George Casey Next Army Chief of Staff
Well, this is one I wasn’t expecting: New SECDEF Bob Gates has announced that Peter Schoomaker is re-retiring and will be replaced by a very familiar name.
There is no officer at this time better suited to be Army Chief of Staff than General George Casey. A former Vice Chief of Staff, General Casey has the unique experience of having served at the highest levels on both the institutional and operational side of the Army. As commander of Multi-National Forces — Iraq, he has overseen the largest sustained ground forces operation by the U.S. military in a generation. General Casey knows first hand the capabilities the U.S. Army must have to succeed in the complex and unconventional campaigns of the 21st Century. I am grateful for General Casey’s extraordinary service and sacrifice — he has been in Iraq for 30 straight months — and subject to Senate confirmation, he’ll be superb as the next chief of staff of the U.S. Army.
So much for the speculation that his “earlier than expected departure” from his job in Iraq was a political rebuke for his failure to go along with the Bush administration’s proposals for a troop surge.
It’s hard to evaluate Casey’s tenure in Iraq, since we have no way of knowing what was possible given the constraints of the mission. Still, it’s not unreasonable to say that it has been less than a rousing success.