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Fallon resigns as chief of U.S. forces in Middle East

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — Adm. William Fallon has resigned as chief of U.S. forces in the Middle East and Central Asia after more than a year in the post, citing what he called an inaccurate perception that he is at odds with the Bush administration over Iran.

Fallon, the head of U.S. Central Command, was the subject of a recent Esquire magazine profile that portrayed him as resisting pressure for military action against Iran, which the Bush administration accuses of trying to develop nuclear weapons.

In a written statement, he said the article’s disrespect for the president and resulting embarrassment have become a distraction.

Although I don’t believe there have ever been any differences about the objectives of our policy in the Central Command area of responsibility, the simple perception that there is makes it difficult for me to effectively serve America’s interests there, he said.

In Washington, Defense Secretary Robert Gates told reporters at the Pentagon that he accepted Fallon’s resignation with reluctance and regret.

But he added, I think it’s the right decision.

We have tried between us to put this misperception behind us over a period of months, and, frankly, just have not been successful in doing so, he said.

Fallon, a 41-year veteran of the Navy, took over as chief of Central Command in early 2007. Gates said he will be replaced by Lt. Gen. Martin Dempsey, his deputy, who commanded an Army division in Iraq in the early days of the war and led efforts to train the Iraqi military. E-mail to a friend

Fallon resigns as chief of U.S. forces in Middle East – found here.

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March 11, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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