Petraeus Promotion Frees Cheney to
by Gareth Porter
The nomination of Gen. David Petraeus to be the new head of the Central Command not only ensures that he will be available to defend the George W. Bush administration's policies toward Iran and Iraq at least through the end of Bush's term and possibly even beyond.
It also gives Vice President
Dick Cheney greater freedom of action to exploit the option of an air attack
Petraeus will take up the CENTCOM post in late summer or early fall, according to Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
The ability of the
administration to threaten
Petraeus has proved himself willing to cooperate closely with the White House
policy lines on
had already effectively ta
As the top commander in
Fallon clashed with Petraeus repeatedly from the beginning of his command about
the surge and
Fallon had also pushed very
hard, according to a source familiar with his thinking, for trying to negotiate
an agreement with
Petraeus revealed in his congressional testimony April 10 that he had already assumed some of the functions normally carried out by the CENTCOM commander in regard to relations with military leaders in the region. Petraeus said he had "actually gone to a couple of neighboring countries in an effort … to get at the networks, the countries in which they operate, and the sources of some of these foreign fighters."
In fact, the Associated
Press reported, Petraeus had ta
It had become increasingly
evident to Fallon that he was not really running things at CENTCOM, according
to the source. Fallon's frustration about Petraeus'
de facto power over
But it was Fallon's refusal
to accept the that the option of a military strike
announcement on March 11 was followed less than a week later by a 10-day Cheney
trip to the Middle East in which the vice president talked explicitly about the
military option against
Cheney aggressively solicited
political support from Turkish leaders for a
Cheney was "very aggressive" in asking Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Abdullah Gul, as well as Turkey's chief of general staff Gen. Yasar Bukyukanit, to get "on board" with such an attack, according to the source, who has access to reports from the Cheney visit.
Cheney indicated that
After the meeting between
Cheney and King Abdullah on the same trip, Saudi sources let it be known to the
media that Abdullah had told Cheney that his government opposed any
One of Cheney's main
objectives on the trip appears to have been to get the message to
In an interview with Cheney while he was in Ankara, ABC News reporter Martha Raddatz commented, "[W]hen you come over here, people in the region start thinking you're over here to plan some sort of military action."
Cheney strongly implied that
it was indeed the major objective of his trip. "Well, I think the
important thing to keep in mind," he said, "is the objective that we
share with many of our friends in the region, and that is that a nuclear-armed
Petraeus has become the primary
administration spokesman for the argument holding
In his testimony before congressional committees earlier this month, Petraeus declared that what he called the "special groups" allegedly organized and manipulated by Iran "pose the greatest long-term threat to the viability of a democratic Iraq."
(Inter Press Service)