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September 13, 2007


The basis for the allegation that Petraeus wants to run for President in the future is apparently a single uncorroborated report from an advisor to an Iraqi cabinet minister. The basis for the assertion that the American people weren't confident Petraeus's report would be objective is apparently the 53% to 39% response in the ABC News/Washington Post poll; however, the CBS News/New York Times poll found that 68% of respondents said that U.S. military commanders in Iraq are most likely to make the right decisions about the war. (And besides, even if a majority of the public doesn't believe in the objectivity of the report, that doesn't mean it isn't objective; if a majority of the public believes in supply-side economics, would that be relevant to the question whether supply-side economics is right?)

So to answer your initial question, whether we can all agree that General Petraeus has a terrible incentive problem: no, we can't.

A single uncorroborated report like the one's from "Curveball" that got us into this fucking mess? Like the one from Nigera regarding weapons grade plutonium that was actually proven false but still used as a justification to go to war. I dunno Rob, given our low standard for evidence these days, I think it seems pretty solid. No?

I too immediately dismissed the claim that Petraeus might want to run for President as routine character assassination surrounding his report. But the incentives part of the post sounds good. Even on Marginal Revolution I haven't heard of collaborative divorces before.

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