I have a short piece up at Pragati – The Indian National Interest that attempts to put the latest scandal in context for their audience:
Beyond the affair: Why the Petraeus Affair really matters
….It was not to be. Instead of quieting down, the Petraeus scandal blossomed like a fireball, engulfing General John Allen, USMC, the commander of NATO and US troops in Afghanistan, subsequently merging with the already rancorous dispute between the Obama administration and Congress over the investigation of the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. The administration, which had hoped the resignation would preclude Petraeus from testifying, saw Senators and Congressmen, angry that the FBI had failed to properly inform them, compel the former CIA director to come before closed door hearings of the intelligence committees. In secret testimony, Petraeus revealed, contrary to the administration’s position, that UN Ambassador Susan Rice’s controversial Benghazi talking points from the CIA had later been “edited”, leaving Republican senators furious and determined to block any nomination of Rice to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.
If the reaction to the Petraeus scandal, which did not appear to involve any official misconduct, were merely another symptom of the normal partisan political dysfunction in Washington, the matter would have already faded. Unfortunately, the timing of the scandal in the immediate aftermath of the presidential election and symbolic nature of General Petraeus himself, having been lionised for his leadership role in two still-controversial wars, has served as a catalyst, inflaming existing divisions and pointing to the potential of long term effects upon the conduct of American policy, unfolding for some time to come and likely for the worse.
Here is a brief survey of the fault lines….
Read the rest here.