Here is The Nelson Report‘s take on CENTCOM Commander William Fallon’s
The Nelson Report – 12 March 2008
FALLON FIRED…insubordination, not Iran war risk
FALLON…the speed with which Adm. Fallon’s “retirement” was announced by DOD Secretary Gates tells you the real story: this came right from the White House.
That’s the view of observers on Capitol Hill and in the defense community, following today’s stunning announcement from Baghdad.
If you want to know why, the answer comes in the form of the question on many lips when the news broke…”did he speak out against war with Iran because he fears the President may actually order an attack this year?”
The pending mission to the Middle East next week by Vice President Cheney, the presumed “Darth Vader” of most of the “Iran war” conspiracy theories, only added fuel to the firestorm of questions about why Fallon shot his mouth in Esquire Magazine.
As we said in the Summary, the answer is “no, Fallon didn’t fear that Bush was about to go to war with Iran”.
And sources close to senior Administration decision-makers reinforce this conclusion, one saying “there is absolutely no chance of war with Iran, so far as the US is concerned.”
(What Israel might at some point do, it was conceded, could be another matter…)
Still, basically, if the above interpretation of Bush’s real intentions is the case, Fallon was fired for hubris which amounted to insubordination, Congressional and other sources feel.
It is both understandable and justifiable, given the chain of command and civilian control ethos of the US military.
Any administration, and not just Bush and Gates, would rapidly conclude that they could not tolerate having their hand-picked commander for Iraq and Afghanistan seeming to take on responsibility for deciding whether to go to war with Iran (or any other country), in an interview which appeared last week in Esquire Magazine.
Interestingly, in this time of instant world-wide communication, it took a few days for the Esquire piece to reach critical mass attention. Some observers feel it wasn’t until Egyptian press picked it up and made a big deal that it reached the Bush/Gates level, after which “something had to be done”.
I concur with Chris Nelson’s assessment.
— Steve Clemons