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Thread: Admiral abruptly retires after criticizing U.S. Iran policy

  1. #1

    Admiral abruptly retires after criticizing U.S. Iran policy

    This is why you can not speak your true feelings when in uniform. Even the most senior and decorated will fall if they do not tow the President's plans or lack there of.

    [QUOTE]McClatchy Washington Bureau
    Posted on Tue, Mar. 11, 2008

    [B]Admiral abruptly retires after criticizing U.S. Iran policy[/B]
    Nancy A. Youssef | McClatchy Newspapers
    last updated: March 11, 2008 08:22:41 PM


    WASHINGTON Adm. William J. Fallon, the commander of all U.S. military operations in the Middle East, abruptly ended his nearly 42-year military career Tuesday with a phone call from Iraq in which he asked to resign because of controversy caused by his criticism of the Bush administration's Iran policy.

    Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said Tuesday in a hastily convened news conference that he accepted Fallon's resignation because it was the "right thing to do."

    Fallon's phone call, and Gates' decision to accept his resignation, ended weeks of speculation within military circles about how long a military commander who appeared to challenge Bush administration policy could hold onto his job.

    Army Lt. Gen. Martin Dempsey, Fallon's deputy and a one-time commander of efforts to train Iraq's security forces, will lead U.S. Central Command until the Senate can confirm a permanent replacement, Gates said. Fallon's resignation is effective March 31.

    Fallon's call was unplanned, senior military officials said. Just one day earlier, Geoff Morrell, a Pentagon spokesman, said that Fallon "still enjoys a working a good working relationship with the secretary of defense."

    But the controversy around Fallon had been hovering for weeks after an Esquire magazine story described him as lone bulwark stopping an overzealous Bush administration from starting a war with Iran.

    [B]The article, written by Thomas P.M. Barnett, a former professor at the Naval War College, described Fallon as "brazenly challenging the commander in chief." In it, Fallon is quoted as saying that the Bush administration didn't seem to understand why he was meeting with Middle Eastern leaders and explaining U.S. policy to business gatherings.

    "What's the best and most effective way to combat al Qaida?" he said during an interview in Cairo. "I come from the school of walk softly and carry a big stick."

    The article also quotes him as telling al Jazeera, the Arabic satellite television channel, that war with Iran was undesirable. "This constant drumbeat of conflict . . . is not helpful and not useful," he said. "I expect that there will be no war and that is what we ought to be working toward."

    Fallon had been a controversial figure in his post, questioning the surge of U.S. troops in Iraq and openly challenging suggestions that the military would be able to tackle a strike on Iran. But no one had suggested that Fallon might resign until the magazine hit newsstands in January.

    Both Gates and Fallon, 62, referred to the Esquire article during Tuesday's announcement.[/B]
    In a statement issued from Iraq, where he was traveling, Fallon said: "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. 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 was the first Navy officer to serve as Centcom commander, and, with his retirement, will become the one that served the shortest time.

    Appointed in March 2007, Fallon, who also had served as commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, was brought to Central Command headquarters in part because he had a reputation for stability and problem-solving. At the time, the troop surge had just begun in Iraq, and the military was frustrated by the intractable security situation.

    Tensions between Fallon and key military leaders became apparent early on. Fallon privately opposed the surge, and there was often tension between him and Army Gen. David Petraeus, the top military commander in Iraq. Fallon wanted to pull troops out of Iraq faster than Petraeus did. He suggested that the U.S. should take more risks and send a signal to the Iraqi government that the U.S. presence in Iraq could end soon.

    Morrell denied, however, that Fallon's resignation was an effort to silence dissenters in the Pentagon.

    "I think it would be a mistake to conclude that Admiral Fallon's resignation will have a chilling effect on the senior leadership in the military," Morrell said. "The secretary has created an environment here that is conducive to military leaders speaking up and expressing their opinions."

    Gates called suggestions that the U.S. is more apt to wage a war on Iran after Fallon's resignation "ridiculous." Both Gates and Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have called for restraint.

    In the Esquire piece, Barnett said he asked Fallon if the Centcom position was "career-capping."

    "Career-capping? How about career detonating?" was his response.

    To read the Esquire article, go to [url]http://www.esquire.com/features/fox-fallon[/url]

    McClatchy Newspapers 2008
    [url]http://www.mcclatchydc.com/homepage/story/30053.html[/url][/QUOTE]

  2. #2

    A True American Hero Stands Up For Us...

    [B][SIZE="4"]Fallon Resigns As Mideast Military Chief[/SIZE][/B]

    [url]http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/03/11/fallon-resigns-as-mideast_n_90998.html[/url]

    The top U.S. military commander for the Middle East resigned Tuesday amid speculation about a rift over U.S. policy in Iran," the AP reports.

    Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that Adm. William J. Fallon had asked for permission to retire and that Gates agreed. Gates said the decision, effective March 31, was entirely Fallon's and that Gates believed it was "the right thing to do."

    Fallon was the subject of an article published last week in Esquire magazine that portrayed him as opposed to President Bush's Iran policy.[B] It described Fallon as a lone voice against taking military action to stop the Iranian nuclear program.[/B]

    Fallon, who is traveling in Iraq, issued a statement through his U.S. headquarters in Tampa, Fla.

    "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.

    Gates described as "ridiculous" any notion that Fallon's departure signals the United States is planning to go to war with Iran. And he said "there is a misperception" that Fallon disagrees with the administration's approach to Iran.

    "I don't think there were differences at all," Gates added.

    As ThinkProgress notes, Fallon opposed the "surge" in Iraq and has consistently battled the Bush administration to avoid a confrontation with Iran, calling officials' saber-rattling "not helpful." [B]Privately, he vowed that an attack on Iran "will not happen on my watch."[/B]

    A blockbuster Esquire article published last week predicted that Fallon would be removed to make way for a general who was more "pliable" to war with Iran:

    [B]If, in the dying light of the Bush administration, we go to war with Iran, it'll all come down to one man. If we do not go to war with Iran, it'll come down to the same man. He is that rarest of creatures in the Bush universe: the good cop on Iran, and a man of strategic brilliance. His name is William Fallon, although all of his friends call him "Fox," which was his fighter-pilot call sign decades ago. [...]

    Just as Fallon took over Centcom last spring, the White House was putting itself on a war footing with Iran. Almost instantly, Fallon began to calmly push back against what he saw as an ill-advised action. Over the course of 2007, Fallon's statements in the press grew increasingly dismissive of the possibility of war, creating serious friction with the White House.

    Last December, when the National Intelligence Estimate downgraded the immediate nuclear threat from Iran, it seemed as if Fallon's caution was justified. But still, well-placed observers now say that it will come as no surprise if Fallon is relieved of his command before his time is up next spring, maybe as early as this summer, in favor of a commander the White House considers to be more pliable. If that were to happen, it may well mean that the president and vice-president intend to take military action against Iran before the end of this year and don't want a commander standing in their way.[/B]

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) quickly released a statement: "I am concerned that the resignation of Admiral William J. Fallon, commander of all U.S. forces in the Middle East and a military leader with more than three decades of command experience, [B]is yet another example that independence and the frank, open airing of experts' views are not welcomed in this Administration[/B]

  3. #3
    Sorry I just posted almost the same exact time.

    [QUOTE=intelligentjetsfan;2427433][B][SIZE="4"]Fallon Resigns As Mideast Military Chief[/SIZE][/B]

    [url]http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/03/11/fallon-resigns-as-mideast_n_90998.html[/url]

    The top U.S. military commander for the Middle East resigned Tuesday amid speculation about a rift over U.S. policy in Iran," the AP reports.

    Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that Adm. William J. Fallon had asked for permission to retire and that Gates agreed. Gates said the decision, effective March 31, was entirely Fallon's and that Gates believed it was "the right thing to do."

    Fallon was the subject of an article published last week in Esquire magazine that portrayed him as opposed to President Bush's Iran policy.[B] It described Fallon as a lone voice against taking military action to stop the Iranian nuclear program.[/B]

    Fallon, who is traveling in Iraq, issued a statement through his U.S. headquarters in Tampa, Fla.

    "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.

    Gates described as "ridiculous" any notion that Fallon's departure signals the United States is planning to go to war with Iran. And he said "there is a misperception" that Fallon disagrees with the administration's approach to Iran.

    "I don't think there were differences at all," Gates added.

    As ThinkProgress notes, Fallon opposed the "surge" in Iraq and has consistently battled the Bush administration to avoid a confrontation with Iran, calling officials' saber-rattling "not helpful." [B]Privately, he vowed that an attack on Iran "will not happen on my watch."[/B]

    A blockbuster Esquire article published last week predicted that Fallon would be removed to make way for a general who was more "pliable" to war with Iran:

    [B]If, in the dying light of the Bush administration, we go to war with Iran, it'll all come down to one man. If we do not go to war with Iran, it'll come down to the same man. He is that rarest of creatures in the Bush universe: the good cop on Iran, and a man of strategic brilliance. His name is William Fallon, although all of his friends call him "Fox," which was his fighter-pilot call sign decades ago. [...]

    Just as Fallon took over Centcom last spring, the White House was putting itself on a war footing with Iran. Almost instantly, Fallon began to calmly push back against what he saw as an ill-advised action. Over the course of 2007, Fallon's statements in the press grew increasingly dismissive of the possibility of war, creating serious friction with the White House.

    Last December, when the National Intelligence Estimate downgraded the immediate nuclear threat from Iran, it seemed as if Fallon's caution was justified. But still, well-placed observers now say that it will come as no surprise if Fallon is relieved of his command before his time is up next spring, maybe as early as this summer, in favor of a commander the White House considers to be more pliable. If that were to happen, it may well mean that the president and vice-president intend to take military action against Iran before the end of this year and don't want a commander standing in their way.[/B]

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) quickly released a statement: "I am concerned that the resignation of Admiral William J. Fallon, commander of all U.S. forces in the Middle East and a military leader with more than three decades of command experience, [B]is yet another example that independence and the frank, open airing of experts' views are not welcomed in this Administration[/B][/QUOTE]

  4. #4
    [QUOTE=cr726;2427435]Sorry I just posted almost the same exact time.[/QUOTE]

    Great minds think alike :yes:

  5. #5
    Admiral Fallon, whom I have met personally was a very capable Commander, CENTCOM.

    That magazine piece was a case of overexaggerated journalism by the writer and sealed Admiral Fallon's fate. With that piece, he lost the confidence of the SECDEF, the President and the Joint Chiefs of Staff by letting that piece make him look as if he were dictating policy. This is essentially what got MacArthur fired, except the Admiral was a victim of the press.

    If people were to be forced to quit because of conflicts with the Bush Administration's policy on Iran, then Secretary of Defense Gates would never have been nominated in the first place.

  6. #6
    [QUOTE=Equilibrium;2427630]Admiral Fallon, whom I have met personally was a very capable Commander, CENTCOM.

    That magazine piece was a case of overexaggerated journalism by the writer and sealed Admiral Fallon's fate. With that piece, he lost the confidence of the SECDEF, the President and the Joint Chiefs of Staff by letting that piece make him look as if he were dictating policy. This is essentially what got MacArthur fired, except the Admiral was a victim of the press.
    [/QUOTE]

    Do you honestly believe it was merely the PRESS that got MacArthur fired? If so, reflect again about what you're saying.

  7. #7
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    I wonder if any of you considered him a hero BEFORE today??? HMM?

    Just like the fired District Attorneys, this is the President's privilege. Did you commend GWB when he held over George Tenet as CIA chief from the Clinton Admin?

    Love you libs!:huh:

  8. #8
    [QUOTE=ChitownJetFan;2427678]I wonder if any of you considered him a hero BEFORE today??? HMM?

    Just like the fired District Attorneys, this is the President's privilege. Did you commend GWB when he held over George Tenet as CIA chief from the Clinton Admin?

    Love you libs!:huh:[/QUOTE]


    I don't see the corrolation at all. You're really stretching here.

    The man resigned. Bush didn't fire him.

  9. #9
    JetsInsider.com Legend
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    So lets see....for a Liberal:

    Admirals/Generals who Resign = American Hero.

    Admirals/Generals who do their best to win the War in Iraq = General "Betray Us", Bush Shill and Traitor.

  10. #10
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    [QUOTE=Warfish;2427934]General "Betray Us"[/QUOTE]

    General "Betray Us" grew up down the street from where I grew up.

    He was a traitor back then, too...:rolleyes:

  11. #11
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    [QUOTE=Warfish;2427934]So lets see....for a Liberal:

    Admirals/Generals who Resign = American Hero.

    Admirals/Generals who do their best to win the War in Iraq = General "Betray Us", Bush Shill and Traitor.[/QUOTE]

    That about sums it up. :yes:

  12. #12
    [QUOTE=cr726;2427431]This is why you can not speak your true feelings when in uniform. Even the most senior and decorated will fall if they do not tow the President's plans or lack there of.[/QUOTE]

    The concept of army as debate society might fly in your weird little imagination, but the uniform you reference isn't worn in order to speak true feelings within.

  13. #13
    [QUOTE=Press_Coverage;2427650]Do you honestly believe it was merely the PRESS that got MacArthur fired? If so, reflect again about what you're saying.[/QUOTE]


    I thought my statement was clear, Admiral Fallon's career fell victim to sensationalistic journalism, MacArthur's ended when he publicly questioned Truman Administration policy.

    Fallon gave the impression of questioning and by extension advocating policy in conflict with the Administration, MacArthur openly did just that. The difference was the media created that conflict with the Admiral, but the fundamental reason for the end of their careers are similar.

  14. #14
    But if you ask anyone running for office or in office for the GOP they all say the same thing. "I talk to the soldiers and they want to be there." But that is not BS right?

    I am glad you know something about the military, maybe you should learn the same way I did, you know actually serving.

    [QUOTE=sackdance;2428265]The concept of army as debate society might fly in your weird little imagination, but the uniform you reference isn't worn in order to speak true feelings within.[/QUOTE]

  15. #15
    [QUOTE=cr726;2429458]But if you ask anyone running for office or in office for the GOP they all say the same thing. "I talk to the soldiers and they want to be there." But that is not BS right?

    I am glad you know something about the military, maybe you should learn the same way I did, you know actually serving.[/QUOTE]

    I think anyone who serves will tell you it is important that the people above you believe in what you are doing.

    The last thing a soldier/sailor in theater needs is waffling out of the pentagon, making them question (even more) what they are doing and why they are doing it. Those soldiers and sailors need to believe (to some extent) what they are doing is right and important because every morning/night they have to go out and put their life on the line for the mission.

    In the Admiral's defense he was talking about Iran and not Iraq and actually it seems that Sec. of Defense is in complete agreement

  16. #16
    [QUOTE=Jetfan_Johnny;2429536][B]I think anyone who serves will tell you it is important that the people above you believe in what you are doing. [/B]

    The last thing a soldier/sailor in theater needs is waffling out of the pentagon, making them question (even more) what they are doing and why they are doing it. Those soldiers and sailors need to believe (to some extent) what they are doing is right and important because every morning/night they have to go out and put their life on the line for the mission.

    In the Admiral's defense he was talking about Iran and not Iraq and actually it seems that Sec. of Defense is in complete agreement[/QUOTE]

    As a former soldier, I agree with this boldened statement 100%. But there is another thing that is important to a soldier. That is a trust in the civilian leadership to ask you to put your life on the line only when they are as close to 100% sure as humanly possible that there is no other solution/alternative to a crisis and the only way to defend America and our interests is to go to war. That going to war will leave us in a better rather than worse position. That the war is well planned with clear cut objectives that are acheavable in the real world.

    Cant say this leadership has earned this trust

  17. #17
    [QUOTE]The article, written by Thomas P.M. Barnett, a former professor at the Naval War College, described Fallon as "brazenly challenging the commander in chief." In it, Fallon is quoted as saying that the Bush administration didn't seem to understand why he was meeting with Middle Eastern leaders and explaining U.S. policy to business gatherings.
    [/QUOTE]

    Question: how many presidents would allow a high ranking military person to "brazenly" challenge them as CoC? I bet shrillary wouldn't if she were prez!

    Also, if he's the "lone voice" speaking out, does that mean that all his peers are in disagreement with him? If so, that may have helped him decide to quit also!

  18. #18
    I agree with you as well. That is why it bothers me that these politicians come back from Iraq and/or Afghanistan and tell you how the troops love it over there and there are no complaints. They talked directly to the soldiers, so therefore anything negative could only be from the media.

    Our soldiers want to be there can not be a realistic reason.

    [QUOTE=Jetfan_Johnny;2429536]I think anyone who serves will tell you it is important that the people above you believe in what you are doing.

    The last thing a soldier/sailor in theater needs is waffling out of the pentagon, making them question (even more) what they are doing and why they are doing it. Those soldiers and sailors need to believe (to some extent) what they are doing is right and important because every morning/night they have to go out and put their life on the line for the mission.

    In the Admiral's defense he was talking about Iran and not Iraq and actually it seems that Sec. of Defense is in complete agreement[/QUOTE]

  19. #19
    Two problems with this are:
    #1 Hillary is not the President.
    #2 GW has used the troops are happy to be there as a reason, the soldiers do not have a choice if they would like to be there.

    [QUOTE=asuusa;2429657]Question: how many presidents would allow a high ranking military person to "brazenly" challenge them as CoC? I bet shrillary wouldn't if she were prez!

    Also, if he's the "lone voice" speaking out, does that mean that all his peers are in disagreement with him? If so, that may have helped him decide to quit also![/QUOTE]

  20. #20
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    [QUOTE=cr726;2429672]Two problems with this are:
    #1 Hillary is not the President.
    #2 GW has used the troops are happy to be there as a reason, the soldiers do not have a choice if they would like to be there.[/QUOTE]

    The troops aren't happy to be there? Wow...that's a stretch isn't it?

    I bet if you inteviewed every soldier about what they think of Iraqistan, none of them would use the following words:

    sh*thole
    clusterf*ck
    f*cking home
    clean bathroom

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