In 2007, after he reported progress in the war effort — thumping legislative attempts by congressional Democrats to force troops home — an anti-war group took out a full-page advertisement in the New York Times that coined a new nickname for Petraeus — "General Betray Us" — and blamed him for "cooking the books for the White House."
But by most accounts, Petraeus' strategy worked for the time being and he was hailed a hero who paved the way for the eventual U.S. exit from Iraq.
When Petraeus took his next assignment, as head of U.S. Central Command, in October 2008, Gates called him the do-it-all general, "the pre-eminent soldier-scholar-statesman of his generation."
Robert Burns can be reached on Twitter at http://twitter.com/robertburnsAP
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.