William J. Fallon

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Admiral William J. Fallon, "the top American military officer in the Pacific", was confirmed February 6, 2007, by the U.S. Senate as Commander of U.S. Central Command. [1]

Fallon replaces Lt. Gen. John P. Abizaid as "part of a broad revamping of the military team that will carry out the administration’s new Iraq strategy," Bush administration officials said January 4, 2007. Abizaid's departure was expected. [2]

"Admiral Fallon would be the first Navy officer to serve as the senior officer of the Central Command, which is managing simultaneous ground wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Admiral Fallon is regarded within the military as one of its stronger regional combat commanders, and his possible appointment also reflects a greater emphasis on countering Iranian power, a mission that relies heavily on naval forces and combat airpower to project American influence in the Persian Gulf." [3]

"Officials also said Admiral Fallon received a persuasive recommendation from the Joint Chiefs as one of the military’s stronger commanders of a geographic theater, with his current command including the challenges of North Korea and China.

"In that capacity, he also took the unusual and punitive move in December of canceling a large, annual field exercise with the Philippines over a local judge’s failure to honor the bilateral treaty governing protections for American military personnel. The judge refused to honor the agreement’s rule that American military personnel remain in American custody pending final appeal of all criminal proceedings against them, and ordered a marine convicted of rape held in a local jail even though the case was on appeal." [4]

"The changes are being made as the White House is considering an option to increase American combat power in Baghdad by five brigades as well as adding two battalions of reinforcements to the volatile province of Anbar in western Iraq." [5]

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