Operation Last Chance

General David Petraeus believes his Iraq strategy is working. But convincing Congress is another story

Franco Pagetti

General David H. Petraeus, Commanding General, Multi-National Force walking at the Yusifiyah Market with some Iraqi officers and local people.

The Iraqi men squatting shoulder to shoulder in the blasted, abandoned classroom couldn't tell at first that the American soldier addressing them was a man of real authority. He was slight, taut, with sandy hair and a thin beak of a nose. He didn't sound like a big shot; he didn't bark in a commanding voice. "How many of you are going to make it?" he asked, in sketchy Arabic. Several of the men — Iraqi police recruits — looked up, saw the four stars on General David Petraeus' cap and shifted nervously, unsure of what he meant. His interpreter had...

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