Cent Com Chief Admiral Fallon Resigns: Robert Gates Presser

You knew it was coming. We thought he'd be fired at C&L, but Fallon resigned instead. Robert Gates took the stage and was battered with questions today as he announced the departure of Chief Admiral Fallon, who asked out of the administration:

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

As you may recall Fallon was openly against starting a war with Iran.

Admiral William Fallon, then President George W. Bush's nominee to head the Central Command (CENTCOM), expressed strong opposition in February to an administration plan to increase the number of carrier strike groups in the Persian Gulf from two to three and vowed privately there would be no war against Iran as long as he was chief of CENTCOM, according to sources with access to his thinking.

Think Progress:

According to Gates, Fallon resigned because the fall-out from the article. Gates said Fallon told him: “The current embarrassing situation, public perception of differences between my views and administration policy, and the distraction this causes from the mission make this the right thing to do.” Gates said he approved Fallon’s request to retire with “reluctance and regret.

The National Security Network compiles examples of Fallon’s dissenting views from the Bush administration.


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