WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) today released the following statement in response to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’ recommended changes in military leadership:
“I applaud Secretary Gates’ recommendation to nominate General David Petraeus to become the next Commander of U.S. Central Command, and General Raymond Odierno to become the Commander of Multi-National Forces – Iraq. There is no doubt in my mind that General Petraeus and General Odierno are the absolute best men to take on these two critically important assignments.
“General Petraeus has won the admiration and respect of the entire country over the past fifteen months. As commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, he has overseen one of the most dramatic turnarounds in American military history, quite literally seizing victory out of the jaws of defeat in Iraq. There is no one better qualified or more capable to lead America’s brave men and women in uniform in the Middle East, which remains one of the most strategically vital regions of the world for America’s national security.
“I also strongly support the nomination of General Odierno. As commander of Multi-National Corps Iraq, General Odierno brilliantly adapted General Petraeus’ overarching counterinsurgency strategy into operational art. As much as anyone else, he deserves credit for the extraordinary transformation in security conditions in Iraq over the past year.
“In addition, General Odierno’s willingness to accept another tour in Iraq — having only just returned to his family in the United States after fifteen months there — is a testament to his extraordinary patriotism and inspiring dedication to duty. There is no one better qualified to succeed General Petraeus in Baghdad than General Odierno.
“I urge my colleagues to move expeditiously to approve these nominations.”