When women are by law declared unfit to carry out essential functions of the armed services because of their gender, they are not treated equally. The official policy that legalizes discrimination creates an automatic power imbalance, with only men at the top.
David Petraeus will be trading the honor of a possible fifth silver star for the solemn responsibility -- and honor -- of ensuring that the ultimate sacrifices represented by the more than 100 stars forever carved on that Memorial Wall will not have been for naught.
For almost four decades, under cover of his supposedly "objective" reporting, Woodward has represented the viewpoints of the military and intelligence establishments. Often he has done so in the context of complex inside maneuvering.