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Common Dreams

From War to Wall Street: Gen. Petraeus Puts "Killer" Skill Set to New Use

Former general and CIA chief takes new job at private equity firm

by
Jacob Chamberlain, staff writer

David Petraeus west of Kandahar, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

Private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co has a "killer" new employee—former U.S. General and CIA chief David Petraeus.

Petraeus, well known as commander of all U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, who was subsequently appointed to lead the CIA by President Obama in 2011, is now "cashing in" on his vast experience as one of the US empire's most powerful military figures.

With his official military and intelligence career behind him, Petraeus has been hired to serve as the chairman of KKR's new Global Institute. 

According to KRR's website, the institute is designed to "study the investment implications of global macroeconomic, social and geopolitical issues," meaning Petraeus will use his "counter-insurgency" talents and expertise in global affairs to help the firm decide where to do its business in "new geographies" around the world.

As Forbes reports:

The institute will deal with macro-economic issues like the role of central banks in the world since the crisis, changes in public policy and other areas where KKR has interests like environmental and social issues that would influence its investment decisions.

However, as Rolling Stone reporter Michael Hastings has extensively detailed, Petraeus' resume is as bloody as it is long. Specifically, the development and implementation of Petraeus' counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan "was expensive, bloody, and inconclusive."

According to Hastings, Petraeus’s Afghan policy "was an epic fail." And in Iraq, where the Petraeus "surge" was falsely heralded as his "greatest triumph," the country remains mired in a state of "brutal civil strife" demonstrated by daily violence, sectarian bombings, and political assassinations.

As Hasting states, Petraeus’s work belongs to "a colossal and futile waste of blood and treasure with only a tenuous connection to America’s national security interests."

In other words, just the kind of man a global private equity firm like K.K.R is looking for.

As Henry R. Kravis, co-chief and co-founder of the KKR, said in a statement:

I have long known and respected General Petraeus and, on behalf of everyone at K.K.R., I welcome him to the firm. As the world changes and we expand how and where we invest, we are always looking to sharpen the ‘K.K.R. edge.

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