Fallon’s Resignation Raises Iran War Speculation

March 14, 2008 09:25 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
The resignation of Middle East military commander Adm. William Fallon has observers asking whether America is moving closer to a war with Iran.

30-Second Summary

Although Fallon is well-known for his vocal opposition to using military force against Iran, White House officials insist that his decision to step down as commander of U.S. Central Command is not a sign that the U.S. is moving toward war with the Islamic republic.

However, John Kerry views Fallon’s move as another sign that the Bush administration does not tolerate dissent in the military.

“Over the last seven Bush years, we’ve seen those who toe the company line get rewarded and those who speak inconvenient truths get retired,” Kerry said in a written statement.

The Washington Times reported that current and former military officials welcomed the news, criticizing Fallon for his failures in Iraq.

And some commentators, including The Dallas Morning News went so far as to decry the admiral for publicly disagreeing with the president’s policies, especially those dealing with a potential military strike against Iran.

“We do think the Pentagon’s top commanders should speak up—privately—when they think the president is contemplating a bad move. But it’s essential that the commander in chief set the policy. Once that’s done, the president’s order must be followed without inappropriate second-guessing in public,” The Morning News writes.

Columnist David Ignatius writes in The Washington Post that Fallon’s headstrong character, part of the reason why he was chosen to run U.S. Central Command in the first place, explains "why Fallon finally crashed and burned Tuesday, tendering his resignation after his blunt comments ... had gotten him into one too many conflicts with the White House and the military brass."

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates
took a more neutral stance, saying on March 11 that although he thought Fallon made the right decision, "I do not believe there are, in fact, significant differences between his views and administration policy.”

Headline Links: What Fallon’s resignation means for Iran

Reactions: The U.S. brass reacts

Opinion & Analysis: "A Centcom Chief Who Spoke His Mind"


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