Petraeus Could Be Tapped to Head NATO

Pentagon mulls Iraq commander's next assignment
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2008 7:30 AM CST
Gen. David H. Petraeus, Commander of the Mutli-National Force listens to US President George W. Bush speak to members of the media, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2008 in Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Iraq’s top commander could be at the helm of NATO by the start of next year, the New York Times reports. While no final decisions have been made, the Pentagon is considering nominating Gen. Petraeus in September, installing him before the election dust settles in a new, highly prestigious, but less politically treacherous position. But some fear taking his hand off Iraq’s tiller.

As NATO chief, Petraeus would have a big role in Afghanistan, but Iraq would be left to a new commander, disrupting continuity. Some think Petraeus will be tapped to instead head Central Command, overseeing the whole Middle East. “Trying to guess Gen. Petraeus’ next assignment is the most popular parlor game in the Pentagon these days,” said one Defense Department spokesman.