Marine Gen. Peter Pace Next Joint Chiefs Chairman
President Bush will elevate Marine Gen. Peter Pace to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
President Bush’s choice to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. Peter Pace, has quietly helped shape the Pentagon’s role in the global war on terrorism since shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Bush will announce Friday that he will nominate Pace to succeed Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers as Joint Chiefs chairman, administration officials said. Pace is expected to win Senate confirmation easily.
Pace, 59, would be the first Marine to be chairman. He also would be only the second to rise from vice chairman to the top spot. Myers, due to retire Sept. 30 after four years on the job, was the first.
Quite interesting. It would have until recently been unthinkable to put a Marine in such a position. This move, along with the appointment of former Commandant James Jones as head of the European Command, is a strong signal that the military is indeed transforming to meet the new strategic climate.
The Bush-Rumsfeld practice of picking the Chairman from within the Joint Staff, while certainly subject to criticism on the familiar “loyalty test” grounds, strikes me as incredibly sensible. Not only does it ensure that the position will go to someone who is a superb joint staff operative but it significantly reduces the learning curve of the incoming Chairman. That makes sense any time, let alone in the middle of a war.