Well, if you ask Army General David Petraeus, the answer is Admiral William Fallon. However, when it comes to strategery, it seems that Fallon‘s advice will fall on deaf ears (Fallon, fall-on, get it? 😆 Oh, how i crack myself up!)
From Times Online:
On the eve of a crucial verdict on progress in Iraq being delivered to Congress, President Bush faced claims yesterday that deep divisions had opened up between his Middle East military commanders over whether his “surge” strategy was working.
Reports suggested that Admiral William Fallon, chief of US Central Command in the region, had pressed for a significant withdrawal of troops so that there would be sufficient forces for other pressing challenges.
Original DVD cover.
Along with Ryan Crocker, the US Ambassador in Baghdad, General Petraeus is expected to tell Congress today that making any significant changes to strategy would put at risk the fragile political and military progress of recent months. Their report has become a pivotal moment for Washington and Baghdad.
He [Petraeus] and Mr Crocker are expected to say that an independent report by congressional auditors, who found that only three of 18 benchmarks for progress in Iraq had been fully met, set unfair standards for judging success. Their testimony will set the stage for an announcement by Mr Bush later this week on proceeding with the surge in Iraq over the next year when he will once again ask Congress to approve billions of dollars of war funding.
Benchmarks? No country left behind? I bet poor al-Maliki has to spend all his time teaching the test instead of making any actual progress!
But Admiral Fallon, echoing criticism from other generals and allies, including Britain, has said that Iraq has undermined the US’s ability to tackle other threats, such as the Taleban [sic] resurgence in Afghanistan. A senior US official, quoted yesterday by The Washington Post, said: “He’s been saying from Day One ‘this isn’t working’.”
From Op-ed news:
Here is a short list of those who believe that President Bush and Gen. David Petraeus are dead flat wrong in their obsession to continue the long-term escalation of the Iraq war:
1. The Joint Chiefs of Staff.
2. Admiral Fallon, head of Central Command, Gen. Petraeus’s boss.
3. Former NATO Supreme Commander and Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Jones and the members of the commission he leads, who argue that American troop strength in Iraq should be reduced, that American forces should be redeployed, that the American footprint of being an occupation force in Iraq should be ended, and that the current escalation in fact will discourage, not advance, the political solution the “surge” was intended to bring about, but obviously has not.
4. Most and possibly all of the global command structure of the United States Army, which has been decimated by the Iraq war and the long-term escalation, and the United States Marine Corps.
5. The weight of opinion throughout the American intelligence community, which, despite political pressure, threats of retribution and political editing of intelligence reports, has produced one national intelligence estimate after another that have directly contradicted the views of the president and vice president.