by Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, March 12, 2008
Adm. William Fallon was forced to resign as head of U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) over disagreements pertaining to the administration’s Iran war plans.
Defense Secretary Gates said that Adm. William J. Fallon “had asked for permission to retire” and that Gates had agreed. The fact of the matter is that Admiral Fallon was fired by Defense Secretary Gates. His resignation is effective March 31st.
“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.”
The article highlighted statements by Admiral Fallon made in a TV interview with the Al Jazeera TV network last Fall, in which he said that:
[a] “constant drumbeat of conflict [from Washington directed at Iran was] 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.”
In an official statement, Admiral Fallon acknowledged that “recent press reports suggesting a disconnect between my views and the president’s policy objectives have become a distraction” in his endeavors as head of CENTCOM
CENTCOM is the key regional command for all theater operations in the Middle East. The adminstration would not be able to effectively wage a major theater war against Iran without the uncompromising support of the head of CENTCOM.
Fallon is not a lone voice. Many senior and junior officers support Fallon’s position.
This resignation confirms widespread opposition within the US military command to a war with Iran. It also reflects the inability of the administration to acquire the support of the Military High Command despite shuffles and reshuffles in high level military appointments since the departure of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. .
Ironically, Admiral Fallon was an unbending supporter of the Bush-Cheney clique. Secretary Gates had appointed Admiral. William J. Fallon, as Commander of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) barely a year ago in March 2007, following the dismissal of Gen. John P. Abizaid, who was pushed into retirement, following apparent disagreements with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates.
While Abizaid recognized both the failures and the weaknesses of the US military in Iraq, Admiral Fallon at the time of his March 2007 appointment was closely aligned with Vice President Dick Cheney’s Iran war plans. He was also firmly committed to the “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT).
Fallon’s appointment last year also coincided with the replacement of Peter Pace as Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and his replacement by Admiral Mullen.
General Pace had indicated his disagreement with the Administration regarding both Iraq and the proposed attacks on Iran.
General Peter Pace’s term as Chairman of the JCS ended in September 2007. Defense Secretary Gates’ chosen successor as Chairman of the JCS was Admiral Michael Mullen, formerly U.S. Chief of Naval Operations.
Mullen’s discourse is in marked contrast to that of General Peter Pace. Mullen, who was in charge of coordinating 2006-2007 naval war games off the Iranian coastline, has expressed an unbending commitment to “waging” and “winning asymmetric wars”, while also “protecting the United States”:
In June 2007, Secretary of Defense Gates appointed the Commander of USSTRATCOM, General Cartwright to the position of Vice-Chairman of the JCS. Together with the appointment of Admiral Mullen, who took over from Peter Pace in October, these two new appointments imply a significant overhaul in the power structure of the JCS.
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© Copyright Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2008
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America’s “War On Terrorism”
by Michel Chossudovsky