Why Petraeus's affair matters (but Bill Clinton's didn't)

Musadeq Sadeq/AP file photo

Along with millions who have lived and worked with members of the military, I was shocked when General Petraeus resigned on Friday. While it's a personal tragedy, it's only one of a number of body blows our military community has absorbed over the past couple of years. One blow: concerns about the erosion of the military family. Another: scandals (sexual, financial or otherwise) dogging our military's leaders. All of this is occurring as our country fights two major wars, one still ongoing. These are intimately interconnected issues that, taken together, make me wonder whether we are seeing the warning signs of a military stretched to its breaking point.

First, on families. Both inside and out of the national security community, many are questioning whether military adultery should be a big deal. Hasn't society become more tolerant of extramarital affairs? Clinton got a pass, Eisenhower had a mistress, former CIA Director Dulles had "hundreds" of extramarital flings. They're human, after all. Shouldn't service members be able to resolve these personal matters without facing professional ramifications?

Read the whole story at The Atlantic.

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