Foreign Policy Blogs

Adm. Fallon resigns

Unless you’ve been living under the proverbial rock, or just don't care about these sorts of things, you might have heard that Admiral Fallon has resigned as head of Central Command. Here is a link to the map of Central Command's area of responsibility (AOR). They are responsible for Iraq as well as many of the hotspots of the world today, including Somalia, Ethiopia, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. This has important implications for the region, and by extension, Iraq. The most foremost implications have to do with Iran. I’m sure you read the Esquire article by Thomas P.M. Barnett on Adm. Fallon (Incidentally, Barnett has put up a small statement acknowledging the Admiral's resignation). Barnett portrayed Fallon as the only thing stopping the Bush administration from invading Iran, and something along the lines of “I won't let it happen on my watch” was attributed to him. Iran is high on the Bush administration's list. To say that they sacked their top CENTCOM commander to prove a point to Iran may be a bit much, but this article had a lot to do with it. The administration wants to show Iran that there is NO obstacle when it comes to attacking them. Whether the Bush administration actually has any plans to attack Iran isn't really the point. All they need to do is show Iran that there is nothing stopping them. The logic is, if Iran thinks that the top commander won't let the US attack them, they can have free rein to do whatever they want in WMD negotiations and be as uncooperative as possible. [kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Although this post isn't explicitly on Iraq, this event has far reaching ramifications for Iraq and the region as a whole, and deserves our attention. Here are a few interesting links: A scathing L.A. Times piece by Max Boot, criticizing the Esquire article and questioning Adm. Fallon's 'strategic brilliance’ (Barnett put it) and a WSJ piece that is a bit more tempered. Senators Reid (D-NV) and John Kerry (D-MA) are making their own statements about the situation, calling for panel inquiries and publicly questioning whether Adm. Fallon was forced out on the Iran issue. Here's the Kerry statement, while BBC quotes Senator Reid saying, “I am concerned that the resignation of Admiral William J Fallon… is yet another example that independence and the frank, open airing of experts’ views are not welcomed in this administration.