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Central Command Musical Chairs

Jul 31, 2020
Tom Ricks et. al. has some good Fallon-firingfallout in today’s Post. He suggests that Secretary Bob Gates prevailed upon Fallon to step down, which is why I used the word "firing":
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.
So who’s going to succeed Fallon? Ricks brings you the scorecard:
A likely successor to Fallon is Petraeus, some defense experts said. The general could be promoted to the Centcom post and replaced in Baghdadby 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.
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.
For more on Odierno, see this piece. If he becomes commanding general in Iraq post-surge, we’ll surely get a better sense of whether he is, in fact, a true counterinsurgent. Meanwhile, if Petraeus gets the promotion to Centcom commander, and the Democrats win the White House, Petraeus will in all likelihood be tasked with drafting a plan for withdrawal from Iraq. Ironies compound. (I suggested something similar in this column, which got the right all up in armsbecause I wasn’t willing to treat Petraeus as God Made Flesh. For the record, the purpose of the column wasn’t to sabotage Petraeus, it was to think through his possible political aspirations and their implications. OK?)
Dexter Cooke

Dexter Cooke

Dexter Cooke is an economist, marketing strategist, and orthopedic surgeon with over 20 years of experience crafting compelling narratives that resonate worldwide. He holds a Journalism degree from Columbia University, an Economics background from Yale University, and a medical degree with a postdoctoral fellowship in orthopedic medicine from the Medical University of South Carolina. Dexter’s insights into media, economics, and marketing shine through his prolific contributions to respected publications and advisory roles for influential organizations. As an orthopedic surgeon specializing in minimally invasive knee replacement surgery and laparoscopic procedures, Dexter prioritizes patient care above all. Outside his professional pursuits, Dexter enjoys collecting vintage watches, studying ancient civilizations, learning about astronomy, and participating in charity runs.
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