Doug Hanson explains why.
Acting without the restraints imposed by nominal allies, Admiral Fallon and PACOM have been closing the gate on Iran from the east. India’s strategic partnership with the US should be recognized as PACOM’s singular achievement to date in the War on Terror. By the use of solid statesmanship, military exchanges and defense cooperation, the US has taken away the largest potential market for Persia’s vast energy resources. Not only that, but a sea change of geo-political alignments has taken place that will be effective in countering any new alliances composed of both old and new enemies with access to Central Asia and the Pacific Rim.
This is only the most visible example of PACOM’s successes. Steady progress has also been made on the direct action front against terror groups such as Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines, where it was reported last month that Filipino forces had killed the group’s leader, Khadaffy Janjalani, in a firefight in September. US Special Forces advisors, and civilian support to Filipino law enforcement agencies and the court system are gradually paying off.
In short, Admiral Fallon has been masterful in executing both our long-range strategic goals and in conducting the close fight by rolling up terror groups in the Pacific.
Whether the Coalition does in fact, embark on extensive naval and air campaigns against Iran or another rogue state is a matter of conjecture. We can be reasonably sure however, that Admiral Fallon will bring a singular focus and vision to achieving victory in the Central Region, free of CENTCOM’s institutional inertia and bias.
And, doubtless, primary ground force reliance will be not on the Army, but on the USMC.