I find it fascinating that all questions of American strategy in Iraq are said to depend upon the observations of one man: Petraeus.
The omission of General is no sign of disrespect. It's meant to call attention to the seer-like status that seems to be associated with the name Petraeus. I'm reminded of Calchas, the seer whom the Achaean forces consult at the beginning of the Iliad:
Calchas, son of Thestor, bird-reader supreme,Petraeus even sounds plausibly mythic (though General Petraeus' parents are Dutch-American, not Greek or Roman): Petraeus is the name of a centaur in Hesiod's Shield of Heracles and Ovid's Metamorphoses.
Who knew what is, what will be, and what has been.
[Iliad translation by Stanley Lombardo.]