Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Netanyahu deletes tweet featuring photo of James Foley

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

  • Europe launches navigation satellites to rival GPS

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • Iraqi Sunnis quit govt talks after mosque massacre

    Read more

  • US demands Russia withdraw aid convoy from Ukraine

    Read more

  • PSG fall flat once more against Evian

    Read more

  • Fed Chair says US job market still hampered by Great Recession

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Central African Republic announces coalition cabinet

    Read more

  • Hamas publicly executes "informers"

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu set to be Erdogan's new PM

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

US commander in Iraq to lead Mideast operations

Latest update : 2008-04-23

General David Petraeus has been appointed to head all US forces in the Middle East, while his deputy General Raymond Odierno will take up command in Iraq. (Story: J.Creedon)

WASHINGTON - U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Wednesday picked Gen. David Petraeus, widely praised as the top commander in Iraq, to lead all Middle East operations, including the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Gates also chose Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, who recently served as Petraeus' No. 2, to take over as the top commander in Iraq.

Gates said Petraeus, who has overseen a military strategy credited with a dramatic reduction in violence in Iraq, was the most qualified general to lead U.S. Central Command and manage counterinsurgency operations in both wars.

"I recommended him to the president because I am absolutely confident he is the best man for the job," Gates said.

Gates said Petraeus has the ability to take on non-traditional threats, such as insurgencies, Islamic extremism and state-sponsored terrorism, that arise in the Central Command region.

"I don't know anybody in the United States military better qualified to lead that effort," Gates said.

The Pentagon chief said President George W. Bush had approved both recommendations and would send the nominations to the U.S. Senate.

Gates asked the Senate to approve the nominations by the end of May but said he did not anticipate the changes taking effect until "late summer or early fall."

If confirmed by the Senate, Petraeus will replace former Adm. William Fallon, who resigned after a reported break with the Bush administration over Iran policy.

At Florida-based Central Command, Petraeus will oversee U.S. operations in a region that includes Iran and 26 other countries as well as international waters that are both strategically and economically significant. That includes the Gulf and Straits of Hormuz.

Central Command is considered the toughest combatant command assignment.

"I am honored to be nominated for this position and to have an opportunity to continue to serve with America's soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, coast guardsmen and civilians," Petraeus said in a prepared statement.

Some lawmakers quickly praised Gates' picks.

"As the former commander of U.S. troops in Iraq, Ray Odierno clearly understands the broad picture," said Rep. Duncan Hunter of California, top Republican on the U.S. House of Representatives committee on armed services.

"He worked hand in glove with Gen. Petraeus to implement the new counter-insurgency strategy in Iraq. He is enormously qualified and will do a superb job in his new role."
 

Date created : 2008-04-23

COMMENT(S)