The General vs. the Ambassador

Are the U.S. military and diplomatic leaders in Iraq on the same page? We won't know until Petraeus and Crocker testify before Congress

Yuri Kozyrev for TIME

A U.S. Army soldier with 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division scans an Iraqi man's eye during a census operation in the Amariyah neighborhood of west Baghdad.

A few months ago, after a sweltering day in the field surveying the progress his troops were making in turning Sunni tribes against al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) extremists, General David Petraeus squinted into the Baghdad sun and allowed himself a moment of astonishment. "It's just amazing how quickly some of these tribes are flipping," he said. Amazing, indeed. Petraeus has presided over a remarkable turn of events in Iraq. The most recalcitrant areas of the country—the heartland of the Sunni insurgency—have suddenly become the most placid. The safest place for President George W. Bush to land when he visited Iraq on...

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