Friday, January 05, 2007

President Bush's Washington Shuffle...

President Bush has definitely shuffled his team around, as an intro to the new strategy he apparently plans to announce on Iraq.

John Negroponte, who was appointed America's first overall intelligence chief in early 2005, has been nominated to become Condoleezza Rice's Deputy Secretary of State. To take his place, President Bush has nominated Vice Admiral Mike McConnell, a former National Security Adviser.

Bush is expected to announce a `surge' of 20,000 to 40,000 extra American troops in Iraq next week.

Scuttlebut is that Bush may pick Admiral William Fallon, the commander of US forces in the Pacific(CINCPAC), to replace General John Abizaid, the head of US Central Command, who is retiring. Lieutenant General David Petraeus, who has been training the Iraqi army, is rumored to be picked to take over from General George Casey, who's currently in charge of US forces there and who's being relieved, as I reported.

Another possible nomination will be that of Zalmay Khalilzad, the current US Ambassador to Iraq, to become the next Ambassador to the UN, with Ryan Crocker, the Ambassador to Pakistan, going to Baghdad.

Hopefully, these changes are designed to pursue a much more aggressive startegy that focuses less on `hearts and minds' and `Arab democracy' and more on that old fashioned word, victory.

I guess we'll see.....

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