Saturday, June 09, 2007

Military Shock!!! Pace not to serve 2nd term!!!

In a shock announcement yesterday, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said that he will be advising President Bush not to re-nominate Marine General Peter Pace as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Gates said he feared a contentious re-nomination hearing in the Senate that would focus too heavily on six years of war (while Pace served as Vice Chairman and later CJCOS) rather than the way ahead.

While Gates wanted to keep Pace, the first Marine to serve as CJCOS, for a second 2-year term in that job; he said he changed his mind because of the highly charged atmosphere in Congress over the length and direction of the Iraq war, which blew up this spring into a tough battle between Congress and the administration over war funding and ultimately unmet demands for measurable benchmarks of progress on the part of the Iraqi government.

Gates' choice of replacement is current Chief Of Naval Operations Admiral Mike Mullen. He said that, as with Pace, he had intended to ask President Bush to re-nominate Admiral Edmund Giambastiani as the Vice Chairman but that such a move became impossible once he’d decided on Mullen (right) because by law, the Chairman and Vice Chairman cannot be members of the same branch of service. Coincidently however, earlier in the week Giambastiani announced his intention to retire in August anyway.

As he will have to nominate a new Vice-Chairman as well so Gates has cleverly chosen U.S. Strategic Command chief Marine General James E. Cartwright. It appears that the Marines will retain their rightful presence in the top two hot seats that Pace held for 6 years.

Cartwright (left) has commanded StratCom since July 2004, where Gates said he is responsible for global command and control of U.S. strategic forces, computer network operations and Defense Department information operations. That experience, on top of his previous job as director for force structure, resources and assessment on the Joint Staff, make him “exceptionally well-qualified” for the Vice Chairman position.

The SECDEF vehemently denied that his decision anything to do with the way Pace had performed as Chairman, and he also declined to characterize the two high-level moves as a shakeup. “I think that this is an effort to do what I think is in the long-term interests of the services and the country, as well as the individuals involved,” he said. "General Pace has served our country with great distinction, and deserves the deepest thanks of the American people for a lifetime of service to our country and for his leadership.”

Seems to me that there has to be some give and take now that the damn Democrats are in control of the senate and a price must be paid for the President's necessary veto against them last month.

Souce: Military Times

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