‘The Petraeus Legacy Is Afghanistan, Not Scandal,’ Ohio Wesleyan Professor Says

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Sean Kay

Ohio Wesleyan University professor Sean Kay, Ph.D., states in The Huffington Post that “there is a bigger story here” than the private life of David Petraeus, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

“The national media obsession with private lives is serving no national interest, nor is it helping us to understand the dynamics that led to the failure of our 2009 military planning in Afghanistan,” Kay writes in his latest commentary. “Moreover, to focus on scandal tells us nothing about what decision-making lessons to learn, failures to avoid in the future or how to best move forward in our longest war.”

Petraeus resigned Nov. 9 from the CIA after the public disclosure of an extramarital affair. The retired four-star general served more than 37 years in the U.S. Army, including as commander of the U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

Kay, author of “Global Security in the Twenty-First Century: The Quest for Power and the Search for Peace (second edition),” is a politics and government professor at Ohio Wesleyan and director of the International Studies Program.

“While our icons of war have proven all too human, what are we as a society doing to ensure that those who serve are also supported with policy outcomes that honor that sacrifice?” Kay writes. “In the end, there is a bigger story here than the sad sensationalism we hear about daily now – and it is more about us, our priorities as a nation and a challenge to policymakers and the public as to what lessons will be learned from a war we could have begun ending in 2009, but did not.”

Read, like, and share Kay’s complete commentary, “The Petraeus Legacy Is Afghanistan, Not Scandal.”


Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier small, private universities. Ohio Wesleyan offers more than 90 undergraduate majors, sequences, and courses of study, and 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. OWU combines an internationally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities that connect classroom theory with real-world practice. Located in Delaware, Ohio, OWU’s 1,850 students represent 41 states and 45 countries. The university is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” listed on the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with distinction, and included on the “best colleges” lists of U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Learn more at www.owu.edu.

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