This New York Times
story is just the latest--and in some ways the most explicit--explanation of what Petraeus got in return for taking this almost thankless job; perhaps ironically, Obama also got the same great good out of it: the overlapping responsibilities (never mind their "substantial personalities") of Eikenberry and Holbrooke will have to end, and that means that Eikenberry will soon be out, and Holbrooke made less and less relevant. If Crocker comes back in some form (especially as Eikenberry's replacement), the irony will fall toward Bush, since Obama will have replaced his own wise (McChrystal was also an Obama man) team with that of the unwise Bush. In any case, it is Petraeus that is calling the shots in Afghanistan (and Pakistan) and Obama cannot fire him. And one more irony, it doesn't matter who gets to be CENTCOM Commander (technically Petraeus' boss) because, of course, he will not direct Petraeus. Although I prefer Gen. Mattis
, it is more likely that Gen. Allen
will be raised to director from acting: because he worked under Petreaus there will be no possibility of Allen trying to give directions to him. On the other hand, it's hard for me to imagine that a guy like Mattis would be allowed to retire in these hard times. Good men are hard to find.