"Reluctance and Regret Strikes Again--Purging the Pentagon Best--Admiral Fallon Retires Rather Than Bend
March 12, 2008
Mideast Commander Retires After Irking Bosses
By THOM SHANKER
WASHINGTON — Adm. William J. Fallon, the commander of American forces in the Middle East whose outspoken public statements on Iran and other issues had seemed to put him at odds with the Bush administration, is retiring early, the Pentagon announced Tuesday.
Admiral Fallon had rankled senior officials of the Bush administration in recent months with comments that emphasized diplomacy over conflict in dealing with Iran, that endorsed further troop withdrawals from Iraq beyond those already under way and that suggested the United States had taken its eye off the military mission in Afghanistan.
A senior administration official said that, taken together, the comments “left the perception he had a different foreign policy than the president.”
Admiral Fallon, 63, took over the Central Command only a year ago, becoming the first admiral to become the top officer there. In a statement issued by his headquarters, he a…