Thomas Ricks, the country’ foremost military journalist and winner of the Pulitzer Prize, argues Obama should not have accepted Petraeus’s resignation:

The sudden departure of General David Petraeus from the CIA probably tells us more about the state of our nation than it does about Petraeus. President Barack Obama should not have accepted his resignation.
We now seem to care more about the sex lives of our leaders than the real lives of our soldiers. We had years of failed generalship in Iraq, for example, yet left those commanders in place. Petraeus’s departure again demonstrates we are strict about intimate behavior, but extraordinarily lax about professional incompetence.
“A private who loses a rifle suffers far greater consequences than a general who loses a war,” Lieutenant Colonel Paul Yingling wrote in the Armed Forces Journal in 2007.
Americans severely judge some forms of private behavior between consenting adults, if one party is a public official. Yet we often resist weighing the professional competence of such officials ‑ even when they clearly are not doing a good job.
This is not, as some say, because we are a puritanical nation. Rather, our standards have changed in recent decades ‑ and not for the better.
Keep reading at Reuters

The Generals by Thomas Ricks, an instant New York Times bestseller, is in stores now. 

Thomas Ricks, the country’ foremost military journalist and winner of the Pulitzer Prize, argues Obama should not have accepted Petraeus’s resignation:

The sudden departure of General David Petraeus from the CIA probably tells us more about the state of our nation than it does about Petraeus. President Barack Obama should not have accepted his resignation.

We now seem to care more about the sex lives of our leaders than the real lives of our soldiers. We had years of failed generalship in Iraq, for example, yet left those commanders in place. Petraeus’s departure again demonstrates we are strict about intimate behavior, but extraordinarily lax about professional incompetence.

“A private who loses a rifle suffers far greater consequences than a general who loses a war,” Lieutenant Colonel Paul Yingling wrote in the Armed Forces Journal in 2007.

Americans severely judge some forms of private behavior between consenting adults, if one party is a public official. Yet we often resist weighing the professional competence of such officials ‑ even when they clearly are not doing a good job.

This is not, as some say, because we are a puritanical nation. Rather, our standards have changed in recent decades ‑ and not for the better.

Keep reading at Reuters

The Generals by Thomas Ricks, an instant New York Times bestseller, is in stores now. 

Breaking News: Petraeus resigns as Director of the CIA. 
This is certainly big news. More details will play out in the hours to come. In the meantime we recommend Paula Broadwell’s essay for CNN on how he got the job. (Broadwell literally wrote the book on the man.)
Additionally, Thomas E. Ricks, author of instant bestseller The Generals, will appear on Wolf Blitzer’s “The Situation Room" tonight to discuss the implications of Petraeus’ resignation for the Obama administration, the intelligence community, and the military.

Breaking News: Petraeus resigns as Director of the CIA. 

This is certainly big news. More details will play out in the hours to come. In the meantime we recommend Paula Broadwell’s essay for CNN on how he got the job. (Broadwell literally wrote the book on the man.)

Additionally, Thomas E. Ricks, author of instant bestseller The Generals, will appear on Wolf Blitzer’s “The Situation Room" tonight to discuss the implications of Petraeus’ resignation for the Obama administration, the intelligence community, and the military.

"Generalship in combat is extraordinarily difficult, and many seasoned officers fail at it. During World War II, senior American commanders typically were given a few months to succeed, or they’d be replaced. Sixteen out of the 155 officers who commanded Army divisions in combat were relieved for cause, along with at least five corps commanders. Since 9/11, the armed forces have played a central role in our national affairs, waging two long wars—each considerably longer than America’s involvement in World War II. Yet a major change in how our military operates has gone almost unnoticed. Relief of generals has become so rare that, as Lieutenant Colonel Paul Yingling noted during the Iraq War, a private who loses his rifle is now punished more than a general who loses his part of a war."

From bestselling author Thomas E. Ricks’ article “General Failure,” in The Atlantic.

The piece is an extended excerpt from his new book The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to Today, and will make you rethink pretty much everything you know about the military and U.S. foreign policy in the 21st century.