|September 03, 2008
DAVID Petraeus would like more Australians to work alongside him as he assumes overall command of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars next month.
General Petraeus said he had already asked Canberra to lend him several Australians. "I have already requested it. I need to be careful here," he said with a broad smile.
Talking to The Australian from his map-lined office in Baghdad, the four-star general said he wanted to thank Australian troops for their contribution to Iraq.
"We are privileged to have them with us," he said. "They have initiative. They have a great work ethic and they have a wonderful sense of humour.
"They don't hesitate to offer a view, even when not solicited.
"That's how I like to operate and like to see others operate. I want people to speak up. We want individuals to have unvarnished opinions and I think Aussies are very good at that."
General Petraeus said Australia had speedily answered his call to provide specialist trainers to help build the Iraqi army's logistics support arm.
He also said the ADF "got it" when it came to understanding the nature of counter-insurgency warfare.
I assume he is after senior staff officers, although I do not doubt he would love to have more of our SOF and CAV, if we had any more to spare.