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Tuesday 20 Feb 2018 | 12:50 | SYDNEY
Tuesday 20 Feb 2018 | 12:50 | SYDNEY

Fallon's fall



12 March 2008 11:25

Bush Administration critics will see the hand of the White House behind CENTCOM Commander William Fallon's resignation, and maybe they are right. The explanantion that Fallon and Defense Secretary Gates offered for the decision — that a recent Esquire profile of Fallon created a damaging and innacurate impression that he was at odds with Administration policy in the Middle East — seems flimsy. After all, if the impression of conflict was untrue, why couldn't Fallon just have corrected the record through a public statement or an interview with Al Jazeera? But that would have put Fallon in the uncomfortable position of having to retract or explain the kinds of statements that my colleague Michael Fullilove pointed to last November, which suggested a very clear split with the White House.

So it seems there were deep differences, in which case it would surely not be so unusual if the Administration pushed him out. His job, after all, is to implement their policies, not publicly second-guess them. Civilian control of the military is an important principle in a democratic state, and Bush Administration critics should not be in favour of it only when it suits them.

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