Allahpundit is right when he says:
Everyone in the blogosphere’s going to be linking this Thomas P.M. Barnett profile in Esquire published just last week suggesting that Fallon’s the only thing standing between the U.S. and war with Iran, and as such, if he leaves Centcom it’s a surefire sign that he’s lost the debate and the bombs will soon be dropping. Well, he’s out. Read the Esquire piece while I go look for updates.
Here is an excerpt from the soon to be scorchingly hot linked Esquire piece.
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. Forty years into a military career that has seen this admiral rule over America’s two most important combatant commands, Pacific Command and now United States Central Command, it’s impossible to make this guy–as he likes to say–”nervous in the service.” Past American governments have used saber rattling as a useful tactic to get some bad actor on the world stage to fall in line. This government hasn’t mastered that kind of subtlety. When Dick Cheney has rattled his saber, it has generally meant that he intends to use it. And in spite of recent war spasms aimed at Iran from this sclerotic administration, Fallon is in no hurry to pick up any campaign medals for Iran. And therein lies the rub for the hard-liners led by Cheney. Army General David Petraeus, commanding America’s forces in Iraq, may say, “You cannot win in Iraq solely in Iraq,” but Fox Fallon is Petraeus’s boss, and he is the commander of United States Central Command, and Fallon doesn’t extend Petraeus’s logic to mean war against Iran.
I hate to crib solely from Allah on this one but he is the best man in the biz. He links to a Washington Post story based on the Esquire article that says Fallon would resign instead of follow orders he considers to be a mistake.
Could it be that all the non-U.S. parties involved that have begun to step up their rhetoric against an atomic Iran have tipped the Bush administration back to the hawkish side against Tehran? Did that NIE debacle get washed away?
Here’s a Fox article with some more.
Fallon claimed ongoing misperceptions about differences between his ideas and U.S. policy are making it too difficult for him to operate, Gates said, agreeing. He added that the differences are not extreme, but the misperception had become too great.
“I don’t know whether he was misinterpreted or whether people attributed views to him that were not his views, but clearly there was a concern,” Gates said.
The misperceptions relate to an article published last week in Esquire magazine that portrayed Fallon 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.
“I think this is a cumulative kind of thing,” Gates countered. “It isn’t the result of any one article or any one issue.”
So this could be nothing. Then again, if you’re looking for small tells in how America will play its hand on the international stage when it comes to possible armed conflict, every little move deserved be to analyzed.
Update 4:25PM CST: Blackfive hints at a possible Petraeus raise.
The media is speculating that this is another case of Shinseki-izing – the Bush administration getting rid of another dissenter. They are wrong.
Also, consider the impending testimony of General Petraeus. Can you say new CENTCOM Commander? Timing, as they say, is everything.
At this point, that’s all I’m gonna say.
Now that would be something, wouldn’t it?
QandO wonders what Fallon will say after everything is official. I just hope we don’t gain another armchair General attacking our mission.