Army Gen. David Petraeus, the four-star general who led troops in Iraq for the past year, will be nominated by President George W. Bush to be the next commander of U.S. Central Command, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Wednesday.
Gates also announced that Bush will nominate Army Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno to replace Petraeus in Baghdad.
Central Command oversees the wars in Iraq and in Afghanistan.
If confirmed by the Senate, Petraeus would replace Navy Adm. William Fallon, who abruptly stepped down in March after a magazine reported that he was at odds with Mr. Bush over Iran policy. Fallon said the report, while not true, had become a distraction.
Army Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno, currently commander of the Army's 3rd Corps based in the U.S., finished in February a 15-month tour as the top deputy to Petraeus in Baghdad.
I'm speculating, but Petraeus has already won confirmation because of how he testified earlier this month before skeptical Democrats. We already know that the surge has failed, Iraq is back onto the fast track for another round of civil war, the Mahdi Army is waiting to see what happens and the Bush Administration has been embarrased in previous attempts to fill certain positions.
But ask yourself this--is Odierno the right man for the job? Is CENTCOM going to start focusing more on Afghanistan than it has been able to?
By the way, what the hell happened to "The War Czar?" Shouldn't the name of General Lute have come up during the shuffle of personalities? Did that question take you aback? You know, General Douglas Lute? Remember him?
“I think it’s important to the people of Iraq,” said Lt. Gen. Douglas E. Lute, the president’s coordinator for Iraq issues. “It signals a commitment of both their government and the United States to an enduring relationship based on mutual interests.
“The basic message here should be clear: Iraq is increasingly able to stand on its own,” General Lute said. “That’s very good news, but it won’t have to stand alone.”
Sound dated? That's because it's from November, 2007. Since then, Lute hasn't been in the New York Times at all, according to their news archive of officials.
So much for "promotions," right?