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Breaking News Admiral William “Fox” Fallon Resigns

  Breaking News


Admiral William “Fox” Fallon Resigns

  (Read our summary of the Esquire article on Admiral William Fallon.)
Admiral William "Fox" Fallon
Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Defense.

WASHINGTON, March 11, 2008 Navy Adm. William Fallon announced his decision to retire as commander of U.S. Central Command effective March 31.
Navy Adm. William “Fox” Fallon was often the lone voice pushing back against the Bush administration constant drumbeat for war with Iran. With the retirement of Adm. Fallon, the Bush administration will be free to appoint a commander open to war with Iran. Vice President Dick Cheney and other neocons now have the green light for war with Iran.
Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Adm. Mike Mullen denied Fallons retirement as a change in U.S. policy toward Iran.
In my view, this should not be seen as a sign, at all, towards any kind of conflict with Iran, Mullen said.
Navy Adm. William Fallon’s statement:
Recent press reports suggesting a disconnect between my views and the President’s policy objectives have become a distraction at a critical time and hamper efforts in the CENTCOM region. And 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.

  Map of Central Command’s Region
Central Command Responsibility Map
Credit: U.S. Department of Defense (interactive map).
  • Brief Biography of Admiral William “Fox” Fallon:
  • Forty-years military career (1967 to 2007),
  • 1967 Villanova University graduate where he was in their Navy ROTC Program,
  • Designated a naval flight officer upon completion of flight training in December 1967,
  • Admiral Fallon four four-star assignments include:
    • Vice Chief of Naval Operations (October 2000 to August 2003)
    • Commander U.S. Atlantic Fleet (October 2003 to February 2005)
    • Commander U.S. Pacific Command (February 2005 to March 2007)
    • Commander U.S. Central Command (March 16, 2007 to current)

Source Links:
U.S. Department of Defense Biography for Admiral William “Fox” Fallon 
Statement by the President Bush on Admiral William “Fox” Fallon 
Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Adm. Mike Mullen on Admiral William “Fox” Fallon 
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates Accepts Resignation of CENTCOM Chief Admiral William “Fox” Fallon 


  News Links:
Associated Press Wire Service Fallon Resigns As Mideast Military Chief
    WASHINGTON (AP) The top U.S. military commander for the Middle East resigned Tuesday amid speculation about a rift over U.S. policy in Iran. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that Adm. William J. Fallon, whose area of responsibility includes Iraq, had asked for permission to retire and that Gates agreed.
  The Christian Science Monitor U.S. COMMANDER FOR MIDDLE EAST RESIGNS  
    WASHINGTON – The US military commander in charge of the Middle East has stepped down after his stance on preventing a war with Iran became a distraction at a critical time.
  Reuters Wire Service Top US Mideast commander quits after Iran story  
    WASHINGTON, March 11 (Reuters) – Adm. William Fallon, the top U.S. commander for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, will retire because of misperceptions he disagrees with the Bush administration on Iran, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Tuesday.
  Navy Times Fallon quits as CentCom chief, will retire  
    An embattled Adm. William Fox Fallon has asked to step down as chief of U.S. Central Command and to retire from the Navy, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced Tuesday afternoon that he has accepted that request.
  Voice of America US Middle East Commander to Retire  
    The senior U.S. military officer responsible managing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and U.S. military engagement throughout the Middle East, Central Asia and East Africa, has decided to retire this month after a magazine article said he opposed administration policy toward Iran. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from the Pentagon.



The Man Between War and Peace

  Must Read Article


Esquire Cover April 2008
The Man Between War and Peace
By Thomas P.M. Barnett
April 2008
[Read full article]
  Update March 11, 2008: Admiral William Fallon Resigns. Read more.
Admiral William "Fox" Fallon
Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Defense.

“I try to be reasonably predictable to my own people and very unpredictable to potential adversaries.” Admiral William “Fox” Fallon.
“If, in the dying light of the Bush administration, we go to war with Iran, it’ll all come down to one man. If we do not go to war with Iran, it’ll come down to the same man. He is that rarest of creatures in the Bush universe: the good cop on Iran, and a man of strategic brilliance. His name is William Fallon, although all of his friends call him “Fox,” which was his fighter-pilot call sign decades ago. Forty years into a military career that has seen this admiral rule over America’s two most important combatant commands, Pacific Command and now United States Central Command, it’s impossible to make this guy–as he likes to say—‘nervous in the service.’ ” Thomas P.M. Barnett
Summary Points:

  • Admiral William “Fox” Fallon cautions against war with Iran
  • His command as Commander U.S. Central Command was supposed to end the summer 2009.
  • May be relieved of command early and “it may well mean that the president and vice-president intend to take military action against Iran before the end of this year and don’t want a commander standing in their way.”
  • Stands up for current generation of young officers in the U. S. military
  • Believes functioning societies and economies give birth to democratic governments.
  • Pushes regional-security dialogue solutions.
  • Example: Involve all the mid-eastern countries instead of just Palestine and Israel.
  • Pushes economic cooperation between countries.
  • Example:
  • “Tajikistan is 95 percent mountainous and extremely food dependent. Its main asset is its untapped hydroelectric capacity. Afghanistan presents just the opposite picture–food to export but most of the country lacks an effective electric grid.”
  • On the subject of failed states, he said “What I learned in the Pacific is that after a while the tableau of failed, failing, or dysfunctional states becomes a real burden on the functional countries and a problem for their neighborhood, because they breed unrest and insecurities and attract troublemakers very well. They’re like sewers, and they begin to fester. It’s bad for business. And when it’s bad for business, people tend to start restricting their investments, and they restrict their thinking, and it allows more barriers, so we’re back to building walls again instead of breaking them down. If you have to build walls, it means you’re moving backward.”
  • U. S. Central Command stretches from East Africa to the Chinese border with Iraq on the western edge and Afghanistan on the eastern edge. It includes Pakistan, the Gaza Strip, the post-Soviet republics of Central Asia, and Iran.
  • The day before Pakistani strongman Pervez Musharraf declared emergency rule, he talked with the U. S. Ambassador to Pakistani, Anne W. Patterson and Fallon explaining his rationale and how long he expects it to last.
  • Fallon didn’t belief Benazir Bhutto’s return to the country would be useful.
  • He is a subordinate who freely speaks his mind, a Patient methodical man who is from the “walk softly and carry a big stick” school, continues the naval-officer tradition of emasculating bluntness, a hands-on action, in the field officer, has an eye for detail, and a great strategic thinker.
  • Why people were freaking out at the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill as he initiated a military-to-military outreach to the Chinese armed forces when he took charge of the Pacific Command in 2005. The Chinese were scheduled to be our next war and the talks threatened spending on weapons systems and major vehicle platforms.

Brief Biography of Admiral William “Fox” Fallon:
Forty-years military career (1967 to 2007).
1967 Villanova University graduate where he was in their Navy ROTC Program Designated a naval flight officer upon completion of flight training in December 1967.
Admiral Fallon four-star assignments include:

  • Vice Chief of Naval Operations (October 2000 to August 2003)
  • Commander U.S. Atlantic Fleet (October 2003 to February 2005)
  • Commander U.S. Pacific Command (February 2005 to March 2007)
  • Commander U.S. Central Command (March 16, 2007 to current)
  Map of Central Command’s Region
Central Command Responsibility Map
Credit: U.S. Department of Defense (interactive map).

Source Links:
  The Man Between War and Peace, Esquire 
  The Man Between War and Peace, Esquire — print version 



Florida blackout February 2008

Ad Introduction
Florida Blackout February 2008

Florida Blackout February 26, 2008

Florida Blackout February 26, 2008

Crumbling American infrastructure caused massive blackouts throughout Florida Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Brother Loki Gremlin By Brother Loki Gremlin
February 29, 2008
  More than six million electric customers were affected when a disconnect switch failed at 1:08 p.m. Eastern Time (18:00 UTC) at the automated substation west of Miami, and another piece of equipment controling voltage caught fire about the same time.

A field engineer was diagnosing the switch when a fault occurred. The engineer had previously disabled two levels of relay protection before starting work. The outage occurred because the fault happened while both levels of relay protection were turned-off which allowed the problem to cascade through the system.

Example of:
  Crumbling American infrastructure
  Republican conservative worldview
  Commons vs. Private Property
Wikinews, February 26, 2008 – Massive blackouts occurred throughout Florida shortly after 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time (18:00 UTC) on Tuesday afternoon.
Out of the 4.4 million customers served by Florida Power & Light, Co. (FPL), about 680,000 residents were affected, with an additional two million-plus customers affected in other parts of the state. It is estimated that as many as four million customers throughout Florida were affected, with many different power companies losing control of their specific grids.
  Florida Blackout February 2008

Sources clockwise from top-left: AP Photo, CBS-4, AP Photo, Getty Images
Image: Image Editor

FPL President Armando Olivera said that a disconnect switch failed at 1:08 p.m. at the automated substation west of Miami, and a piece of equipment that controls voltage caught fire about the same time. Neither failure by itself would have caused a widespread outage. The event at the utility’s Flagami substation consequently led to the rolling blackouts. It is still unclear how failure at this site spread, but with power turning off at the main Turkey Point nuclear power plant location, which serves all of south Florida, FPL’s grid shut down as well. It contributed to a domino effect which ended up sapping energy from bordering grids all over Florida.

Police reported several people were stuck in the elevators of high-rise buildings in downtown Miami and several hospitals were running on backup power, although no injuries or fatalities have been reported. The blackouts caused major traffic jams and a few accidents, but the original outage was contained shortly after it occurred. All customers affected had power restored to them by 6:30 p.m. (23:30 UTC).

  Florida February 2008 Blackout Outage Map

Source: Image Editor
Map: Image Editor
Power outages were reported as far south as the Florida Keys, on the original FPL grid, and as far north as Orlando and Daytona Beach, nearly 300 miles (483 km) away on the Progress Energy grid. Most of Miami-Dade and parts of Broward and Palm Beach counties suffered the worst outages.

CNN reported the failure was caused by a field engineer who ignored FPL’s established procedures and disabled two levels of relay protection. CNN quotes Olivera as saying “We don’t know why the employee took it upon himself to disable both sets of relays…The employee realized something had gone wrong, but I think it’s fair to say the employee didn’t recognize the extent or magnitude of the problem.”
  Wikinews – Massive blackouts hit Florida
  CNN – Power restored to parts of Florida after outage
  CNN – Probe: Engineer’s actions triggered Florida blackout
Further Information:
  AP Wire – Power back on after outages hit Florida
  Reuters Wire – Power goes out for millions in Florida
  The Miami Herald – FPL: Blackout started in S. Florida substation
  WFTV 9 – Reasons For Blackout In Central, Southern Florida Remain A Mystery
  Wire Services Photos – Millions experience power outages in Florida
  CNN – Power restored to parts of Florida after outage
  The Miami Herald – Photos