"The U.S. war against terrorism is now the longest war in U.S. history, and Gen. Petraeus has clearly distinguished himself as a leader worthy of the rank held by Gens. MacArthur, Marshall and Nimitz," Pete Hegseth and Wade Zirkle, of the group Vets for Freedom, wrote in the Wall Street Journal.
Hegseth served in Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division and is bound for Afghanistan. Zirkle, a Marine, deployed twice to Iraq.
They make the case that Petraeus deserves the higher rank and that others will benefit if he gets it.
"A promotion would properly honor his service -- and it would also honor the troops he leads and has led," they write. "Today's soldiers have fought as valiantly as any in American history, and they deserve recognition of their leaders. Congressional approval of a fifth star would demonstrate the nation's commitment to their mission."
Hegseth aid Thursday that the response to their suggestion has been overwhelmingly positive. He laughed off a question about whether he had heard from Petraeus himself, saying he didn't expect to.
"We're just hoping to gain some traction," Hegseth said. He said congressmen already have volunteered to push the promotion forward, although he said he could not provide names.
A spokesman for Petraeus would not discuss the idea with CNN.
I'm kind of torn over this. On one hand, Hegseth is right: this is the longest war America has ever fought and Petraeus has served his country ably. On the other hand...this is the longest war America has ever fought, and it needs to end. I don't see how a fifth star for Petraeus is going to help bring our troops home.
We're going on ten years in Afghanistan this November. An entire decade spent at war, halfway around the globe, with no clear winnable objective and no real hope of it ending, other than nebulous promises of coming home in 2014 that may or may not be kept or may be abandoned completely should a Republican end up in the White House in 2012.
Enough blood and treasure has been expended on Afghanistan. It's time to bring everyone home. We have enough problems here, for God's sakes.