Top US commander steps down

The World

Fallon disagreed with the Bush administration on two major points: he endorsed further troop withdrawal in Iraq and emphasized the need for greater diplomacy with Iran. Esquire Magazine last week depicted Fallon as a strong voice of dissent within the White House. This military analyst with a conservative think tank says the problem wasn’t that Fallon disagreed with the White House but that he did so publicly. The Constitution is clear that the military answers to a civilian government, because the Founding Fathers didn’t trust a standing military, according to this analyst. She says that hasn’t happened in the US because military commanders know and respect the chain of command and so you do not publicly disagree with the Commander in Chief or Congress. The retirement of a commander during a time of war is not unprecedented. This military historian says that in prior incidents, commanders have acted as if they had more power than the president. But some argue that that has no comparison with what’s happening with Fallon. This former diplomat argues that the White House forced Fallon’s retirement, not for insubordination but for practicing a different opinion and the administration undermined themselves by firing a dissenter. Some argue that Fallon has done the right thing by retiring so they can openly speak their mind.

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