Friday, March 14, 2008

it's sounding like a bigger deal...

From Yochi Dreazen in the WSJ, a less optimistic flavor (compared to what I blogged on yesterday) to a story on Admiral William Fallon's resignation

THE top US commander in the Middle East resigned from the military abruptly yesterday after a magazine article quoted him questioning President George W.Bush's Iran policy and making clear that he deeply opposed a military strike against the country.

Admiral William Fallon oversaw the US wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan as head of the military's central command.

His sudden resignation stunned many senior military officers and Pentagon officials, and immediately set off furious speculation about who would succeed him and what the change would mean for US policy in the region.

His departure removes a high-ranking officer who had long appeared to be out of step with the Bush administration.

Admiral Fallon had been sceptical of the administration's troop surge in Iraq, arguing to his aides that the deployment of 30,000 additional combat troops would exacerbate the military's manpower strains and achieve little lasting success.

He had a tense relationship with General David Petraeus, the top US commander in Iraq and a White House favourite.

Admiral Fallon has long appeared to question the administration's Iran policy, arguing in several interviews that hardline White House rhetoric about Iran -- and the implied threat of military force against the country -- was dangerous and unhelpful, and raised the odds of a miscalculation that could bring the US and Iran into open conflict.


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