Fallon to resign

Byline: | Category: Iraq, Military | Posted at: Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Admiral William Fallon has resigned as Commander of CENTCOM effective March 31.  Fallon, who is in his second regional command after having led PACOM for two years, has served in uniform for 41 years.

His deputy, Lt. Gen. Martin Dempsey, will serve as temporary commander, but Fallon’s absence leaves an important hole at a critical time.  Gen. David Petraeus is nearing the end of his tour as the senior military commander in the region while Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno left just two weeks ago as the senior ground forces commander in Iraq in order to become the Army’s Vice Chief of staff.

This might help to explain the hasty departure:

“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 five regional commanders have a unique role–as much diplomatic as it is military.  They work directly with the national leaders of the countries in their region.  Thus the perception that the American commander is not in sync with the President–whether that is true or not–certainly does hamstring his ability to communicate American intentions with a singular voice.

Hopefully Fallon’s replacement is named and confirmed quickly.

MORE:

Small Wars Journal

Jim Miklaszewski

Black Five

Confederate Yankee offers a replacement plan

Outside the Beltway offers a different replacement plan and speculates on the message that might be behind it.

Allah Pundit links to NPP who six months ago noted a disagreement that might have precipitated Fallon’s early departure.  It was not a disagreement with the boss; instead it was a disagreement with a subordinate: Gen. David Petraeus.  Not knowing any of the specifics, when the senior guy trusts the man two layers down more than he does his own direct subordinate, no one is happy.

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