Petraeus Affair: Why Petraeus Should Not Have Resigned Over His Affair

One of the biggest stories this weekend was the resignation of General David Petraeus from his position as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Petraeus stepped down due to an extramarital affair that was discovered by an FBI investigation.

This marks a sad moment for the Obama administration. Petraeus was a decorated general, and was highly respected among Democrats and Republicans alike. His role as the CIA Director was marked by great achievements, but now that the potential to be erased by his own lack of judgment.

Should he have resigned though?

On the one hand, Petraeus was a four star general in the Military for 37 years. Military men follow a certain code of ethics that they hold near and dear in their hearts. It is what sets them apart from the average citizen, and one of the many reasons why we admire them for their service. If Petraeus were still active in the military, this extramarital affair could have led him to be court-martialed. In his current position, the affair is considered "a breach of security,” and is an inappropriate way for someone of his stature to behave.

However, President Obama told Petraeus that he did not have to resign. He gave him 24 hours to decide after hearing his news about the affair. It is clear that Obama feels that he is the best man for the job, and that this affair is a personal matter that does not impede him from getting his job done in the CIA. He is a hero among Republicans for his service, and respected amongst Democrats for his clear objectiveness when making decisions. He is not afraid to speak his mind, and has done a great deal for this nation.

Michael Morrell, who was Petraeus’ deputy, will be the acting director of the CIA. Morrell has experience doing this, and was acting general once before about Leon Panetta resigned as CIA director in 2011. There is also the chance that Obama may name Morrell as Petraeus’ permanent replacement.  

Regardless of his actions, Petraeus has done an outstanding job serving his nation. Yes, he may have had an extramarital affair, but this does not change what he has done for the United States. He is human, and this should not completely tarnish so many decades of dedication.

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Belinda Moreira

Belinda is a Teach for America 2013 Corp Member and 10th grade English teacher in the DC Region. She is a graduate of Georgetown University. She also has a particular interest for education policy, and is originally from Houston, TX.

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