stephen. Petraeus administered the oath of office at his son’s 2009 commissioning into the Army after his son’s graduation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His son went on to serve in Afghanistan as a member of Alpha Company, 3rd Platoon, 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team.

Petraeus earned the General George C. Marshall Award as the top graduate of the U.S. Army Command General Staff College Class of 1983 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.  He subsequently earned an Master of Public Administration in 1985 and a Ph.D in international relations in 1987 from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, , then served as an Assistant Professor of International Relations at the U.S. Military Academy from 1985 to 1987.

His doctoral dissertation was entitled “The American Military and the Lessons of Vietnam: A Study of Military Influence and the Use of Force in the Post-Vietnam Era.”  He also completed a military fellowship at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service in 1994–1995, although he was called away early to serve in Haiti as the Chief of Operations for the UN force there in early 1995.

From late 2005 through February 2007, Petraeus served as Commanding General of Fort Leavenworth,, Kansas, and the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center (CAC) located there. As commander of CAC, Petraeus was responsible for oversight of the Command and General Staff College and 17 other schools, centers, and training programs as well as for developing the Army’s doctrinal manuals, training the Army’s officers, and supervising the Army’s center for the collection and dissemination of lessons learned. During his time at CAC, Petraeus and Marine Lt. Gen. James N. Mattis jointly oversaw the publication of Field Manual 3-24, Counterinsurgency, the body of which was written by an extraordinarily diverse group of military officers, academics, human rights advocates, and journalists who had been assembled by Petraeus and Mattis.

Additionally, at both Fort Leavenworth and throughout the military’s schools and training programs, Petraeus integrated the study of counterinsurgency into lesson plans and training exercises. In recognition of the fact that soldiers in Iraq often performed duties far different than those they trained for, Petraeus also stressed the importance of teaching soldiers how to think as well as how to fight and the need to foster flexibility and adaptability in leaders, he has been called “the world’s leading expert in counter-insurgency warfare.”

Later, having refined his ideas on counterinsurgency based on the implementation of the new counterinsurgency doctrine in Iraq, he published both in Iraq as well as in the Sep/Oct 2008 edition of Military Review his “Commander’s Counterinsurgency Guidance” to help guide leaders and units in the Multi-National Force-Iraq.

We won’t detail his entire record of military service, although it was quite distinguished

From the 82nd Airbone, he moved on to serve as Chief of Staff of the XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg during 2000–2001. In 2000, Petraeus suffered his second major injury, when, during a civilian skydiving jump, his parachute collapsed at low altitude due to a hook turn, resulting in a hard landing that broke his pelvis. He was selected for promotion to Major General in 2001.  During 2001–2002, as a brigadier general, Petraeus served a ten-month tour in Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of Operation Joint Forge. In Bosnia, he was the  NATO Stabilization Force Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations as well as the Deputy Commander of the U.S. Joint Interagency Counter-Terrorism Task Force, a command created after the September 11 attacks to add counterterrorism capability to the U.S. forces attached to the NATO command in Bosnia.   In 2004, he was promoted to Lieutenant General.

In 2007, he was promoted to General.   On April 23, 2008, Secretary of Defense Gates announced that President Bush was nominating General Petraeus to command U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM), headquartered in Tampa, Fla.  The nomination required and received Senate confirmation. He was confirmed by the Senate on June 30, 2010, and took over command from temporary commander Lieutenant-General Sir Nicholas Parker.   Obama appointed him as head of the Central Intelligence Agency on Sept. 6, 2011.

The book, All In, is something of a curiousity, apparently.  This is the way describes it:

“General David Petraeus is the most transformative leader the   American military has seen since the generation of Marshall. In All In, military expert Paula Broadwell examines Petraeus’s career, his intellectual   development as a military officer, and his impact on the U.S. military.

“Afforded extensive access by General Petraeus, his mentors, his subordinates, and his   longtime friends, Broadwell embedded with the general, his headquarters   staff, and his soldiers on the front lines of fighting and at the strategic   command in Afghanistan to chronicle the experiences of this American general as  they were brought to bear in the terrible crucible of war. All In draws on hundreds of hours of exclusive interviews with Petraeus and his top officers   and soldiers to tell the inside story of this commander’s development and   leadership in war from every vantage point.

“When Petraeus assumed command in Afghanistan in July 2010, the conflict looked as bleak as at any moment in America’s nine years on the ground there.   Petraeus’s defining idea-counterinsurgency-was immediate put to its most   difficult test: the hard lessons learned during the surge in Iraq were to be applied in a radically different theater. All In examines the impact in Afghanistan of new counterinsurgency as well as counterterrorism strategies   through the commands of several Petraeus protégés.

“To inform this unprecedented reporting of Petraeus’s command in Afghanistan,   Broadwell examines his evolution as a solider from his education at  West Point in the wake of Vietnam to his earlier service in Central America,   Haiti, Kuwait, Bosnia, and Iraq. All In also documents the general’s role in   the war in Washington, going behind the scenes of negotiations during policy reviews of the war in Afghanistan in Congress, the Pentagon, and the White   House.

“Broadwell ultimately appraises Petraeus’s impact on the entire U.S.   military: Thanks to this man’s influence, the military is better prepared to   fight using a comprehensive blend of civil-military activities. As America   surveys a decade of untraditional warfare, this much is clear: The career of General David Petraeus profoundly shaped our military and left an indelible mark on its rising leaders.



“Transformative?”  “Intellectual   development?”  “Evolution as a soldier?”  “Untraditional war”  “…fight using a comprehensive blend of   civil-military activities?”  The subtitle of the book, “The Education of David Petraeus,” gives us a clue that something is very much amiss, somewhere.  Broadwell earned her master’s degree at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies located on the University of Denver’s main campus.

Josef Korbel was former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s father.  At the time of her birth, her father was serving as press-attaché at the Czechoslovak Embassy in Belgrade. Though he served as a diplomat in the government of Czechoslovakia, Korbel’s Jewish heritage forced him to flee after the Nazi invasion in 1939. Prior to their flight, Körbel and his wife had converted from Judaism to Roman Catholicism.   He served as an advisor to Edvard Benes, the exiled Czech president in London, until the Nazis were defeated.

He then returned to Czechoslovakia, receiving a luxurious Prague apartment previously owned by Karl Nebrich, a Boehmian German industrialist expropriated and expelled under the so-called Benes decree. Korbel was asked by President Beneš to serve as the country’s ambassador to Yugoslavia, but was forced to flee again during the Communist coup in 1948.

After learning that he had been tried and sentenced to death in absentia, Korbel was granted political asylum in the United States in 1949. He was hired to teach international politics at the University of Denver, and became the founding Dean of the Graduate School of International Studies. One of his students was Condoleeza Rice.  After his death, the University of Denver established the Josef Korbel Humanitarian Award in 2000.

To house the school, the 30,300-square-foot Ben M. Cherrington Hall was built in 1965.  The Department of International Relations at the University of Denver was first directed by Dr. Ben Mark Cherrington, an educator and policy maker who was associated with some of his era’s preeminent political thinkers, including Gandhi, Louis Brandeis (a militant crusader for social justice appointed to the Supreme Court by Woodrow Wilson) and Ramsay MacDonald, Great Britain’s first Labour Prime Minister.

According to the University of Denver, “In 1938, Cherrington was handpicked by the United States Department of State to lead its new Division of Cultural Relations and tasked with carrying out ‘the exchange of professors, teachers, and students…cooperation in the field of music, art, literature…international radio broadcasts…generally, the dissemination abroad of the representative intellectual and cultural work of the U.S.’” Cherrington later became chancellor of the University of Denver from 1943 to 1946, and he was also a contributing author to the United Nations Charter.

Broadwell received a master’s degree from the Korbel School, which boasts an interesting curriculum.

The Josef Korbel School focuses on training graduate students, both for master’s and doctoral degrees, in a number of different areas. In addition to the major, students also specify certain concentrations, either a subject interest or a regional focus. Most degrees require foreign language proficiency and a field internship.

The school’s graduate programs include majors in International Human Rights; International Development; Global Finance, Trade and Economic Integration; International Administration; International Security; and International Studies. As a result of its Peace Corps Master’s International and Fellows programs, the school is home to one of the largest Peace Corps communities at the graduate level.

Graduate students can earn graduate certification in Global Health Affairs, Homeland Security and Humanitarian Assistance on top of their master’s degree work.

The school lists some interesting alumni who have gone on to careers in international service, including:

  • Condoleeza Rice – 66th U.S. Secretary of State
  • Cindy Courville – U.S. Ambassador to the African Union and former senior intelligence officer with the Defense Intelligence Agency
  • Jami Miscik – Former CIA Deputy Director for Intelligence
  • Susan Waltz – Former chair, Amnesty International
  • M. Javad Zarif – Former Permanent Representative of Iran to the U.N.
  • Michelle Kwan – U.S. Olympic figure skater and current State Department employee
  • Guy Padgett – Wyoming’s first openly-gay elected official

If the alumni roster seems a bit unusual, its faculty is even more curious.

  • Erica Chenoweth – Expert on civil resistance movements
  • Claude d’Estrée – Special Rappoerteur to the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (okay).
  • Tom Farer – former dean at the Korbel School, president of the University of New Mexico, president of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States
  • James E. Goodby – Specialist on nuclear nonproliferation and security issues in Northeast Asia, particularly in the Korean peninsula
  • Christopher R. Hill – Current dean and former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Korea, Poland, and Macedonia, whose nomination to the ambassadorship to Iraq was opposed by no less than Sen. John McCain on the grounds that he had no experience in the Middle East.  He brokered the treaty between Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia under Pres. Clinton, and participated in the nuclear talks with North Korea.
  • Barry B.  Hughes- Specialist on forecasting and director of the Pardee Center for      International Futures
  • Haider A. Khan – Expert on social accounting matrix (SAM)-based economic modeling

JKSIS is home to 11 research centers, clinics and institutes, including the following:

  • Center for China-U.S. Cooperation: according to the center’s website, it is “the only  institution in the Rocky Mountain region devoted to building mutual understanding, prudent policies and avenues of dispute resolution among the people of Greater China and the United States.”
  • Institute for the Study of Israel in the Middle East: self-described as a center for research and exchanges to facilitate peace and prosperity for Israel and its neighbors and to deepen ties between these countries and the U.S.
  • Frederick      S. Pardee Center for International Futures: a research, analysis and education center for International Futures, a computer modeling system that can help forecast long-term global changes and trends in demographics, economics and the environment. Current model results are being hosted by the Google Public Data Explorer.
  • Center on Rights Development: a center which promotes universal recognition of human rights through research, advocacy, monitoring, representation, and outreach.
  • Institute on Globalization and Security: a multinational, collaborative research and  teaching center studying global integration and its effects on security.
  • Center for Sustainable Development: a policy institute devoted to international  development, global environment issues, and the prevention of war.
  • Sié Chéou-Kang Center in International Security and Diplomacy: a  teaching and research center for leadership training in international security and diplomacy.

Just what kind of mistress was Broadwell, anyway?  The romantic type?  Or the school-mistress type?  What sort of influence did she wield over the older Petraeus?  Or were they consorting together politically as well as in other ways?  Would a man who suffered a major pelvic injury be able to carry on a physical affair?

Petraeus did not attend the Korbel school but Broadwell did.  When you see that one of their graduate school branches is a “Center for Sustainable Development,” and that some key political players – including those from the Bush administration – graduated from Korbel, you can begin to worry and wonder what’s going on, indeed.

Has Petraeus, indeed, not only betrayed his wife and family, but his country as well?



Published in: on November 11, 2012 at 1:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

%d bloggers like this: