Petraeus to CENTCOM?

Defense Secretary Robert Gates on April 23 announced that Army Gen. David Petraeus, current head of operations in Iraq, will be the nominee to lead US Central Command. The previous CENTCOM boss, Adm. William Fallon, elected to retire just a year into his assignment. Since March 28, Army Lt. Gen. Martin Dempsey, the deputy commander, has served as acting commander. Gates wants Army Gen. Raymond Odierno, who worked under Petraeus in Iraq until two months ago, to replacing Petraeus as head of MNF-Iraq. The Administration had nominated Odierno as Army vice chief of staff, but Gates told reporters at the Pentagon, that the previous nomination would be withdrawn, citing Odierno’s experience and contacts in the region as having the greatest potential to make “this baton-passing … smooth.”