Kissing Up Wasn't His Approach

So it turns out that President Bush's new Central Command chief, Adm. William "Fox" Fallon, was barely in the running for the job when Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, first drew up his list. Until, that is, Bush met with Fallon, then head of Pacific Command, during a fueling stop in Hawaii.

Fallon hit it out of the park when he bluntly said Iraq was a mess and offered a list of fixes. Bush liked it, and Pace moved him from fifth to first. Enter new Defense Secretary Bob Gates. The wily Pace asked if he'd like to meet Fallon. Sure, said Gates, upon which Pace produced his admiral and the deal was done.

By Paul Bedard