#1 Pushback on Obama's potential European command nominee
02-10-2012, 02:58 AM
- Join Date
- Apr 2005
The White House is considering nominating a retired general with little recent combat field experience to be the new commander of NATO and U.S. military operations in Europe, a senior administration official has told CNN. The official has direct knowledge of internal administration deliberations on the nomination.
Several officials emphasized that no final decision has been made by President Barack Obama but also confirmed that retired Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute, currently a top White House aide, is a leading candidate.
Lute, who retired from the military in 2010, coordinates Afghanistan and Pakistan affairs at the White House, a job he also performed while on active duty for both Presidents Obama and George W. Bush. In his White House role, Lute has often clashed with Pentagon and military officials over war policy, including the troop surge in Afghanistan.
If nominated and confirmed by the Senate, he would serve as the head of the U.S. European Command, and as the military head of NATO as supreme allied commander in Europe, at a sensitive time. The United States is trying to keep NATO allies committed to the war in Afghanistan. NATO also could wind up supporting any United Nations tasks in Syria.
While the move to bring back a retired general is very unusual, it is not unprecedented. During his tenure as defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld orchestrated the return to duty of retired Army Gen. Peter Schoomaker to become chief of staff when he felt there were no suitable candidates.
The current commander in Europe, Adm. James Stavridis, was previously commander of U.S. Southern Command in Miami. He is scheduled to retire this summer.
"This is a head scratcher," the senior administration official said of a potential Lute nomination. Several civilian and military officials made similar remarks to CNN but none would allow their names to be used because they were speaking ahead of the actual confirmation. "There is a sense inside the Pentagon that there are highly qualified, currently serving four-star officers with combat experience who would be very strong candidates."
A senior U.S. military officer with extensive combat experience in commanding troops also told CNN, "No matter how you color it, this means the president believes there is no currently serving military officer who can do the job. "The officer expressed further concern saying he believes many in the military will view this as a political decision by the White House to put a now-civilian political operative into a military job overseeing NATO involvement in Afghanistan, offering NATO "best political advice rather than best military advice."
He said, "This is politics a bridge too far."
02-10-2012, 03:02 AM
Gee, what a shocker, the Obumble admin screwing up again.Solve a man's problem with violence and help him for a day. Teach a man how to solve his problems with violence, help him for a lifetime - Belkar Bitterleaf
Liberalism is what the stupid think is smart.
- Join Date
- Apr 2005
02-10-2012, 11:57 AM
At this point, I know he's doing this stuff on purpose!
02-10-2012, 12:05 PM
Remember how he promised to "transform" America?
Four boxes keep us free: the soap box, the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box.
THIS POST WILL BE MONITORED BY THE NSA
02-10-2012, 03:58 PM
Is there more to this than the article states? Is Lute someone who is disliked by military personnel?
Because I don't have military experience, I don't know all the ins and outs of nominations like this, nor do I know what the implications are for the rank and file. On paper, yes, to me it sounds like someone who does not have combat experience is probably not the best choice for a NATO command post. But there also might be reasons why Lute is right for the job, also, like familiarity with the other members or making it a temporary/transitional posting until some other candidate with combat experience can be released from his or her current assignment to take over the position.
I just want to be clear that those opposed to the appointment aren't against it solely because Obama is the one making it.
On the up side, complaining to the media before the appointment is made may stir up enough controversy to ensure that someone else is picked for the job.
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