Archive for the ‘Central Command’ Category

U.S. shows that soft power can work in a hard war

November 12, 2008

Soft power is about to come to U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) – America’s military command in the Middle East – in a big way.

Gary Schaub Jr.
The Washington Times

Associated Press U.S. Central Command's Gen. David Petraeus speaks during an interview last week at a U.S. military base in Bagram, north of Kabul, Afghanistan.

Above: Central Command’s Gen. David Petraeus speaks during an interview last week at a U.S. military base.  Photo by the Associated Press

By winning friends and influencing people, the idea goes, the United States can defuse potential conflicts before they start and achieve America’s goals without firing a shot.

Soft power has currency in a cash-strapped U.S. military. The commander of SOUTHCOM, America’s military command for Central and South America, has undertaken many such missions. Adm. James Stavridis has sent Navy hospital ships to countries in that area to provide free medical care, train local doctors and build schools.

The new command in Africa – AFRICOM – has announced that such soft-power missions will be its top priority.

But these are relative backwaters. CENTCOM, where the United States is engaged in two wars and is prepared for others, is where soft power will have its largest impact.

Army Gen. David Petraeus, who is best known as the general behind the successful “surge” strategy in Iraq, has just taken over CENTCOM, and he is bringing soft power to bear.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2
008/nov/11/us-shows-that-soft-power-
can-work-in-a-hard-war/

Petraeus says he’ll consider Pakistan criticisms

November 4, 2008

Washington’s new top war general said he would consider rising Pakistani criticism of U.S. missile strikes on suspected militant targets in the Muslim nation’s unstable border regions.

Pakistani military and government leaders told Gen. David Petraeus that such cross-border strikes fanned anti-American sentiment in an allied country considered vital to success in the war on terror. Petraeus was likely to hear more of the same in meetings set for Tuesday.

From  STEPHEN GRAHAM, Associated Press Writer Stephen Graham, Associated Press Writer

In an interview with CNN, Petraeus confirmed the Pakistani criticisms in Monday’s sessions.

U. S. Central Command Gen. David Petraeus, left, meets Pakistani ...
U. S. Central Command Gen. David Petraeus, left, meets Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani in Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday, Nov 3, 2008. Pakistani officials warned Gen. Petraeus on Monday that frequent missile strikes on militant targets in Pakistan fan anti-American sentiment in an Islamic country vital to the struggle against terrorism. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)

“In fact, we got certain messages with each of those we talked to today and some of those were very clear and we have to take those on board,” CNN quoted Petraeus as saying. “The tone of the conversation was very frank and very forthright, as it should be,” he added later.

Petraeus was in Pakistan as part of his first international trip since taking over U.S. Central Command last week. He has met with President Asif Ali Zardari and army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani among other senior leaders so far.

The U.S. is concerned about Islamic militants using pockets of Pakistan’s northwest region as sanctuaries from which to support the escalating insurgency in neighboring Afghanistan.

Complaints from U.S. commanders about Pakistan’s efforts to counter the insurgents have been accompanied by a surge of missile strikes on suspected Taliban and al-Qaida targets, despite strong condemnation in Pakistan.

According to the state-run APP news agency, Zardari told Petraeus and Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher that the attacks from drone aircraft should be stopped.

“Continuing drone attacks on our territory, which result in loss of precious lives and property, are counterproductive and difficult to explain by a democratically elected government,” Zardari was quoted as saying.

Zardari said the government was “under pressure to react more aggressively” to the strikes.

Washington is suspected in at least 17 missile strikes in Pakistan since August.

In September, a U.S. ground assault in a tribal region in Pakistan’s northwest spurred particular outrage. Days later, Pakistani troops challenged two American helicopters operating near the border and U.S. and Pakistani ground forces in the area exchanged fire.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081104/ap_
on_re_as/as_pakistan

Petraeus visits shaky anti-terror ally Pakistan

November 3, 2008

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan (AP) — Gen. David Petraeus, newly tasked with responsibility for America’s two wars, has arrived in Pakistan as part of his first international trip as head of the U.S. Central Command.
Petraeus’ trip signals Pakistan’s crucial role in the fight against terrorism, particularly the escalating war in neighboring Afghanistan.

But it also comes amid tensions over suspected American missile strikes in Pakistan — a U.S. ally threatened with financial ruin, torn by an Islamic insurgency and armed with nuclear weapons.

Gen. David Petraeus, left, succeeds Lt. Gen. Martin Dempsey on Friday. Defense chief Robert Gates is center. 
Above: Gen. David Petraeus, left, succeeds Lt. Gen. Martin Dempsey on Friday. Defense chief Robert Gates is center.

Petraeus, who took the new position on Friday after 20 months as the top U.S. commander in Baghdad, was accompanied by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher, the U.S. Embassy confirmed late Sunday.

Acting embassy spokesman Wes Robertson declined to provide specifics of the schedule for the two Americans but said they would meet with government and military officials.

In Pakistan’s northwest border region, a suicide bomber detonated his vehicle at a checkpoint on Sunday, killing eight troops just hours before Petraeus’ arrival.

Read the rest:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/11/02/pakistan.
petraeus.ap/index.html?section=cnn_latest

Petraeus seeking broad support for U.S. strategy

October 16, 2008

By David Morgan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Even before he takes command of U.S. military strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Gen. David Petraeus is reaching beyond the military sphere to encourage international support for stabilizing the region.
U.S. General David Petraeus addresses journalists after a meeting ... 
U.S. General David Petraeus addresses journalists after a meeting with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown at 10 Downing Street in London September 29, 2008.(Andrew Winning/Reuters)

Petraeus, whose innovative thinking is credited with helping save Iraq from civil war, met International Monetary Fund and World Bank representatives last week in preparation for new efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan, officials said.

The move, unusual for a military commander, underscores the Pentagon’s emphasis on unifying military, economic, political and diplomatic aid to help the two countries cope with militant violence and economic dislocation, officials said.

On October 31, the Army general will become head of Central Command, responsible for American military interests in 20 countries across the Middle East and Central and South Asia.

“The purpose (of the World Bank and IMF meetings) was to touch base and note the Central Command’s interest in supporting comprehensive approaches in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and others,” said a military official close to Petraeus.

His arrival at Centcom is widely expected to reinvigorate U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, where U.S. and NATO efforts face grave challenges from an increasingly confident Taliban.

The United States has 32,000 troops in Afghanistan, including 19,000 under Centcom command and 13,000 under NATO.

Petraeus will launch a 100-day assessment of U.S. strategy for Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq and other countries in the Centcom region once he takes over, officials said.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081016/ts_nm/
us_afghan_pakistan_petraeus;_ylt=AkqqQ
Wz4hUqlL0Dq19UlHmKs0NUE

Fallon didn’t get it — Emboldened Iran

March 19, 2008

By Max Boot
The Los Angeles Times
March 12, 2008

To see why Tuesday’s “retirement” of Navy Adm. William “Fox” Fallon as head of U.S. Central Command is good news, all you have to do is look at the Esquire profile that brought about his downfall.

Its author, Thomas P.M. Barnett, a former professor at the Naval War College, presents a fawning portrait of the admiral — a service he previously performed for Donald Rumsfeld. But evidence of Fallon’s supposed “strategic brilliance” is notably lacking. For example, Barnett notes Fallon’s attempt to banish the phrase “the Long War” (created by his predecessor) because it “signaled a long haul that Fallon simply finds unacceptable,” without offering any hint of how Fallon intends to defeat our enemies overnight. The ideas Fallon proposes — “He wants troop levels in Iraq down now, and he wants the Afghan National Army running the show throughout most of Afghanistan by the end of this year” — would most likely result in security setbacks that would lengthen, not shorten, the struggle.

The picture that emerges of the admiral — “The Man Between War and Peace,” as the overwrought headline has it — is not as flattering as intended. “He’s standing up to the commander in chief, whom he thinks is contemplating a strategically unsound war [with Iran],” Barnett writes. And:”While Admiral Fallon’s boss, President George W. Bush, regularly trash-talks his way to World War III … it’s left to Fallon — and apparently Fallon alone — to argue that, as he told Al Jazeera last fall: ‘This constant drumbeat of conflict … is not helpful and not useful. I expect that there will be no war, and that is what we ought to be working for. We ought to try to do our utmost to create different conditions.’ ”

What Fallon (and Barnett) don’t seem to understand is that Fallon’s very public assurances that America has no plans to use force against Iran embolden the mullahs to continue developing nuclear weapons and supporting terrorist groups that are killing American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is highly improbable that, as the profile implies, the president had any secret plans to bomb Iran that Fallon put a stop to. But there is no doubt that the president wants to maintain pressure on Iran, and that’s what Fallon has been undermining.

By irresponsibly taking the option of force off the table, Fallon makes it more likely, not less, that there will ultimately be an armed confrontation with Iran.

Barnett writes further: “Smart guy that he is, Robert Gates, the incoming secretary of Defense, finagled Fallon out of Pacific Command, where he’d been radically making peace with the Chinese, so that he could, among other things, provide a check on the eager-to-please General David Petraeus in Iraq.”

It’s doubtful that this was why Bush and Gates appointed Fallon. Why would they want to “check” the general charged with winning the Iraq war? But it’s telling that Barnett would write this; it may be a reflection of Fallon’s own thinking. Even if he wasn’t appointed for this reason, Fallon has certainly seen his job as being to “check” Petraeus. The problem is that Fallon is a newcomer to the Middle East and Iraq, while Petraeus has served there for years and is the architect of a strategy that has rescued the United States from the brink of defeat.

This is not, however, a strategy that Fallon favored. Not only was Fallon “quietly opposed to a long-term surge in Iraq,” as Barnett notes, but he doesn’t seem to have changed his mind in the past year. He has tried to undermine the surge by pushing for faster troop drawdowns than Petraeus thought prudent. (“He wants troop levels in Iraq down now.”) The president wisely deferred to the man on the spot — Petraeus — thus no doubt leaving Fallon simmering with the sort of anger that came through all too clearly in Esquire.

Like a lot of smart guys (or, at any rate, guys who think they’re smart), Fallon seems to have outsmarted himself. He thinks the war in Iraq is a distraction from formulating “a comprehensive strategy for the Middle East,” according to the profile. The reality is that the only strategy worth a dinar is to win the war in Iraq. If we fail there, all other objectives in the region will be much harder to attain; if we succeed, they will be much easier.

Read the rest:
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-boot12mar12,0,5337128.story

A Centcom Chief Who Spoke His Mind

March 13, 2008

By David Ignatius
The Washington Post
Thursday, March 13, 2008; Page A17

The first thing that many of Adm. William Fallon’s colleagues note about him is that he’s a Navy officer. By that, they mean he has the stubborn self-confidence, some would say arrogance, that is part of command at sea.
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He knows how to wear his dress whites and receive a snappy salute — and he likes telling people off when he thinks they’re wrong.

Those headstrong qualities were part of why Fallon was chosen to run Central Command, arguably the most important senior post in the U.S. military today.
Adm. William Fallon in Mosul, Iraq, last fall.

Adm. William Fallon in Mosul, Iraq, last fall.
(By Brian Murphy — Associated Press)
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And they explain why Fallon finally crashed and burned Tuesday, tendering his resignation after his blunt comments to an Esquire magazine writer had gotten him into one too many conflicts with the White House and the military brass.
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Stories about Fallon’s resignation focused mostly on his rejection of administration saber-rattling on Iran. “I expect that there will be no war, and that is what we ought to be working for,” he told al-Jazeera last fall when war fever was high. But there’s less of a gap between Fallon and the administration on Iran than those comments suggested.
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Top administration officials have made clear for months that they know there isn’t a good U.S. military option against Iran.Fallon’s problems were less dramatic — but they go to the heart of what America should want from its senior military leaders.
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After what many viewed as the overly deferential style of the two previous chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Air Force Gen. Richard Myers and Marine Gen. Peter Pace, the White House decided to go for something different in a senior commander — a guy with a mouth that could peel the paint off the walls.

I have traveled with Fallon several times since he became Centcom commander and have talked at length with him, so perhaps I can offer a glimpse into the flap over his premature retirement.
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Fallon’s early friction was with Gen. David Petraeus, whom President Bush had trusted with the implementation of the U.S. troop surge in Iraq. Their turf war was ironic because Petraeus had supported Fallon for the job. But the new Centcom chief bristled at his nominal subordinate’s close relationship with the White House, and it made for an awkward chain of command.

The tension was evident in May when I traveled to Baghdad with Fallon. He brought me into all his meetings with Iraqi officials, despite objections from some Green Zone politicos. Those fractious discussions reinforced Fallon’s worry that the vaunted troop surge, while clearly improving Iraqi security, wasn’t creating the space for national political reconciliation.

In a May 15 piece from Baghdad, I quoted an upbeat Petraeus: “How long does reconciliation take? That’s the long pole in the tent.” I asked Fallon if he had an assessment of his own, and he said, specifically rebutting Petraeus: “We’re chipping away at the problem. But we don’t have the time to chip away. Reconciliation isn’t likely in the time we have available, but some form of accommodation is a must.”

By last fall, it was clear….

Read the rest:
 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/12/AR2008031203395.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

White House Denies Silencing Admiral Fallon

March 12, 2008
By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer

WASHINGTON – The White House on Wednesday rejected charges that it quashes dissenting views in the military, an accusation brought to light by the resignation of Navy Adm. William J. Fallon as commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East.
Adm. William Fallon

Dennis Cook, AO

A recent article in Esquire portrayed Adm. William J. Fallon, seen here on Capitol hill March 4, as the lone voice in the Bush administration who opposed taking military action to stop the Iranian nuclear program.

For Fallon, the perception of a disagreement with Bush’s policies on Iran rather than an actual rift was enough reason to step down.

“Recent press reports suggesting a disconnect between my views and the president’s policy objectives have become a distraction at a critical time and hamper efforts in the Centcom region,” Fallon said in a statement Tuesday in which he announced his resignation as head of U.S. Central Command, arguably the most important in the U.S. military.

Democrats seized on Fallon’s resignation as an opportunity to criticize Bush.

“Over the last seven Bush years, we’ve seen those who toe the company line get rewarded and those who speak inconvenient truths get retired,” Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., said in a written statement.

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., echoed Kerry’s comment and said, “The last thing America needs is an echo chamber of top advisers, especially on all-important questions of war and peace.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080312/ap_on_go_pr_wh/fallon_resigns;_ylt=AqT
FO0UTTct5ThkK51fFZjes0NUE

Top U.S. Officer in Mideast Resigns

March 12, 2008

By Thomas E. Ricks 
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 12, 2008; Page A01

The top U.S. commander in the Middle East, whose views on strategy in the region have put him at odds with the Bush administration, abruptly announced his resignation yesterday, calling reports of such disagreements an untenable “distraction.”

Adm. William J. “Fox” Fallon became head of U.S. Central Command last March, putting him ostensibly in charge of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But he clashed frequently with Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, over strategy and troop levels, Pentagon officials said. Though technically Fallon’s subordinate, Petraeus has more experience in Iraq and has forged a strong connection with President Bush.
Adm. William Fallon, commander of the U. S. Central Command, ...
Adm. William Fallon, commander of the U. S. Central Command, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington in this May 3, 2007 file photo. Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced Tuesday, March 11, 2008, that Fallon is resigning.
(AP Photo/Dennis Cook)  

Fallon, 63, had made several comments reflecting disagreement with the administration’s stance on Iran, most recently in an Esquire magazine article last week that portrayed him as the only person who might stop Bush from going to war with the Islamic republic.

“Recent press reports suggesting a disconnect between my views and the president’s policy objectives have become a distraction at a critical time,” Fallon said in a statement. Though he denied that any discrepancies exist, he said “it would be best to step aside and allow” Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates “and our military leaders to move beyond this distraction.”

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, seen here in February 2008, ...
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, seen here in February 2008, chose not to comment Monday on a magazine article that says the commander of US forces in the Middle East may soon be replaced because of his opposition to war with
Iran.  Gates suffered a shoulder injury this winter when he slipped on ice ourside his Washington DC home.
(AFP/File/Raveendran)


Fallon is expected to step down at the end of the month, after barely a year in his position, and just eight days before Petraeus is scheduled to testify before Congress about conditions in Iraq. Military officers said it appeared that it was made clear to Fallon that nobody would object if he stepped down.

Admiral Fallon reached this difficult decision entirely on his own,” Gates said yesterday in an unscheduled news conference. He added: “I believe it was the right thing to do, even though I do not believe there are, in fact, significant differences between his views and administration policy.”

The defense secretary also praised Fallon’s abilities as a strategist, even though it was the admiral’s strategic views that seemed to trouble the administration. “He is enormously talented and very experienced, and he does have a strategic vision that is rare,” Gates said.

The Esquire article, written by Thomas P.M. Barnett, a former Naval War College professor, asserted that if Fallon left his job anytime soon, it could signal that Bush intends to go to war with Iran. Asked about that yesterday, Gates called it “just ridiculous.”

Several Democrats were quick to accuse the administration of not tolerating dissent. “It’s distressing that Admiral Fallon feels he had to step down,” said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (Mass.). “President Bush’s oft-repeated claim that he follows the advice of his commanders on the ground rings hollow if our commanders don’t feel free to disagree with the president.” Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) asked whether Fallon’s resignation is a reflection that the administration is hostile to “the frank, open airing of experts’ views.”

A likely successor to Fallon is Petraeus, some defense experts said. The general could be promoted to the Centcom post and replaced in Baghdad by Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, who until last month was Petraeus’s deputy in Iraq. Odierno, who has been nominated to become Army vice chief of staff, developed a strong working relationship with Petraeus.

The top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, center, ...
The top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, center, arrives for a youth soccer tournament in central Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, March 1, 2008. Gen. Petraeus will ask President Bush to wait until as late as September to decide when to bring home more troops than already scheduled, a senior administration official said Friday.
(AP photo/Dusan Vranic)
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Another possible successor mentioned yesterday is Lt. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the head of Special Operations in Iraq. McChrystal recently was nominated to be director of the staff of the Joint Chiefs, a key Pentagon position.On Iraq, Fallon butted heads with Petraeus over the past year, arguing for a more rapid drawdown of U.S. troops and a swifter transition to Iraqi security forces. Fallon even carried out his own review of the conduct of the war — a move that surprised many Pentagon officials, in part because Odierno and Petraeus had already revamped U.S. strategy in Iraq and, with Bush’s approval, had implemented a buildup of about 30,000 additional troops, moving them off big bases and deploying them among the Iraqi population.

In the Esquire article, Fallon contends that Iraq was consuming excessive U.S. attention. In a part of the world with “five or six pots boiling over,” he is quoted as saying, “our nation can’t afford to be mesmerized by one problem.”

The article was “definitely the straw that broke the camel’s back,” a retired general said, especially because of its “extraordinarily flip, damning and insulting” tone. He noted that since it appeared last week, it has been the talk of military circles, where it was expected that Fallon would be disciplined.
 
Shah Marai/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images.
Adm. William J. Fallon, left, in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 2007.

Fallon, one of the last Vietnam veterans in the U.S. military, was the first Navy officer selected to lead Centcom, a role traditionally granted to Army and Marine generals such as H. Norman Schwarzkopf, Tommy R. Franks and Anthony C. Zinni. One reason he was chosen to replace Army Gen. John P. Abizaid was because the administration — dealing with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as a diplomatic crisis over Iran’s nuclear program — wanted a seasoned officer who could step into the job quickly, without having to learn the ropes of top command, according to a person involved in his selection.

As a veteran of Pacific Command, where he focused on dealing with the rise of China, Fallon was seen as someone who would be comfortable operating at the highest levels of diplomacy and politics. He had told colleagues that he viewed Iran as a problem similar to China — one that mainly required steady engagement rather than aggressive confrontation. That stance put him at odds with Iran hawks both inside and outside the administration.

Peter D. Feaver, a former staff member of Bush’s National Security Council, said that the public nature of Fallon’s remarks made it necessary for the admiral to step down. “There is ample room for military leaders to debate administration policy behind closed doors,” said Feaver, a political scientist at Duke University. “However, taking such arguments into the media would violate basic democratic norms of civil-military relations.”

But Richard Danzig, who served as Navy secretary from 1998 to 2001 and has known Fallon for 15 years, said Fallon’s departure will leave a significant hole in a critical region. “Any turnover in Centcom has real costs, because this is an arena in the world, more than others, that depends a lot on relationships and extensive periods of conversation and mutual understanding,” he said.

That might prove especially true in Pakistan. Fallon had become a point man for crucial military relations there as the Pentagon implements a stepped-up program to help Pakistani forces deal with Islamic extremism along the border with Afghanistan. In visits to Islamabad in November and January, he cemented ties with Gen. Ashfaq Kiyani, the new armed forces chief of staff. The administration hopes that Kiyani will keep the military out of Pakistani politics while showing new aggression toward al-Qaeda and Taliban forces along the Afghan border.

Fallon’s departure also reflects Gates’s management style. During his 15 months at the Pentagon, the defense secretary has shown a willingness to move decisively in cases of internal conflict. A career intelligence officer, he demanded the resignation of Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey last year because of the way he handled the fallout from reports about substandard care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Gates also declined to nominate Gen. Peter Pace, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for a second two-year term, amid concerns that a Democratic-controlled Congress would grill Pace on Iraq.

Yesterday, Gates said the perception that Fallon disagreed with the administration’s policies was enough to concern Fallon that he may no longer be effective in the region. Gates quoted Fallon as saying that the situation was “embarrassing.”

Staff writers Josh White, Karen DeYoung and Peter Baker contributed to this report.

Related:
Admiral William Fallon Resigns as U.S. Mideast Military Chief

Esquire Magazine on Admiral William “Fox” Fallon

Esquire Magazine on Admiral William “Fox” Fallon

March 11, 2008

By Thomas P. M. Barnett
Esquire Magazine
March 11, 2008

As the White House talked up conflict with Iran, the head of U.S. Central Command, William “Fox” Fallon, talked it down. Now he has resigned.
****
If, in the dying light of the Bush administration, we go to war with Iran, it’ll all come down to one man. If we do not go to war with Iran, it’ll come down to the same man. He is that rarest of creatures in the Bush universe: the good cop on Iran, and a man of strategic brilliance. His name is William Fallon, although all of his friends call him “Fox,” which was his fighter-pilot call sign decades ago. Forty years into a military career that has seen this admiral rule over America’s two most important combatant commands, Pacific Command and now United States Central Command, it’s impossible to make this guy–as he likes to say–“nervous in the service.” Past American governments have used saber rattling as a useful tactic to get some bad actor on the world stage to fall in line. This government hasn’t mastered that kind of subtlety. When Dick Cheney has rattled his saber, it has generally meant that he intends to use it. And in spite of recent war spasms aimed at Iran from this sclerotic administration, Fallon is in no hurry to pick up any campaign medals for Iran. And therein lies the rub for the hard-liners led by Cheney. Army General David Petraeus, commanding America’s forces in Iraq, may say, “You cannot win in Iraq solely in Iraq,” but Fox Fallon is Petraeus’s boss, and he is the commander of United States Central Command, and Fallon doesn’t extend Petraeus’s logic to mean war against Iran.
Commander of the U.S. Central Command Navy Adm. William Fallon ... 
Commander of the U.S. Central Command Navy Adm. William Fallon testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington March 4, 2008.
REUTERS/Larry Downing 

So while Admiral Fallon’s boss, President George W. Bush, regularly trash-talks his way to World War III and his administration casually casts Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as this century’s Hitler (a crown it has awarded once before, to deadly effect), it’s left to Fallon–and apparently Fallon alone–to argue that, as he told Al Jazeera last fall: “This constant drumbeat of conflict . . . is not helpful and not useful. I expect that there will be no war, and that is what we ought to be working for. We ought to try to do our utmost to create different conditions.”

What America needs, Fallon says, is a “combination of strength and willingness to engage.”

Read the rest:
http://www.esquire.com/features/fox-fallon

Related:
Admiral William Fallon Resigns as U.S. Mideast Military Chief

A Centcom Chief Who Spoke His Mind

Fallon’s Exit Provokes Concern on Path of Bush’s Iran Policy

Several Warriors Welcome Fallon’s Resignation

Admiral William Fallon Resigns as U.S. Mideast Military Chief

March 11, 2008

WASHINGTON (AP) – The top U.S. military commander for the Middle East resigned Tuesday amid speculation about a rift over U.S. policy in Iran. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that Adm. William J. Fallon had asked for permission to retire and that Gates agreed. Gates said the decision, effective March 31, was entirely Fallon’s and that Gates believed it was “the right thing to do.”
Commander of the U.S. Central Command Navy Adm. William Fallon ... 
Commander of the U.S. Central Command Navy Adm. William Fallon testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington March 4, 2008.REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES)

Fallon was the subject of an article published last week in Esquire magazine that portrayed him as opposed to President Bush‘s Iran policy. It described Fallon as a lone voice against taking military action to stop the Iranian nuclear program.

Fallon, who is traveling in Iraq, issued a statement through his U.S. headquarters in Tampa, Fla.

“Recent press reports suggesting a disconnect between my views and the president’s policy objectives have become a distraction at a critical time and hamper efforts in the Centcom region,” Fallon said.

“And although I don’t believe there have ever been any differences about the objectives of our policy in the Central Command area of responsibility, the simple perception that there is makes it difficult for me to effectively serve America’s interests there,” Fallon added.
The US military is again using Uzbekistan as a stop-off point ... 

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080311/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/fallon_resigns;_ylt=A
tNWLpj5f9WEhLi2gWkSeres0NUE

Related:
Esquire Magazine on Admiral William “Fox” Fallon

The Washington Post:
Top U.S. Officer in Mideast Resigns