Tuesday, March 11, 2008

US Middle East Commander Resigns

Admiral William "Fox" Fallon
The voice against military attack on Iran
(AFP Photo)

Admiral William “Fox” Fallon, the Commander of US Central Command (CENTCOM), the unified combatant command whose area of responsibility includes the Middle East and the Persian Gulf, resigned abruptly today.

Admiral Fallon had expressed differences with the White House over Iran policy. Last week, Esquire magazine published a lead article on Fallon that portrayed him as opposed to President Bush’s policy on Iran.

“A lone voice against taking military action to stop the Iranian nuclear program,” said Esquire in describing Fallon.

US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said in Washington today that Fallon’s differences with the White House were not extreme, but the misrepresentation had become “too great.” [AFP, 11 March]

At the time of his appointment as CENTCOM commander, some analysts had speculated that the pick of a Navy admiral to be responsible for an area that included the predominantly ground and air wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was a sign of a possible naval attack on Iranian nuclear facilities and the IRGC installation on and near the Persian Gulf.

But Adm. Fallon was apparently reluctant to undertake a military action against Iran. And the White House must have been reluctant to give an impression that a military attack during the remainder of the Bush administration was not being considered. The White House wanted to keep the options open, post-NIE and post-Esquire.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Iran Dissent Cost Fallon His Job

By Mark Thompson in Washington

Wed, 12 Mar 2008

...The betting inside the Pentagon is that despite Fallon's departure, war with Iran is no more likely next month than it was last month. The U.S. military, its hands full in Iraq and Afghanistan, could only engage in an air war against Iran's nuclear sites. The ramifications of attacking a third Muslim nation since 9/11 are so extreme, military officers believe, that no president would launch such a war in his final months in office.

Full story Here.