Petraeus to Head Centcom

Predecessor had been at odds with Bush; Odierno will take over in Iraq
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 23, 2008 10:49 AM CDT
Gen David Petraeus, the four-star general who has been leading troops in Iraq, has been tapped to become the next commander of U.S. Central Command.    (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
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(Newser) – Gen. David Petraeus was tapped today to be the next commander of US Central Command, in charge of military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. If confirmed, Petraeus would replace Adm. William Fallon, who stepped down over disagreements with President Bush over Iran policy, the AP reports. "I don't know anybody in the US military better qualified to lead that effort," Defense Secretary Robert Gates said.

Petraeus, the man behind the current US strategy in Iraq, would be replaced by Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno, who returned to the US in February after 15 months as Petraeus' deputy. Gates said the change in command is planned for late summer or early fall, to "ensure plenty of time to prepare for a good handoff."