Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Fox Loosed on Iran

We've heard little of Admiral William "Fox" Fallon of late. The head of Central Command in the Gulf seems content to allow the glory of the Iraq Surge to go to his more media savvy subordinate, General David Petraeus. This fits in with my earlier comparison of the Admiral with World War 2 British Middle East commander Gen. Harold Alexander, who was also forced to concede the limelight to his more charismatic underling, Bernard "Monty" Montgomery, yet played an equally crucial role in defeating the Axis.

Over at Information Dissemination, in my view the premier MilBlog concerning naval issues, Galrahn has been keeping tabs with the CentCom chief, specifically his actions during the ongoing Strait of Hormuz crisis. We find that this recent incident is not the first, when Iranian speedboats closed aggressively with Coalition warships, some of the confrontations involving the firing of shots by the USN to warn the radicals off. Here is the blogger's view:

The other line of thinking, the Fallon / Gates camp, prefers to keep these type of events quiet. Under Gates and Fallon, the tension between the US and Iran has been reduced on every issue, the threatening public rhetoric to Iran from administration and Pentagon officials had almost dropped to zero prior to this incident, from the nuclear issue to the Iraq issue, even the blocking strait scenarios had disappeared from the weekly reporting on topics relating to tension between the US and Iran. Reducing public tension is a textbook Fallon strategic approach...

This is why you only hear about such things when the Iranians want us to, and everyone in the Press and the blogosphere goes hyper. But Fallon's approach, I am sure, is the right one. The Admiral is maintaining a visible but cautious stance to keep the peace, while we are preoccupied with Iraq. The mullahs over there and the internet mob over here would love an incident, but the admiral isn't playing anyone's game except the president's and his own. A cool, level head leader, in the right place at the right time.