At times Mr. Boot brings out some worthwhile observations and criticisms. For example at the end of the book there is a section titled “Implications: Twelve Articles, or the Lessons of Five Thousand Years” in which Mr. Boot offers his suggestions for timeless lessons on guerrilla warfare drawn from history.
One of his observations is that Petraeus’ Surge in Iraq in 2007 did not “bring about a lasting political settlement.” Or in other words, the Surge ultimately failed because it did not accomplish political objectives
In this sense Mr. Boot is spot on. Yet after making this crucially important observation he spends much time making the argument that Petraeus is one of the greatest generals in the history of guerrilla warfare.
If the military means applied by Petraeus during the Surge failed to achieve political ends, how can he be considered a great general?