He'll Get Around To It
Stabilizing Iraq will require "new and different actions" to improve security and political reconciliation, the Navy admiral poised to lead American forces in the Middle East said Tuesday.Indeed. Asked a basic question about Augmentation/Plus Up, the incoming leader of all U.S. military forces in the Middle East says he's been too busy on the "Pacific Front" to get up to speed on the pesky details. Is it too early to say he's either a dissembler or unfit for the job? I don't see a third option.
Adm. William Fallon, at his confirmation hearing, also told the Senate Armed Services Committee that it may be time to "redefine the goals" in Iraq. He also said he believes Iran would like to limit America's influence in the region.
"I believe the situation in Iraq can be turned around, but time is short," he said.
Fallon, 62, who currently is commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, said he saw a need for a comprehensive approach to Iraq, including economic and political actions to resolve a problem that requires more than military force.
"What we have been doing has not been working," he said. "We have got to be doing, it seems to me, something different."
Asked by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, chairman of the committee, whether the flow of additional U.S. troops would be tied to progress by the Iraqis on political and other commitments they made to Bush, Fallon said he had not yet studied the plans in detail, given his continuing responsibilities as Pacific Command chief.
"I'm surprised you don't have that understanding going in, frankly," Levin said.