Petraeus: US “Not Where We Should Be” in ISIS Fight

In his first testimony to an open session of Congress in three years, retired Gen. David Petraeus apologized for the “serious mistake” that led him to resign and urged increased support to Iraqi security forces, Sunni tribal forces, and Kurdish Peshmerga. “Some elements of the right strategy are in place” in the fight against ISIS, he told the Senate Armed Services Committee, but several elements are under-resourced or missing altogether. “We are not where we should be at this point,” he said. Petraeus said that while he would not embed US personnel at the Iraqi battalion level, he would recommend embedding US advisors down to brigade headquarters level for the Iraqi security forces fighting ISIS. “The center of gravity of the sustainable defeat of ISIS in Iraq lies in Baghdad,” Petraeus said, and the “key” is to strengthen “those in Baghdad who are prepared to pursue inclusive politics and better governance.” Petraeus served as commander of ISAF and US Forces Afghanistan, as well as commanding general of Multi-National Force-Iraq and US Central Command before he retired from the Army. He resigned his post at the CIA in 2012 and in April was sentenced to two years probation and a $100,000 fine for sharing classified information with his mistress.