Time Magazine can keep its affinity for the USSR... I found the real deal.
The critics said it couldn't be done, but the vision and determination of General David Petraeus have brought greater security and cause for optimism to the people of Iraq. He is The Sunday Telegraph's Person of the Year
For a man whose critics say he is far too fond of the television cameras, General David Petraeus, commander of US forces in Iraq, has been rather out of the limelight this Christmas.
The sprightly, media-friendly 55-year-old is not perturbed, however, that his face is no longer number one item on the US networks. As he said last week, where Iraq is concerned, "No news is good news."
Today, we put him in the spotlight again by naming Gen Petraeus as The Sunday Telegraph's Person of the Year, a new annual accolade to recognise outstanding individual achievement.
He has been the man behind the US troop surge over the past 10 months, the last-ditch effort to end Iraq's
escalating civil war by putting an extra 28,000 American troops on the ground.
So far, it has achieved what many feared was impossible. Sectarian killings are down. Al-Qaeda is on the run. And
the two million Iraqis who fled the country are slowly returning. Progress in Iraq is relative - 538 civilians died last month. But compared with the 3,000 peak of December last year, it offers at least a glimmer of hope. (Continued...)
But the reason for picking Petraeus is simple. Iraq, whatever the current crises in Afghanistan and Pakistan, remains the West's biggest foreign policy challenge of this decade, and if he can halt its slide into all-out anarchy, Gen Petraeus may save more than Iraqi lives.
A failed Iraq would not just be a second Vietnam, nor would it just be America's problem.
It would be a symbolic victory for al-Qaeda, a safe haven for jihadists to plot future September 11s and July 7s,
and a battleground for a Shia-Sunni struggle that could draw in the entire Middle East. Our future peace and prosperity depend, in part, on fixing this mess. And, a year ago, few had much hope. (Continued...)