Robert Bales

Generals' indiscretions have real consequences for U.S. policy

Gens. John Allen and David Petraeus have been stupid in their misuse of technology, for a flirtation in the case of the former and an affair in the case of the latter ("Pieces of a puzzle," Nov. 14). As philanderers, these two men are abject failures, and if discretion is the better part of valor, they have shown none in their flings with two married women. Those who argue that dalliances should be perfectly fine among consenting adults and American puritanism is a rude intrusion in the private lives of public figures are wrong in their approach to this widening scandal.

These generals, salaried by American taxpayers, oversee many underlings and they are charged with...